“We all know the sayings…
‘At least it happened early.’
‘You’re so young. You still have plenty of time.’
‘It will happen when it’s meant to happen.’
‘Don’t stress, then it will happen.’
The list goes on and on.
Toxic positivity is what this is called. It can be defined as ‘dismissing negative emotions and responding to distress with false reassurance rather than empathy.’
The people saying these things think they are being helpful. They think they are offering you a sense of comfort, but in actuality, they are doing the exact opposite. Even though these are usually not said with ill-intentions in mind, they still can be extremely hurtful to hear.
From personal experience, it is something I have encountered more times than I can count since entering the world of infertility. Just as its definition speaks, it comes across as dismissive and unapologetic.
It brings with it no reassurance I am going to get past whatever it is I am dealing with and eventually be okay again. It offers no sense of understanding that what I am going through is unimaginably difficult. And it gives no support and absolutely no empathy for my circumstances.
I fully know when it comes to infertility, unless you’ve experienced it firsthand, there is no way for you to know even the slightest bit what this feels like. So for those outside of this community, it can be difficult to find the right words to say while trying to be supportive. But sometimes less is more. We don’t always need you to have the right things to say at the right times.
These toxic positivity statements bring with them more hurt than help. Instead of lifting us up with encouragement, they tear us down little by little and make us feel even more defeated than we already do.
I’ll never dismiss a hand reaching out to be there for me, but I just wish others would think twice before offering their support through these negative words. Because there is a difference between being uplifting and showing toxic positivity.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mackenzie Eckinger of Ohio and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and here. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos
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