What’s an example of “toxic positivity” that people don’t seem to realise?

What’s an example of “toxic positivity” that people don’t seem to realise?

What do you think?

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  1. The idea that you can beat some illnesses by sheer willpower.

    It doesn’t matter how much of a fighter grandpa is and how much adversity he has overcome in his life. Cancer does not care.

    There is having a positive attitude and there is being in blind denial.

  2. So this is something I noticed in a lot of female oriented forums. There’s this push to always support each other and be positive. Which can be good.

    What I’ve noticed is that people take someone disagreeing with them as some slight against them. And in some cases the moderators will just delete everything that isn’t 100% supporting the person.

    It’s bad. I disagreed with someone on a childcare forum about a really minor thing. You would think I sent them death threats with how they reacted. Eventually the moderators nuked all my comments because “it was getting too toxic”… it was literally a disagreement.

    The next day a post was made about how people in the forum need to stop being so rude and how we all need to support each other. It was a disagreement about potty training…..

    It was so freaking minor. If you can’t handle a little bit of criticism or someone disagreeing with you that’s a problem.

  3. “You can do anything if you put your mind to it”

    Bitch, I can put my mind to being an Olympic sprinter all I like, but it’ll never happen because I can barely fucking walk

  4. When people tell you “calm down,” “cheer up,” “don’t worry,” or some other statement like that. It’s like, “Well gee-golly-gosh! Why didn’t I ever think of that? It’s almost as if I can’t just turn my emotions off just like that! I bet that whenever you’re upset, you just tell yourself the same thing, you dense lightbulb!”

  5. “I lost my job”

    Person: keep your head up everything is going to work out.

    What they should say: damn that’s a bummer. What are you planning on doing about it. Let me know if I can help.

  6. Body positivity that focuses on glorifying obesity.

    No, I am not saying a chunky woman isn’t beautiful. I’m saying that a woman who can barely walk 10 steps before needing to sit down and focus on her breathing is not beautiful. There is absolutely a point where this becomes disgusting to look at, and that’s before we get into the health of the matter. “Doctors are against us!!!” No, bitch. Stfu and take the hand that’s been extended to you.

    I used women as examples because it really is more prevalent with them, both the negatives and positives of BP.

  7. I’m doing this management training at work and there’s this thing called “ruinous empathy” that to me is the same as toxic positivity.

    As a manager, I’ve done it plenty of times. I’m supposed to tell someone that they’re not doing their job well, and that they need to stop doing A, B and C and do X, Y and Z instead.

    Well, I’m afraid of hurting people’s feelings so when I do that it usually turns into “it’s not your fault” and “we all learn lessons the hard way”, when really what I need to do is identify the problem and solution clearly without worrying about how the other person reacts.

    This is a real problem because then they never know what they’re actually doing wrong and may wind up getting disciplined b/c of it when if I’d have just been straight with them, they may have just started doing their job right.

    I like “ruinous empathy” as a term for it, though.

  8. Assuming every problem is solvable or has a long term beneficial result.

    Some things just suck, will always have sucked, and just wasted time/energy/money. That’s okay too as long as you eventually cut your losses and move on. It doesn’t have to “help” anything in the long run.

  9. Telling people that they shouldn’t be upset about whatever problem they’re facing. I see this with people trying to tell others their problems are insignificant, temporary, or self-inflicted, but it often reads more like “I don’t approve of the emotions you feel, and demand that you change them.”

  10. the emphasis on smiles

    some people tell random strangers on the street to smile. mind your business i say. maybe they just went through something bad and aren’t happy enough to smile. even if they are, why should they advertise their emotion to you?

    whenever a photo is taken you’re ordered to bare your teeth. it’s not enough to smile, you have to do it in a particular way or you’re “ruining the photo”

    people in a service job are expected to plaster corporate smiles on their faces whenever potential customers are around, even though it’s been called creepy and disingenuous for decades

  11. I grew up in a religious household, the whole idea of “being grateful” is rooted in toxic positivity. I felt a lot of guilt around being sad as a kid bc I had my basic needs taken care of. Toxic mindset to grow up with.

  12. Talk openly about your feelings with people you trust. At the same time, try to find healthy ways to deal and recognize that the people you’re sharing with also have emotional needs.

