Sharing – Positive thinking phrases you should never use about abuse

Dr. Jess Taylor does a thing with these phrases that all survivors of child abuse, or adult survivors of abuse and assault, should take a few minutes to read. Also, if you have ever been tempted to say one of these to a survivor, go take a look too. (And that includes just about everyone.)

“The positive thinking phrases I will discuss in this blog are:


‘It made you stronger’

‘You had something positive from it’

‘It made you who you are today’

‘Everything happens for a reason’

‘You get back what you give’

‘Positivity attracts positive people’

‘We can’t change what happened, but we can change how we feel/respond to it’


Whilst some of these sound brilliant, they can harm us in ways we don’t realise. Especially if we begin to believe some of the connotations of these phrases and their underlying beliefs – which are often linked to victim blaming.”

I enjoyed the details Jessica gets into, because, as I’ve said many times, when we start to say these things, and believe these things, it’s a short jump to full-on victim blaming, and that should also be a clue that you are in the wrong when you suggest these things.That should also help you understand what we mean when we talk about Toxic Positivity. Because these phrases are classic examples.

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