Therapist Explains Eyeopening Difference Between Toxic Positivity And Support With Simple Charts

Sometimes all we need is some Hope and Validation.

It might not seem much to many of us, but for someone who is going through a rough time or depression, it means everything. If we come to think of it, there are so many reasons behind depression. Some people suffer from it because of low self-worth while others develop it because of some past trauma or abuse. But, in all cases, it makes people feel hopeless.

Though anyone who is feeling hopeless needs proper therapy depending on the severity of their condition but the immediate help always comes from the people in the immediate surrounding. Now, the problem is that people don’t always know how to talk to someone who isn’t feeling okay. So that’s why we will take a look at this simple chart below that clearly explains the difference between ‘Validation & Hope’ and ‘Toxic Positivity.’

Psychotherapist Whitney Hawkins Goodman, LMFT, owner of The Collaborative Counseling Center came up with the following chart that explains the difference in hopes to educate people better about what and what not to say to someone going through a hard time.


Here’s what she posted.

Compare the two statements yourself and see which one sounds more promising?

If we think about it, Toxic Positivity can do more harm than good.

Choice of words matter.

Showing compassion to others can do wonders!

And sometimes a little motivation is all that’s needed.

Words can have a significant impact on other people, so the proper choice of words is necessary.

Saying “Just be happy” to someone is like telling a disabled person to “Just walk.” Know the difference!

By only using the right words and proper tone, you can change someone’s life!

In the post, Goodman also said, “I’ve realized people HATE the word toxic. I hear ya’ll. Got a lot of comments on “never give up.” I decided to keep it. There are relationships, life goals, plans, and situations that is OK to give up on. Not everything needs to result in completion. Sometimes it is safer to give up. We owe each other the space to discuss the options,” and asked her followers, “What are some other positive sayings that you think are totally dismissive?”

Here’s what the followers had to say:

As expected, everyone agrees.

I second that.


Can you think of some common phrases that need to be changed? Let us know in the comments below.

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