Toxic Positivity on social media: How to cope with negativity?

During the global pandemic, many are struggling to get through uncertainty. Humans are not perfect, and we do have “negative” emotions at times. And the thing is, there is nothing much wrong with feeling negative. We can get sad, angry, jealous… and there is absolutely no need for one to be embarrassed to feel this way. Although validating your true feelings is crucial in human lives, obsession with positivity, oftentimes make people forget about the importance of seeking help. When positivity is incorporated incorrectly, it can be toxic. 

 “You can do it” “Everything will be okay” “Nothing is impossible if you maintain a positive attitude” –– As I was swiping through my instagram stories, a part of my daily routine, I noticed one of my friends constantly posting optimistic, uplifting, positive messages on her Instagram, despite her seemingly going through a difficult situation. Seeing this stirred up some doubts in my mind: Does holding a positive attitude really solve all the numerous problems that we face in our daily life

I realised the trend for advocating positivity dominating social media platforms. Here, I instinctively sensed a potential danger with the  “good vibes-only” notion — it just felt wrong to me. Having a positive outlook in life is definitely helpful, it motivates us and helps us move forward. But life is not just about rainbows and butterflies, rather full of downsides and tough challenges. Would it be healthy to forcefully convert our mindset to be positive, even when we don’t feel that way?

This is when I came across the term “Toxic Positivity” — the dark side of positivity. It refers to the act of forcing positivity on someone else, or even to themselves. Strangely enough, I somehow felt extremely relieved to know this concept. Because I always felt that negative emotions should not be regarded inherently bad, as it could deny and invalidate our authentic emotional experience. 

A WHO survey “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders” reveals that the Asia Pacific region accounts for 48% of all depressed patients worldwide. Therefore, I concluded to hold a discussion with young professionals from all over Asia living the online life, to talk about each situation during this extremely difficult time, and about the notion of Toxic Positivity. 


Hinako: MODERATOR Hong Kong/Japan
Currently studying Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Hong Kong

Amane: Japan/China
Media student currently at Peking University

Pem: Philippines/Taiwan 
Currently oversees strategic initiatives at a logistic startup in the Philippines

Yogi/entrepreneur currently teaching Yoga in Malaysia

Junyang: Singapore/China
Latin teacher currently teaching in China and Singapore

Kaori: Japan/China
Master’s student specializing in Media, Journalism and Gender Studies

Ayano: Japan/China
NPO founder dedicated in Education

Joomi: South Korea/Japan (editor)
Master’s student currently studying Labour Law at Kyushu University, Japan

How are you reacting to “positivity-overload” on social media?

Hinako: I recently found this trend of sticking onto positivity on social media, mostly on instagram, and I wanted to discuss and talk about “Toxic Positivity”. How familiar are you with this term “positivity”?

Junyang: The way I understand it is; “keeping your spirits up regardless of whatever the situation,” so I guess the positivity is very much an inner faculty. I could give an example. 

I teach Latin. There is one line of philosopher Seneca that usually impresses my students: This one person was very stressed out and wanted to go somewhere else. Then Seneca told the guy that there’s no point in “changing the sky”, what he needs is to change his inner self, because “if you don’t change your inner self, wherever you go, you will bring the problem with you.” 

Hinako: Just like Junyang told us, my personal definition of positivity is to focus on optimism, happiness and pleasantness without worrying about the past or future. So I guess it’s basically the “good vibes-only” kind of stance, focusing on your current situation, disregarding most of the challenges and difficulties. 

Does everyone agree or disagree with these 3 quotes I found on Instagram? I would like to know how people feel when they see these on social media.

“uninspired” by inspirational quotes

Junyang: In general, I do agree with them all, except I don’t get very inspired by the quotes, per se. They are so cliche and I see them all the time. So when I see them I don’t feel anything, although there’s nothing wrong with the quotes. 

Amane: I agree with Junyang. When I thought about this, the first word came to my mind was the chinese saying “心灵鸡汤”. It literally means “chicken soup of your mind”, something to cheer you up but does not really tell you how and what. In this case, these quotes are telling you to stay positive because it’s a good thing, while never really showing how to be positive.

