Let's say "describe what you're feeling, I'm listening" to a friend who is sad today. Let's quit saying "don't think about it, just stay positive." Because here we are giving life to toxic positivity. Undervaluing negative emotions leads to overvaluing positive emotions, which is termed as toxic positivity. It further leads to denying valid negative emotions leading to alienating those who are struggling. The concept of toxic positivity came from modern American culture. Positivity is seen as an attractive behavior that makes people come across as stronger and more well-adapted. This is especially propagated by social media culture. Looking at the bright side is a privilege. Messages of positivity can deny very real emotions that alienate and isolate those that are struggling. Looking on the bright side of dire tragedies like racial injustice, hunger, and trauma is a privilege most people do not have. So let's just say "I see that you're super stressed, how can I help?" to a friend who is not so happy today. And let's not simply say "don't worry about it, it'll all be fine". Don't say "failure isn't an option". Say "failure is a part of learning and growing." Try saying, "this is really hard, I'm here for you." Instead of saying, "everything will work out in the end." Please don't say "good vibes only." Rather say, "I'm here for you, for the good and the bad." Let's not say "if I can do it, you can do it too." Instead say, "everyone's stories, abilities, and limitations are different, and that's okay." Again don't say "look at the bright side." Say "I see you, I'm here for you." Never say, "everything happens for a reason." Always say, "even though it's hard right now, you will get through this. How can I best support you right now?" Lastly please don't say, "things could always be worse." And please say, "that's so tough, I'm sorry you're going through this."