It is odd to think about the word toxic being associated with kindness, but I have noticed a growing conversation around the idea of “toxic kindness”.
Toxic kindness can be described as encouragement in a difficult time that actually makes you feel worse.
For example, when you are having an emotionally challenging time and people tell you “Don’t worry! Everything is going to work out just fine.” On one level that looks as if it is encouraging. At the same time it can also feel like your emotions are being dismissed.
I’m sure that the intention behind this sort of encouragement is good, but when we are in the middle of something hard, it doesn’t feel helpful. Instead it can feel like our friends lack empathy OR that they don’t think our feelings are valid.
Rather than the term toxic kindness, I like to call this kindhearted incompetence.
Here is a simple tap-along to help you when it feels like people aren’t understanding your emotions or situation.