32 Toxic Positivity Quotes

This collection of quotes is all about toxic positivity.

Toxic Positivity Quotes

What is Toxic Positivity?

Toxic positivity is only seeing the positive in everything. No matter how bad the situation may be.

It’s completely glossing over those completely normal and big adult emotions and telling ourselves (or others) that:

  • ‘You should just be grateful’
  • ‘It could always be worse’
  • ‘Things always works out for the best’
  • ‘There’s plenty more fish in the sea’
  • ‘It was meant to be’
  • ‘Just look on the bright side’
  • ‘Jack has it far worse than you.’
  • ‘Wow! First world problems?’

Basically, it’s anything that belittles someone’s feelings (or our own) and can make us feel even worse.

Which is mad, because let’s face it, we aren’t robots and life can be really, really tough sometimes. We all have normal emotions and human experiences.


List of examples of toxic positivity statements


Instead of Always Attempting To Be Positive

The first thing to do is to become aware of toxic positivity in your life.

When difficult things happen, acknowledge your feelings and those of others. Stay away from ‘cliches’ as mentioned above and seek help when needed. Take care of yourself, ask for support when required and don’t gloss over emotions. It’s okay to feel and say things such as:

  • ‘That really sucks’
  • ‘I’m sad about this’
  • ‘I need help’
  • ‘I feel that I need to stop and rest’
  • ‘It’s okay to not be okay’
  • ‘I’m disappointed’
  • ‘I feel…..’


Toxic Positivity Quotes

The following quotes have all been selected as they acknowledge that whilst a positive mindset is great, we are also emotional beings and life isn’t always easy.

Instead, there are some light-hearted quotes about being overly optimistic, quotes about being a friend who listens and acknowledges feelings and issues and a healthy dose of realism. 



“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” Walt Disney


quote on toxic positivity


“Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” Bernard Meltzer


“I am a human being, with feelings and emotions and scars and flaws, just like anyone else.” Josh Gordon


“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” Octavia E. Butler


toxic positivity quote


“I’m so optimistic, I’d go after Moby Dick in a rowboat and take the tartar sauce with me.” Zig Ziglar


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” Henri Nouwen


“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Bryant H. McGill


“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” Marilu Henner


“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” Alice Walker


“I guess I do have a childlike sense of fun, and although I still have my dark days, I’m generally an optimistic person. The way things have gone in my life, sure, I could have been a bitter person. But I just find bitter people really un-fun, you know? And who wants to be that person?” Drew Barrymore


“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.” Aldous Huxley


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia


“Sometimes you’ve got to put your realistic glasses on and see who you are.” Will Muschamp


“Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place.” Judith Wright


“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward


“I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.” Elon Musk


“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.” George Will


“I’m an optimistic realist. I kind of expect the worst but prepare for the best.” Trixie Mattel


Related: 20 Funny Gratitude Quotes: Because Life Isn’t Always Rosy!


“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.” Henry David Thoreau


“Everything that’s realistic has some sort of ugliness in it. Even a flower is ugly when it wilts, a bird when it seeks its prey, the ocean when it becomes violent.” Sharon Tate


“No one wants to follow a pessimist… You can be sceptical, you can be realistic, but you can’t be cynical. If your boss is Eeyore, do you want to work with someone like that? Oh, bother.” Bob Iger


“Positive feelings come from being honest about yourself and accepting your personality, and physical characteristics, warts and all; and, from belonging to a family that accepts you without question.” Willard Scott


“They say in the Middle East a pessimist is simply an optimist with experience.” Ehud Barak


“A healthy friendship is one where you share your true feelings without fearing the end of the relationship. It’s also one where you sometimes have to let things that bug you slide. The tough moments will make you wiser about yourself and each other. They will also make you stronger and closer as friends.” Rachel Simmons


“I try to be a realist and not a pessimist or an optimist.” Yuval Noah Harari


“I choose to feel optimistic, because I don’t think I could get out of bed if I didn’t.” Kerry Washington


“To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.” Wayne Dyer


“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” Walter Winchell


“I’m a bubbling brew of emotions, but mostly, I’m an optimistic person.” Carlene Carter


“I am very optimistic, and I always think positive, but within reason and never getting too far ahead of the game.” Luis Fonsi


“I am essentially optimistic. Being alive is incredible. Life is extraordinary and beautiful. It can be hard and sad and terrifying, but it’s all we’ve got.” James Frey


“I try not to be too optimistic or pessimistic. If you’re a pessimist then that’s depressing all the time; if you’re an optimist and things don’t work out then that’s depressing, too.” Nicholas Hoult


We hope you found the above quotes inspiring. If you’d like to read more quotes and inspiring words on compassion, emotional strength and understanding, be sure to check out:

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