15 Seemingly Harmless Phrases That Are Actually Toxic


When we feel sad, we need our loved ones’ support. But sometimes words of support only aggravate negative feelings. Toxic positivity encourages us to ignore emotions, devalue problems, and impose unreasonable optimism. Some phrases may seem positive, but in fact, they only provoke negative emotions.

At Bright Side, we did our best to figure out which phrases can become an acceptable replacement for toxic comments.

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“You’re in trouble.”

This phrase just emphasizes how unpleasant a situation is and doesn’t give any sense of hope on how fast you can get out of trouble. Next time you’ll think twice whether it’s worth sharing your problems with this person.

A better way to say this would be, “I see that you feel bad. You can call me any time, I will always be happy to listen to you.”

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“You’re strong, you’ll deal with it.”

Usually, you hear something like this when you don’t feel strong at all. This phrase is supposed to motivate you and give you strength but, according to psychologists, it’s useless and only reminds a person that they feel helpless.

A better way to say this would be, “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. How can I help you?”

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“I’ve been there too.”

When someone is grieving, others may think they know how this person feels, but they don’t. Everyone has their own unique story and situation. Someone else’s experience doesn’t help you go through hard times.

A better way to say this would be, “I experienced a similar situation a while ago, but I managed to return to a normal life. Your case is unique, but I will be happy to share my experience with you if you think it can help you.”

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“Time heals everything.”

This phrase irritates those who have experienced intense grief. Eventually, people get used to their problem or solve it, but time doesn’t help them much. In the face of grief, many people look for ways to fix their problem, but there are things that can’t be fixed. Each situation is unique, no one can say for sure how long your feeling of grief will last.

A better way to say this would be, “I wish this would’ve happened differently.” geico motorcycle

“It’s not the worst thing in the world.”

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