Toxic Positivity among Cabin Crew

Since the pandemic started, most of cabin crew members stopped flying. Many friends are being put on unpaid leave, suspended contract, and recently so many cabin crew members are being made redundant.

People are losing their jobs. People are losing their main source of income. And it’s not only affecting themselves, but also their family members. 

If your cabin crew friends are telling you their problems, the least that you can do is to be a listening friend. Sometimes you just need to listen and comfort them. If you can meet them in person, it’s much better. Hug them, offer them help. Be present and just be the light in their gloomy days.

But never ever tell them to stay positive. They need to express their feelings, not supress them even further. 

Look, of all the people we know very well that we as cabin crew are so used to supress our feelings. We put on our uniform, plaster a smile on our face and go for the flight duty, welcoming everyone with a warm lovely smile.

Nobody knew what happened before the flight, we might get dumped by our boyfriend or girlfriend, or we received a bad news from home. Nope, once we put on your uniform, we are automatically smiling and pretending that everything is fine.

We are fully aware of this emotional suppression. Or stress management, if you want to choose a more sophisticated term for it.

But now that your friend, who just lost their job, chose to tell you their sad story and share their raw emotions, and instead of being a good listener, you tell them these things… 

“It’s not only you who experience this but everybody else, too. You will get through this eventually.”

“Look at the positive side, you don’t have to be sleepless anymore when operating those red-eye flights.”

“Everything will be fine eventually. You know what, I’ve been through worse than this before and I survived. I think you will be okay and you can get through this.”

“What happened to you is not so bad. Look at what happened to cabin crew from other airlines, they have it worse than you. So you need to be grateful.”

To me, these responses are toxic. You are forcing people to look at the bright side when you’re fully aware that their side of the sky is gloomy right now.

If you don’t experience what they experience, please don’t force them to see things from your perspective. Instead, try to look at things from their perspective. Walk a mile in their shoes.

Sometimes people just need you to listen to them. No judgement or opinion unless they ask you for one. 

After all, we are human beings. It’s only humane for us to feel sad just like how we feel happy. We cannot always feel good all the time and it is okay not to feel okay.

How you deal with friends who just lost their job and what you say to them will affect them psychologically. If you cannot help them, at least just listen to them and don’t add mental burdens. They had enough already.

For those cabin crew members who just lose your job, this is my message to you…

I don’t know who you are or what you have gone through. But whatever you feel right now is valid. To be sad, disappointed after losing this dream job is absolutely normal. Cry out loud and write down your feelings. 

Listen to emo or heavy metal songs, eat a bucket of ice cream, or watch a very sad movie to help you cry a river and get everything out of your chest. Do everything that you think will help you feel a little bit lighter.

And when you’re done and you still need someone to talk to, I will be here to listen to you. No judgment, no opinion, just a listening friend. You may come with your real identity or a fake one, you may text me, email me, or call me. I will do my best to be there and comfort you.

Until you’re ready, please take care of yourself and know that you are not alone, you are loved, and you are valuable.

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Written by dearmarintan

An Indonesian who enjoys coffee, books, and meaningful conversations. Currently interested in body language, communication, and human behavior.


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