  Ayano: When I see these pictures on social media, it’s almost certain that I don’t read them at all. I kind of got tired of having these images and messages on my feed, because there are tons of them nowadays. So I can’t really tell how impressive the messages are, because regardless of the contents I just swipe them up immediately.

neutral views: “not entirely meaningless”

Kaori: I feel the basic message of these quotes is that you mustn’t be pessimistic all the time and if you are, people will judge you. Today due to all the Covid-19 and the miseries, it’s natural that we get negative or pessimistic about our own life. However, especially on social media, I feel as if we aren’t really allowed to say what we are genuinely feeling. 

But at the same time, I would also say at the very least, having these quotes out there to remind us to try seeing the goods in everything is not entirely meaningless.

Pem: I think there are times this [message] is misinterpreted, and people think you have to be positive essentially no matter what, just like Amane and Ayano thinking that there’s so many meaningless messages. 

From my perspective, positivity shouldn’t be seen as a black/white thing, but as a mindset that you appreciate what you have without making a judgement, while realizing there’s something that can be improved on. 

Because if you’re always so positive about everything, then you are probably not going to change anything about yourself. I think we all have something we want to work on to improve. 

Jin: For me it’s very hard to define something to be positive or negative, as I subscribe to a more of Daoist view of life. When you look at the Ying/Yang symbol of Daoism, there’s also positivity inside of negativity and negativity inside of positivity. When you try to be positive, you end up being negative sometimes. I remember one of my professors who used to be a journalist told us a story. 

The place where this famous picture of Tiananmen incident was taken, was actually a hotel at which this professor was staying the night before. Had he actually still stayed there, he might be the one who took the picture and became famous. But when he returned to that room later on, he saw a bullet whole through the window. Then he was really relieved because despite the possibility of getting famous, he could also be shot by the bullet. 

I guess life in many ways is similar to that, when you think of something being very positive, there’s actually a possibility of that being negative as well.

Hinako: Thank you everyone for sharing your views. My personal stance was initially very close to Ayano’s. I was really sick of looking at all these that felt superficial.

Definitely, the core idea of the mindset of positivity is very important, and I can’t always be pessimistic and negative because that’s not gonna drive me forward, and instead I need a mixture of both. But I have a feeling that on social media, positivity is treated as if it’s the only way of life. I must say I don’t necessarily agree with it, because trying to feel how I actually don’t feel does not help me. 

Surviving the pandemic — toxic effects of positivity

Hinako: To define the term more clearly, Toxic Positivity is the idea of forcing positivity to someone or even to yourself, so it can be both external and internal. When I’m feeling down and I feel bad about my own feelings, then that’s one example of toxic positivity, which I think is harmful. 

Or when you see someone encountering difficulties in life, such words like “don’t worry be happy,” “it could be worse,” “everything will work out,” are what I define as Toxic Positivity. Because it really invalidates the true feeling of somebody. 

Kaori: During the pandemic going through difficulties, I was also forcing myself to be happy and to stay positive regardless of the situation. My difficulties included my family’s health conditions, academic restrictions and financial hardships.

I graduated in March so I had 6 months of free time before graduate study, which I entirely spent for voluntary lockdown for my family’s safety. But most of my college friends were already starting their career from April, so seeing them posting pictures of their new office, socializing party or whatever that looked so fancy to me. Looking at myself, sitting in my room doing tribal things, I felt like a loser myself.

I felt that if I ever stop trying to be positive, then I would become the true “loser” from within, not just on the surface. But turned out, this really had a toxic effect on me. After 3 or 4 months, I started to feel something went wrong both mentally and physically, seeing some symptoms in my body. 

In the end, I reached out to my old friend. As I spoke about my situation and how I’m feeling, she was listening without giving any advice or saying things like “stay positive” “it’s gonna be ok”. She just showed her empathy, accepting my feelings and sharing the emotions with me. I think that really helped me a lot. After that I gradually became able to accept the feelings I had, although the situation didn’t really change, per se. I think if she were those who constantly tell me to think positive, I would still be in that kind of depression.

