Mindset

Toxic Positivity: 5 Ways to Combat it Now

Jessie Gebauer & Joel Carlovsky

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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.

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?

Listen to the 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

Listen to our responses on the podcast.

Authentic positivity sounds like this

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

Call to action

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.


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Jessie & Joel here, you're new #1 fans.

We are so much more than “just teachers.” Joel is a personal development mastermind, self-care guru, push up machine, skilled ballet dancer, and Kombucha connoisseur. I’m a systems-minded queen, Excel nerd, aspiring handstand professional, travel enthusiast, and a cat mama. 

“Teacher” is just one of our many hats, and I bet you have a few more hats too!

Joel and I want to show you how to get a solid grip on your teaching gig, so you can give your best energy to whatever matters most to you.

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