Toxic Positivity: 5 Ways To Combat It Now

Updated: 12 hours ago

March 30, 2021 by Jessie & Joel


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Before Diving In

Joel: Have you heard any phrases like these?

  • Oh, don’t worry. It’s going to be just fine.

  • Just look on the bright side. You’ll get over it.

  • Well, It could be worse!

Jessie: Those phrases ring so true for us at the Marigold Force. We hear them often, and today we are going to name it for what it is - Toxic Positivity. We'll start by sharing 5 ways to combat Toxic Positivity. Then we'll dig into what True Positivity looks like.

Joel: Yes! Being positive - truly positive - isn’t a bad thing. But using toxic positivity to manipulate your feelings or the feelings of others is never okay. Let’s get to today’s episode: Toxic Positivity: 5 Ways To Combat It Now.

5 Ways To Combat Toxic Positivity

Jessie: In the intro I talked about Toxic Positivity and True Positivity. I have a few questions I want to tackle together to give our listeners a peek inside our own experiences with the topic.

  • What does Toxic Positivity look like, sound like, and feel like for you?

  • What does authentic or true positivity look like, sound like, and feel like for you?

  • Why was it important for you to learn how to effectively combat toxic positivity?

>> Click here to listen to our responses on the podcast.

Joel: What we just did - reflecting on and realizing when we are experiencing toxic positivity needs to happen FIRST. Then you're ready to combat it! Like we say all the time on this podcast, start with your why. When you are aware of the why, it is so much easier to actually do the work.

Now Jessie, let’s get to the 5 Ways to Combat Toxic Positivity Now. We will share a step. We will share what that step looks like for each of us. And, we will share WHY we put that on our Marigold Force list

  1. Express Yourself

  2. Listen, Validate, Repeat​

  3. Stop Unwanted Advice​

  4. Stop the Shame Game​

  5. Accept Your Feelings

>> Click here to listen to our responses on the podcast.

BONUS: What does authentic positivity sound like?

Jessie: Here are a few examples of what authentic positivity sounds like. You can use these examples to guide others or to keep your own toxic positivity in check. (Remember that tone matters!)

  • That sounds hard.

  • This is a really tough situation.

  • How can I help you?

  • Is everything okay?

  • It’s understandable that you are upset.

  • Would you like to talk more about how this is affecting you?

  • That must be tough. Tell me more.

  • That’s a lot for you to process.

  • All your feelings are valid.

  • It’s okay to be mad about this.

>> Click here to listen if you want to hear us (Jessie & Joel 😀) reading this list!

Action Step

Joel: Now Marigolds, it’s time for your action step. Before you do anything, make sure you are aware of whether or not it is toxic positivity or authentic positivity. (It takes practice!) Once you know that you are experiencing toxic positivity or that you are being toxically positive, map out the 5 steps with specifics to your situation.​

  1. Write down what you’ve tried.

  2. Write down where the problem is.

  3. Write down potential solutions.

  4. And finally, write down some next steps by getting specific.

Most likely you will focus on one way to combat toxic positivity. And that’s just fine.

Jessie: These notes are so important so that you can see when you, or others, are shifting into toxic positivity. It’s okay to practice these steps with another Marigold you trust. This work is hard work - and you are not alone! Write and map out your personal steps to combat toxic positivity and rock some authentic positivity. Do this now.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

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Thank you Danielle Espo! "Rejuvenating and beyond Important! I LOVE this podcast with Joel and Jessie -- as a teacher, I struggle so much to slow down and check-in with myself. I put so much pressure on myself and the betterment of my students that I completely forget about myself. Sound familiar fellow educators? I love that this is an interactive podcast that (gently) forces me to make space for myself because, dammit, I deserve it. We need more of this across education. <33"

If you're loving the podcast, consider rating and reviewing the show! This helps us support more educators. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars 😄, and select "Write a Review." Let us know what you're loving most!



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