Ayano: It’s my regret, when I recall the conversations with my friends during that time. Whenever he or she was telling me their struggles, I was always trying to show the “good sides” to encourage them, rather than just showing empathy. 

It’s not that I was motivated to be seen as a good person, but just that I didn’t realize the importance of sharing emotions. I thought that just understanding the emotions and listening passively were somewhat meaningless, and that I had to offer something to help them. I wish I knew about this concept of toxic positivity back then so I could be more helpful to others. I really regret that I might have been hurtful to them.

Looking back at myself during the pandemic, I was also affected by Toxic Positivity. I reacted to the chaos by trying to make myself busy all the time. Because staying at home doing nothing made me feel as if I was losing something like opportunity, friendship or my own future, even though I didn’t lose anything at all. Like Kaori, I also got physical symptoms from those times such as bad skin condition which is not healed yet today. 

Hinako: I think trying to help people is inherently good, and not something you have to really regret about. I am not a positive type of person. So during the pandemic, I was never exactly positive. But one thing that I realized was, after thinking of all those constraints and difficulties, I was able to put myself to sleep. I accepted that the reality and sufferings — which is something that inevitably happens in life. So what happened after is I managed to think positively, once I accepted my own negative feelings. 

I think this is a message that once you accept your own genuine feelings, whether positive or negative, it would result in something better rather than trying to change your true feeling. 

Positive or negative? — double-edged intention

Jin: You know, I feel like toxic positivity is actually more of the problem from the receiver side, not the person who said something positive. Because it is how you perceive things whether they are toxic, whether they are positive or good. At least toxic positivity is better than “toxic negativity”.  

The first time when I applied to a master’s program, I didn’t get in. Not even to the interview. I remember sharing that with my Yoga students. One of them who I actually thought was a friend actually said, “I think you put too much hope and expectation on yourself. This problem is for really elite students.” These words made me feel I am not good enough to enter the program, and this was a toxic negativity for sure. 

My professor back then was telling me that I am good enough and to look at the positive side. If I took this to be “Toxic Positivity”, that would become toxic because of my own problem. I try to analyze the intention and I know that he’s trying to say it because he thinks that he thinks it makes me feel better. 

Anyway, words are just words. We’ll be oversensitive as well. We have a tendency to think that “oh this is me being negative or positive”. The fact is that we change every single moment and the person who you were yesterday isn’t you anymore. And the person who you are today aren’t the person you’ve gonna be tomorrow. So this positive-negative scheme is really fluctuating throughout life. Then there’s really no sense of positive or negative.

Hinako: To add on, I think these kinds of conflicts are also related to the realistic situation. For example, if I see a friend who’s obviously in a really negative state, and they’re embracing all negativity, I’ll try to add on some positivity. But if I see a friend who may have a really slim chance of, for example, getting into a master’s degree — I’m not talking about you Jin haha, and the reality is she has to consider other options, then I would definitely give some negative comments as well. 

So I think in your situation, Jin’s student was being overly critical, but this status can change depending on who she was talking to. So in that sense, it’s two sided — the perceived “toxic positivity/negativity” depends on the receiver, but it also depends on the intention of the commenter, which also depends on the reality of what’s actually happening.

Junyang: I find that being positive tends to be more pragmatic than being negative. And in this sense, being positive really works. 

I was watching this show on TV, where this detective was out to find a person who got kidnapped. This detective’s colleague was asking him, “are you sure the person who got kidnapped is still alive?” And he said, “well, if we assume that she’s still alive, we will find her alive. If we assume that she’s dead, we will find her dead”. In fact, I repeated this to my class yesterday, because they did an exam. And it turned out that those who hadn’t the intention ended up not passing the test, while the other students who were expecting to get a good grade really did get a good grade. 

