When I am going through a tough time it drives me crazy when people say things like, “You’ll get through it,” and “Try to find the positive.” I believe they mean well but it does not help me. I want to know I am ok, I want to know there is a way out.
Having a good word of advice to pull someone out of their rough time may not be readily available, but what is possible is providing validation and hope. Validation for their feelings and situation. Hope that they will make it through and the sun is still shining outside.
My friend Jodie shared a list with me that I want to share with you. Many phrases on the list have been said to me and were not helpful. Included are simple ways to change the phrase that provides validation and hope.
|Validation & Hope||Toxic Positivity|
|This is hard. You’ve done hard things before and I believe in you.||You’ll get over it!|
|I know there’s a lot that could go wrong. What could go right?||Just be positive!|
|All vibes welcome here.||Good vibes only!|
|It’s pretty normal to have some negativity in this situation.||Stop being so negative!|
|It’s probably pretty hard to be positive right now. I’m putting out good energy into the world for you.||Think happy thoughts!|
|Sometimes not continuing is ok. What is your ideal outcome.||Never give up!|
|It’s never fun to feel like that. Is there something we can do today that you’d enjoy?||Just be happy!|
|It’s probably really hard to see any good in this situation. We’ll make sense of it all later.||See the good in everything.|
Validation and HopeToxic PositivityThink about how you talk to someone going through a rough patch. What words of validation and hope are you providing?