I have a theory. If you’re an owner/things are in your odds then things are pretty good. I think then these people want that reflected back to them and it’s a way to keep other people from expressions of discomfort, anger, or injustice that leads to questioning or change.

You see this play out in a lot situations where there are clear power differentials: men telling women to smile is a big one. You need to smile at work, even if you are stressed from dysfunction and disorganization. Because that’s pointing out poor leadership.

Smiling through discomfort and violation is a common form of toxic positivity/silencing.

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