It is more pragmatic to be positive because it makes you work, and find ways to ensure that whatever you’re aiming for would be realized. So that is how I would generally think, even though I’m also very much annoyed by toxic positivity. I don’t think what I mentioned was toxic or not, but I notice — Hinako has the Beatles poster behind her today, but there was a time when I was quite annoyed by the song all you need is love. I felt that was quite dangerous as well, it makes one not try to strive. I completely agree, I can’t let things be and love is not the only thing I need.

Pem: I’d like to add something. I think a lot of us are using toxic positivity to refer to what I think are very different concepts. Give me an example of what I mean. 

So, when we first started the conversation, the story was how you know she wasn’t really feeling very positive about herself and the people would tell her to be happy like “things will work out”, which is not really helping. I feel that the category of “toxic positivity” is people not really caring enough to ask you about what you’re feeling, or try to understand it. I think that’s really the core of the issue people don’t get — don’t give a shit, essentially. It’s understandable in some sense because when people ask you, how you are doing today, they expect you to say “good, I’m fine”. If you say “I’m not feeling well” they’d be “oh I don’t have time to listen to this.”

During the second part when Jin shared his story about how his student said negative things, I think that’s a very different bracket from the first one. For this one, it’s more of like the false expectations-part.

But then there’s also the third part about people being too passive — what do you guys think about when it’s the pot of positivity? For me I thought, when you’re always so sure you don’t want to improve yourself, that’s a problem. 

How would you rephrase Toxic Positivity?

Junyang: How about I throw in a statement and see if people would agree? Positivity is when it works, and it is only toxic when it doesn’t work. So for that person listening, it’s positivity when it works, and toxic if they reject it. 

Kaori: Interesting! Connected to that, I was thinking if we could rephrase positivity as being constructive — because it helps you to think about the solutions and the ways you can improve your situation. As Hinako said, once you accept the problems and the source of negativity, you can finally think about how you can improve in a more constructive attitude. So I was thinking the “working, functioning” positivity might be rephrased as constructive.

Ayano: I want to add on to Kaori — there are tons of positive messages out there. We can say they’re toxic, but we can also think about how we make use of them. When people think about how to gain constructive ideas, and how to accept and digest their thoughts, I think the situation will get better. Just wondering how we can do that both on an individual and societal level? 

Pem: Personally for me, I used to be more easily prone to these emotions, like melancholiness. So I found these “toxic positivity” messages quite helpful sometimes. Because I think all of us are sad and unsatisfied because we usually compare ourselves to our peers who are doing very well. One might think — why am I not as accomplished? Why are some people more successful than others? And that usually causes many sadness and resentments. 

I think the reason the messages help me so much is that it reminds me of what exactly are the things I already have, which is really important for me to keep. 

I started my career at a non-profit company, working on sustainable development. We usually think about our own happiness and success, but there’s so many people who are in a less fortunate situation. When I saw this kid, I felt like I should be grateful and re-focus my attention on doing what I can to give back, not so much thinking on why I do not have my job and success right now. 

“Maybe I am not as successful but is that really important?” “Shouldn’t I think more about what I can do for people who have less than I have?” That makes me re-focus my attention to do XYZ that gives me satisfaction and happiness at the end of the day. So, I actually never found it toxic, maybe sometimes it’s a bit too cliche, but the messages at least quite resonate with me personally. 

Kaori: We all long for connection during this time [of pandemic] by using social media and the internet. But I think despite our intention to connect with and encourage each other, these quotes — say, “be happy”, “things are going to work out”, somehow feel so abandoning. 

We were talking about the pop song messages like “all you need is love,” “heal the world”. Both of the messages are not wrong, essentially, but what I feel is they are somehow being hypocritical and saying something from high above that we don’t really know how to reach. 

I think that’s essentially the problem with these messages on social media too. Of course, they can be helpful to some, but to many people, these being said out there, makes you feel misunderstood.

Amane: Regarding those messages, I also think it’s better to be said by someone who’s close to yourself rather than from the internet. Or maybe doing something with your close people would work too. 

By Natalya Lobanova on New Yorker

Does exercise help everyone in depression? 

