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Dr Yvonne Looi: ‘Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible.’

Today we have the huge privilege of having Dr Yvonne Looi with us! This feature is part of our Truth Series.

Dr Yvonne Looi is the founder of the Nation of Joy Movement. She believes that the true essence of building relationship and bonding is through organic experiences with each other. Everyone experiences life best when they are having fun!

We hope you enjoy the interview with Dr Yvonne Looi today!

Wan Wei: Hello Dr Looi! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you are doing?

Dr Yvonne Looi: Hello Wan Wei! My name is Yvonne Looi and I am a Joyologist! I have a PhD in Biology and a certificate in the Science of Happiness. I am a Laughter Yoga Teacher and specializes in Laughter Yoga and Happiness Workshops.

I founded the Nation of Joy movement with a mission to grow and build Singapore into a Nation of Joy! In my latest role, I am a new mama to the happiest baby (I may be a tad biased) who is the embodiment of play, laughter and joy!


Wan Wei: How would you define “the truth”? Is there a truth, or is everything subjective? How do you tell?

Dr Yvonne Looi: In many sense, ‘the truth’ is very much subjective, it can be largely determined by personality, individual upbringing and experience. What is seen and experienced by one may be quite different to another.

In fact, what may be true to an individual today may be different on another day. As Heraclitus put: you could not step twice into the same river. Consciously and unconsciously, we are constantly sculpted by our experience and choices.

Often, I create space for my encounters and experiences for reflection. I find myself reflecting on an incident and see it in new light. I may look back, reflect and connect the dots only to find new definition of new truth I thought I once knew.

Nevertheless, we must also learn to enjoy the journey and not forget to smell the roses and appreciate the thorns along the way. Life itself is a work in progress; it is the room for improvement that makes life exhilarating.


Wan Wei: What are the three ways you can tell the truth to someone –especially when it might be something harsh by social norms–
without being offensive?

Dr Yvonne Looi: Often, before I tell the truth I ponder if ‘the truth’ is mine to be told. For if everyone has a different version of his/her own truth, then it may not be right for me to impose my ‘truth’ on another.

On occasion, if you find yourself with a need to tell the truth then always:

  • Be Kind

I am a believer of this quote: ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’.

Before you speak, make sure you are coming from a place of love, kindness and compassion, for the world needs more of these.

After all, who is to say that your truth is always the right one for the person?

  • Be Gentle With Your Tone

Many times, it is not what we say but how we say it that matters, sometimes a unintended use of your words sets the tone which may create a long lasting impact when conveying the truth.

  • Be Generous With The Good

Positivity ratio reminds us that if you have one negative emotion, you need three positive ones to counter it.

Be aware about the emotions created in others–people do not remember what was said but how we make them feel.

Hence, always remind them of the goodness within and that a little truth can be seen as a constructive advice when delivered in a kind, gentle manner surrounded with love.


Wan Wei: What are the three ways a person can accept the truth –especially when it might be something harsh by social norms–without being offended?

Dr Yvonne Looi:

  • Pause before reacting

It may be a natural instinct for most of us to react in a defensive manner when something unpleasant is being directed at us.

When we take a breather, it is easier to control our emotions and to see things in a calmer perspective.

By being aware of this instinct and to take a step back when this happens, we are able to suspend our impulse and think before we respond.

  • Be open minded

Practice listening with an open mind.

We don’t always have to agree–it is just good to be open to the possibility for self-improvement.

Or if that is hard to do then perhaps to agree to disagree.

  • Analyse in a third person’s perspective

Analyse in a fair manner what causes that remark and see it from a different perspective.


Wan Wei: On a parting note, can you give us a painless tip to check if a person is being true to self?

dr yvonne looi

Dr Yvonne Looi: Be sensitive to your own emotions, for most of the time our mental emotions are reflected on our physical body.

A way that I make sure that I am always true to myself is to connect with my heart and my emotions. Since I am mostly jolly, whenever I have an aching feeling toward something, I know it is a signal from my body and mind that I am not being true to my best self.

And therefore there is a need to seek my inner council or a trusting family/friend to see what can be done now or how I may do better the next time.


We hope you have enjoyed today’s feature with Dr Yvonne Looi!
Photographs used with permission from Dr Yvonne Looi.

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