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Toxic Positivity Isn't Cheering Anyone Up

By Mark Brodie
Published: Friday, October 18, 2019 - 12:39pm
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2019 - 12:45pm

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Toxic positivity

When a family member or friend is feeling down, our natural instinct is often to try to cheer them up — offer them an encouraging word, or relate a story about how whatever is ailing them could be worse. But it turns out that approach can do more harm than good.

There’s even a term for it: toxic positivity.

Sarah Tracy is a Professor of Human Communication at ASU and Director of the Transformation Project there. She joined The Show to define toxic positivity and explain what we can really do to help.

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