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Toxic Positivity : Grief Edition

Posted by Memory Cremation Urns on

We define Toxic Positivity as the excessive and ineffective over generalization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity, while good intentioned, results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience.

"Time heals all wounds"

why it may not be helpful:

- Things do tend to get better with time, but grief will always be a part of their life and story.

- It implies that time is all you need to be "better."

- Most people are not in a place to think far into the future after a difficult loss.

"You need to be strong for (insert person)." "Be strong."

why it may not be helpful:

- It implies that having emotions around grief isn't being "strong"

- It implies that showing your emotions is wrong and may harm someone.

"Death is part of life."

why it may not be helpful:

- Factually true, but doesn't make it feel any better.

- Grief is painful even if we know it's coming.

"Everything happens for a reason."

why it may not be helpful:

- A lot of death, especially traumatic loss, makes absolutely no sense.

- Sometimes there is no reason

- You are trying to quickly make sense of something that likely doesn't make sense to the other person.

"Come on be positive, they wouldn't want to see you sad."

why it may not be helpful:

- You likely don't know what their loved one wanted.

- You're silencing their emotional expression/experience.

"At least they lived a long life." "At least you knew it was coming." "At least, (insert anything you think is worse)."

why it may not be helpful:

- It negates the person's experience.

- It dismisses their pain.

- It implies that they don't have a right to be upset or should be less upset.





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