Some “positive thinking” phrases can actually do more harm than good.
If you’re constantly being told to “just think positive,” you might want to reevaluate your relationships. Although it’s great to encourage someone to see the silver lining in every cloud, there’s a fine line between being supportive and crossing into gaslighting territory.
For those who don’t know, gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser tries to make their victim question their reality. This is often done by denying certain events took place, making false accusations or playing mind games.
If you’re hearing any of the following positive phrases on a regular basis, it might be time to have a talk with that person.
1. “You’re just being too negative.”
This phrase invalidates whatever it is that you’re feeling. Just because someone else doesn’t feel the same way, doesn’t mean your feelings are invalid. If you’re going through a tough time, it’s OK to feel down. You don’t need to put on a happy face 24/7.
2. “Everything happens for a reason.”
Hearing this phrase after experiencing a tragedy can make you feel like you’re being told that it was all part of some grand plan. But the truth is, bad things happen to good people all the time and there’s no rhyme or reason for it. This phrase is often used to make someone feel better about a situation that they can’t control, but it can come across as insensitive.
3. “Just be grateful for what you have.”
When you’re going through a tough time, it can be hard to appreciate the good in your life. But that doesn’t mean you should invalidate your feelings by telling yourself to “just be grateful.” Everyone has a right to feel whatever they’re feeling, whether it’s anger, sadness or jealousy.
4. “Stop being sensitive.”
This phrase is often used to dismiss someone’s feelings. Just because you don’t feel the same way, doesn’t mean the other person is wrong for feeling that way. Everyone experiences things differently and there’s no right or wrong way to feel.
5. “You’re overreacting.”
Telling someone they’re overreacting is another way of invalidating their feelings. Just because you don’t think something is a big deal, doesn’t mean the other person feels the same way. If they’re upset about something, it’s probably because it’s a big deal to them.
6. “Calm down.”
This phrase is often used when someone is feeling overwhelmed or emotional. But telling someone to calm down can make them feel like their feelings aren’t valid. It’s OK to feel whatever you’re feeling, even if it’s anger or frustration.
7. “You’re just making things up.”
This is a classic gaslighting tactic. If you’re constantly being told that your reality isn’t real, it can make you question your own sanity. No one knows your reality better than you do. If you’re confident in what you saw or heard, then that’s all that matters.
If you’re hearing any of these phrases on a regular basis, it might be time to have a talk with that person. Just because someone is trying to be supportive, doesn’t mean they’re not crossing the line into gaslighting territory. It’s important to be aware of the signs of emotional abuse so you can protect yourself from being gaslighted.
Read Also: How to Manifest Healing In 5 Steps
Peace Nero is a writer and blogger who loves to explore different topics of self-development. She shares her personal experiences in order to help people discover their true purpose in life.