Recently, Reddit user u/anonsurfer98 asked, "What's an example of 'toxic positivity' that people don't seem to realize?" and they are 100% correct.
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People did not hold back, and here are some of the best responses:
1."Survivor bias, if it works for you doesn't mean it works for others."
2."That you've got to have it ALL or your life is 'wasted.' ... If you're not constantly at 100% doing something productive, you're wasting time."
3."A lot of parents [tell] their kids that they should never complain because a lot of people have it worse than them. ... All this mindset does is invalidate their kid's emotions, and essentially causes the kid to keep it bottled inside."
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4."When you went through [something traumatic] and your family tells you that it shouldn’t affect you cause 'you’re stronger than that!'"
5."'You can do anything if you put your mind to it.' I can put my mind to being an Olympic sprinter all I like, but it'll never happen because I can barely fucking walk."
6."'Good vibes only in this house!' Uh, that is emotionally unhealthy and leads to superficial relationships..."
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"...True relationships require depth and discussing hurt and anger. You can't have good days unless you deal with the bad ones, too. 'I only want positive people around me!' You want enablers. It's good to also have people around you who can offer constructive criticism in a healthy way."
7."Downplaying disabilities, especially visible ones, and illnesses in general all because you think it is encouraging or nice. Just treat us as normal people."
8."The idea that you can beat some illnesses by sheer willpower. ... There is having a positive attitude and there is being in blind denial."
9."'You should always accept yourself.' I mean, it's okay to accept something you can't change. But if you work on parts of your personality or body to make you feel better, you should definitely do it, because sometimes accepting things unconditionally means giving up."
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10."I hate the 'what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger' mindset. Sure, a lot of hard times don’t kill us, but they do have long-lasting negative effects that don’t make us stronger at all."
11."Those 'uplifting' stories about people overcoming obstacles. For example, the boy who got a wheelchair built by a high school robotics club, the girl selling lemonade to buy her school supplies, and the kid who Home Depot built a walker for, just to name a few..."
"...These stories (usually referred to as trauma porn) showcase people being able to temporarily fix a bad situation, but when you look at the bigger picture, it's like a Band-Aid on a gaping chest wound."
12."The emphasis on smiles. Some people tell random strangers on the street to smile. ... 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."
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13."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 kinds of people."
14."Telling someone with depression that they just need to be more positive, go out more, be more present in life, do this and that, and be all happy and shit about living every day. I mean...hm...why didn't I think of that?"
15."'Never give up!' No. Determination can be good in moderation, but you need to know when to quit."
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16."Any sentence that begins with 'At least ______________!' It makes you feel guilty for being upset about whatever is difficult and forces you to feel the need to hide genuine sadness. It’s the 'starving children in Africa' equivalent of adult life..."
"...Spouse has cancer? 'At least he only needs one month of chemo!' Bad interaction at work? 'At least you have a coworker that witnessed it too!' Miscarriage? 'At least you know you can get pregnant!' Dead relative? 'At least your grandma is still alive!'"
17.And finally, "The phrase 'I don’t see color.' Usually said with good intentions, but states that you do not acknowledge the struggles."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.