Jin: For me, what I like to do when my friends are sad or down, is to ask them to do something that would get us both in-flow activity. For example, hiking or swimming or running together, because I look at it from a neuro perspective. 

When people are depressed it’s because of their chemicals in their brain contributing, and that’s why people take chocolates when they are sad, because that increases the dopamine levels in their brain. Dopamine is this short-term pleasure but if you want more of a long-term stabiliser, you need something like serotonin.

Sometimes, people are sad and I would invite them for a hike or we would play something like badminton together. After that, they feel much together and they can go back to their own problem and face it more positively. 

Kaori: I do get that exercising and all the chemicals in your body helps you dissolve your sadness, but what happened to me last year was — when I was right in the depression, having multiple difficulties that I have zero control over, I felt like my body was dysfunctioning as well as my mind. My friends also told me to exercise because it might help improve “my mood”, but it was unthinkable that I could run outside happily when I can’t even get up from the bed overwhelmed by sadness and emptiness.

Because, my problem was something I cannot help by myself because it is about my family’s health, my financial issue and the global pandemic which I can’t change. To overcome these, for one night, dragging myself to run for 10 miles might help, but what about the next day? It’s all the same situation again when I wake up. I felt rejected and misunderstood, seriously felt like no one was willing to help me in the world. 

So now that I look back, although exercising can be really helpful of course, as suggested by Jin, it can depend on the situation — it could end up being toxic to tell somebody to do something so specific. As long as it doesn’t force you to do these specific things, but rather just encouraging, then I think it’s correct. But one has to be careful too, I guess.

Jin: Actually, I meant something like “let’s go hiking together”, and we talk about the issue and other things in the journey, trying to find what’s the best for him/her. Maybe it would have been better if you could find something you can do together with others in the flow.

I think people long for connection when they are sad, and they don’t want to do things alone. For my ex-girlfriend, when she was feeling down in the long distance relationship, I proposed to do yoga once a week. And she said that helps her. 

By Natalya Lobanova on New Yorker

Forcing yourself to be positive… because of the Spirit of Words?

Junyang: I think when it’s coming from yourself it can’t be toxic positivity. Like you can’t be toxic to yourself, right? Like give yourself advice and think that is an unsolicited advice? Can you really be “toxic positive” to yourself? 

Hinako: One part of toxic positivity that I initially perceived as a critical problem was that when I am thinking negatively, there is one part of me saying “don’t feel negative!” and that is myself imposing toxic positivity to myself.

The very reason why I came up with this topic was that my friend who was really stressed and forcing herself to be positive–she was literally posting things on instagram like “I shouldn’t be thinking negatively” “I should be positive”. Yet another day she would post something about how she is under extreme stress–so I think that is one aspect of toxic positivity that can be undergoing on an individual level rather than just someone forcing it on to you. 

Amane: I just wonder if that is because some people believe that when we say or see negative words bad things will happen around you– for example, in Japanese tradition, we really believe the spirit of words (言霊 Kotodama). When for the word death, you would refrain to say or see that word. 

Hinako: That’s interesting because there is a similar culture in Thai. I am not too sure about this because I haven’t lived in Japan actually. How big of an idea is it currently?

Amane: I’m not too sure how many people believe in it in recent years but it’s the idea that there is power in words. When you say positive things, a positive thing will happen. If you say something negative, bad things will happen.

Hinako: Actually, to add on, apparently it’s an idea derived from Shintoism?

Ayano: It’s not related to Religion, per se. In a Japanese context, it is like a belief that if you said something with your words, it would happen in the actual world. If my mother is sick, it can get worse if you say her condition is bad.  

So it’s an idea from thousands of years ago, that your words have power. I think it still exists in modern Japanese culture, and some people like my parents also said to me since childhood that if I say something bad, something similar would happen to you. 

The way media reports unfortunate events in Asia

Kaori: I want to ask those outside of Japan about the media coverage’s use of negative words. As Ayano said, every word is pretty much examined before spoken by individuals, and Japanese people are careful about treating death-related languages in every situation. But when it comes to media coverage, that tradition is very much ignored.

