Toxic Positivity, or STFU Karen!

I know, talking shit about positive people is akin to talking shit about Christians. By the way, you toxically positive Christians are the worst. But this post ain’t for all you Pollyannas out there, mostly because you always think you’re right.

No, this post is for those of you who, like me, are sick and tired of these toxically positive people and how they claim to want to make you feel better but end up making you feel a lot worse.

I decided if Karens and Pauls can dish it out, they sure as hell better be able to take it. Read and grow, bitches!

For those of us who have suffered at the hands of cruel people, then at the hands of those who turned a blind eye to us or dared accuse we the victims of being culpable for our own abuse, followed by these overly optimistic assholes making us feel like we’re knee-high to a toadstool, I offer this:

  • You didn’t ask for it
  • You didn’t deserve it, and
  • You don’t owe anyone, even yourself, to grow from it

That’s not to say that you can’t learn things about yourself as you learn to live in the aftermath of trauma. And yes, maybe you wouldn’t be as caring, or as kind, or as understanding had you not been victimized. But so what? Lots of people walk this earth caring about nothing past their own nose, so why shouldn’t you if you so choose?

Karen, keep your back seat psychology psychobabble to yourself. Nobody gives a shit what you think anyway.

Toxic Positivity 

“At least you learned a lot,” they say
when I’m wailing like a coyote in the darkness.
Yeah, I’m a fucking spiritual giant,
Surviving the terror, then insane starkness
of advice so cruel and idiotic.
What lessons should I have learned from his hot, acrid breath
and his deep gutteral groans as he thrust
until he went flaccid? I wished for death,
instead I had to get my shit together
and GROW! GROW! GROW!
No matter how horrible life treats you,
you should learn from the experience, you know.

Trifling back seat psychologists dispensing advice
as though all I had was a hangnail
oughtta be slapped.
They talk as though my spirit is frail.
Have you lived through all that I have?
I talk tough because I am tough.
Would you be as strong, or babbling
and oozing tears like a damn cream puff
if you’d lived through what I have?
Next time someone feels tempted
to remind me of my overflowing cup
of wisdom for which I should be grateful,
they can shut the fuck up.

20 thoughts on “Toxic Positivity, or STFU Karen!

  1. It’s generally people who understand nothing that think they know so much. There are things no one should have to learn.

    The enablers enrage me – there are the passive ones that could not, or would not, see and the more active ones.

      1. Yes, I know what you mean – tell people what you think they want to hear.

        One of the things that bothers me most is when I see reports about children who have not survived. People like teachers and medical prfessionals are still saying things like the child was always clean and well-fed, the child was well-behaved, the child said they fell over. The list goes on, they still will not see.

      2. Equally depressing and infuriating would be when I’d work child abuse cases and people would come out of the woodwork to give information. When I asked why they didn’t report they’d say they did, but the prior investigator didn’t listen or follow through.

  2. Nice to see this post Jen, it is such a forceful culture to be the recipient of toxic positivity, sometimes I do wonder why people take it upon themselves to keep inspiring everyone around without understanding that listening, understanding and even being empathetic is an inspirational move. There is more richness in understanding a fellow being than forcing positivity on people when not ready.

      1. Agree, I do find that there seems to be a huge push on everyone to be an influencer and the trend doesn’t seem to help. It is fair to have opinons, but I have an issue when people try to push their opinion on to us – it is far too much of an intrusion for my liking.

  3. Man Jen you speak words I want to say at times! Thank you! And your poem is spot-on! I classify myself as a Survivor for my own sanity. But there are days I still feel like a Victim. Because most of my Life has been fighting off situations that WOULD finish off a lesser person….And yes I too have been victimized in ways I do not speak about openly.
    All I can say is we have to be true to ourselves (whoever that is at any given time).
    Be well my friend!
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen & **purrss** BellaDharma (who also was a kitty victim of horrible previous owners….)

  4. I’m so tired of the toxic positivity nowadays. It’s almost like it’s not okay to feel hurt anymore and it needs to stop. Thank you so much for bringing more light to this issue. I think more people need to know this!

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