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Toxic Positivity: Phrases to Eliminate from Your Vocab ASAP

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

I am the queen of spreading good vibes. However, there comes a time when “spreading good vibes” can have negative effects. Recently, I learned some key phrases that should NOT be said when someone is going through a tough time. Down below, are these phrases listed, as well as some things to say instead!

1. Everything happens for a reason

This is one of my absolute favorite life mottos. However, this saying could be quite harmful when dealing with a serious life event. Sometimes the “reason” something occurred may not be clear, and as a result this phrase can seem demeaning.

2. It could be worse

Yeah, things could be worse; but they could also be better. Comparing pain does not make it hurt any less. Try saying instead: I am so sorry that you are going through this tough time!

3. Don’t worry

While I understand the intent behind this phrase, “not worrying” is easier said than done. If I could turn off all my worries, I would. However, anxiety doesn’t work like that, and telling someone to not worry is an oversimplification. Try saying instead: I see that you’re stressed! I am here for you!

4. You have so much to be grateful for

Again, I understand the intent behind this particular phrase—it’s meant to focus on what someone has instead of what they lack. However, this statement tends to be dismissive. If someone’s right leg was cut off, you wouldn’t say “be grateful for the left leg”. While this analogy may be a bit extreme, the point still stands.

5. Don’t cry

Crying is a natural response. Hindering this response will bottle up those emotions, which can have negative effects in the long run. Everyone needs a good cry every once in a while, and that should be embraced. Try saying instead: Your feelings are totally valid!

6. Just get over it

This is probably the worst thing someone could say. People need to time to process the trauma they go through, and healing takes time. Try saying instead: How can I be there to support you?

My name is Sofia and I am a Psychology major at the University of Scranton! When I am not writing for Her Campus, you could find me reading, baking, or watching Real Housewives!