Everyone always encourages positivity at all times, but there are cases in which positive thinking does more harm than good. While it is good to help someone through a hard time in their life by helping them with encouraging words, you can easily go from a positive influence during hardship to a toxic force that needs to be removed if you don’t understand proper boundaries.
You cannot make people think positive thoughts.
Sometimes, people go through things that merit negative thoughts and emotions that are complex and can only dwindle down with the test of time. No matter how much you want to be their peace, their shining ray of hope and the one that coaches them down from the ledge, it doesn’t always work out like that. When you use terminology and methods that border the line of force or even pushy coercion, then you are not being positive.
Actually, you are sabotaging any good you may think you can provide them with, by using toxic methods to deliver your message.
To help people understand, Whitney Hawkins Goodman created a useful chart that easily depicts the differences between the two.
On one side, terminology is used that validates the person experiencing turmoil. It is assuring them that they are on your mind, that they will one day overcome the situation on their time and that you are there for them in the meantime.
But, the toxic side is mostly useless and rude cliches that emotionally undeveloped people use when they are void of empathy. You can’t tell someone that they need to ‘get over it,’ or to ‘stop being so negative’ when they are going through something. These words do more harm than good, causing the person to question their merited reaction instead of allowing them room to grow through it.
And if after reading the chart you still can’t stop being so damn rude, then perhaps your should take the mothers of decades past advice, and just not say anything at all.