    Be open and accept help but don’t monopolize their time with your needs.

    You’ll find that giving your support to them can help you with your feelings as well by taking you out of your situation, even if only for a few minutes.

  13. Downplaying disabilities, especially visible ones and illness in general all because you think it is encouraging or nice. Just treat me/us/them as normal people.

    I don’t want pity. I have accepted this reality.

    Disabilities are only a minor aspect of the person. Try to see through it, and treat them like you’d treat any other person (even if that means you withhold favourable treatment).

  14. *Remember it can always be worse*

    Are you fucking trying to guilt me into not feeling sad or bad or upset about my situation because some poor other person somewhere in the world is having it worse? How the hell is that even supposed to help me?!

  15. “You should always accept yourself”

    I mean, it ok to accepts something you can’t change, but if you can work on some parts of your personality or body to make you feel better you should definitely do it, because sometimes accepting thing unconditionally means to give up.

  16. Encouraging obese people and telling them everything is fine, I’m not suggesting that we should bully them or make them feel insecure but being obese shouldn’t be normalized

  17. “All you need is Jesus”

    When you say this to someone who doesn’t share that religious belief, or worse is an atheist, all your doing is making them feel like nothing can help them if thats the only answer. For them it’s not a solution its you not wanting to give real advice.

  18. Telling someone insecure about their looks that ‘they look great / aren’t fat / are beautiful no matter what’. Not to be clear, you probably *should* say that, but especially when talking to children or teenagers it should be followed up with something like ‘but it doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re cool anyway’

    Most of us are stuck in a cycle where we’re led to believe that being good looking is somehow directly tied to our value as a person. It’s then coupled with the incredibly high beauty standards the media thrusts upon us. Logically, we feel insecure and mention it to friends and family. They follow up with ‘oh don’t worry you look great’, which only reinforces the idea that this is important and that you should be worried about it. Even the common response in progressive media is to show that ‘all body types are beautiful’, ‘stretch marks are beautiful’ or ‘old people can still be hot”. In itself that’s a nice idea. However all it does is make the ideal of beauty slightly more accessible. It still builds upon the idea that beauty = the ultimate good and never actually adresses the problem.

  19. That you’ve got to have it ALL, or your life is ‘wasted’.

    You’ve got to travel, you’ve got to have a soul mate, you’ve got to have an outstanding career, you’ve got to have a brilliant record of your adventures, you’ve got to have kids or pedigree pets, you’ve got to go to university, you’ve got to have a business. If you’re not constantly at 100% doing something productive, you’re wasting time.

  20. “You didn’t get that job because you weren’t thinking positively enough. If you try harder next time, you can’t fail!” Said by my toxic late mother to me upon hearing my sad news. Thanks, mom, you made yet another thing my fault.

  21. Saying “It’s all in your mind!”, “Just think happy thoughts, and “Happiness is a choice.” Makes it really difficult to express myself around those Pollyanna kind of person. I can’t be myself around them.

  22. “I went through (insert a struggle they experienced that is similar to your hardship) and I came out fine.” May or may not have the addendum “I did (insert things they did to overcome the hardship), you can too”

    Invalidates my experience and subtly tells me to just get over myself and deal with it. I know you’re trying to be inspirational, but your advice comes off as dismissive and like you aren’t really hearing me.

  23. “Everything happens for a reason, you were meant to learn something from it”

    Our entire world is chaos and everything happens in this vaccuum of chaos.

  24. “You look great hon!” to a trans person when they’re wearing clothes that are not age or body appropriate.

    Imagine if your 50 year old aunt wore a school girl uniform to the store, wouldn’t you feel embarrassed for her? Why is it suddenly a trans rights issue to say the clothes someone is wearing looks like crap on them?

    I’m trans myself, so it just makes me think the people saying I don’t look bad are just being kind. If you’re going to do that sort of stuff be genuine. It seems like people want to say what is nice or PC rather than the truth of the matter.

  25. Calling a fat person bold or confident when they post pics in revealing outfits. This wouldn’t be as big of a problem if such comments were found on pics of fit looking people. As much as the positivity is appreciated, you’re just further singling us out when we’re trying to blend in.

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