Last July, when I was suffering from all the difficulties, there was a breaking news about this famous actor having committed suicide. Apparently after two weeks, many people committed suicide as well to go after him, which is the typical effect called Werther Effect.

The media tends to report amazing things that some extraordinary people do, not really about the struggle and negative feelings almost everyone had last year. I think that’s why when this kind of shocking news comes out, many people feel relatable. 

I heard that in South Korea, they recently set the regulation regarding reporting on suicide, like they no longer use the word ‘suicide’ and just express it as ‘unfortunate event.’ I think this is smart because it doesn’t change the content itself, but it’s also mitigating the shock. 

Junyang: In Singapore, they are afraid of talking about suicide in the news because this might influence other people. But, it is different from something called KOTODAMA(言霊) in Japanese. It is almost like you know in some news they refuse the name ‘terrorist’ because they think the word may inspire more terrorists to make themselves heroes. 

But if it comes to marder or some other violent crimes, usually they report them and sometimes they even describe the whole thing as well. 

Hinako: Add on to the Hong Kong cases, I think they have a very unique media culture. There is the one famous media company called Apple Daily–probably one of the most popular media, especially among young people. What they are known for is to show things explicity, they just say everything if someone comitted suicide, they write someone comitted suicide and discribe everything clearly–and this is a general trend in the media of Hong Kong as this way of communication is favoured by the people.

Actually, suicide has another issue. In Hong Kong, the housing price is extremely high. So, when buying a house, it is really important to know that no one comitted suicide in the building or near the house. There is a website my family is using to check whether there were unusual deaths in buildings. Every time when we try to move to another house, my parents check the website just in case. Well, we are renting houses, but if you buy a house, it’s rather important.

Amane: Yeah in japan, those houses are unusually cheaper than others. In mainland China, according to my classes, there is a guideline which determines that media do not report the detailed information regarding suicide, such as the place and time. But in the actual news, we still see those information. 

For example, there was this sad news reported in mainland China a few months ago. One college student comitted suicide because she was found cheating during the final examination and that went quite sensational. I couldn’t really believe how the media could report in such a detailed way.

young troubled woman using laptop at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

How to encourage better?

Hinako: For my personal stance, positivity itself is not bad at all, and it is important to focus both sides of positivity and negativity especially since it is not completely separate, it can flip over any time. So, we just have to focus on that we have the mind and not configure it in that sense.

My sense is that just understanding the whole notion of toxic positivity can help people. I remember Ayano said she didn’t know the concept of toxic positivity, so we can advocate this concept for others as well. Do you guys have any solutions you can think of regarding this discussion we had today?

Junyang: Since we started our discussion with the topic of Seneca, I would conclude this discussion with the topic as well. I think it’s a helpful approach to such advice in the third person.

Seneca wrote a series of letters to a friend named Lucilius. Lucilious was facing a lot of difficult problems and Seneca has written over hundreds of letters to him. Each one of those letters has a kind of moral teaching and a form of consolations, telling him to not directly be positive but having some other advice for him and readers of today benefit from it because we are coming to it from the third person perspective. 

If you are directly receiving the advice, it might come too strongly. But if you are reading them from the third person, then you get to choose what advice you get to think and reflect about something that makes sense to you, and get something out of it as well. In fact, this is written by some scholars as psychotherapy.

Jin: I think Junyang made a good point. Another example we can take from stoicism is Marcus Aurelius’ Meditation, and how writing letters to yourself can also be extremely beneficial, apart from writing it to someone [as in Seneca], to read those letters from a third person perspective. 

I just wanna end with bringing in the idea of mindfulness because that’s what I do or try to teach for the bulk of my time, which is also connected to Junyang’s perspective. In mindfulness what we’re trying to do is to detach ourselves from this identity that we create. For example, if a person is feeling sad, and acknowledges that feeling, then he or she is looking at oneself from a third person perspective, and you’re no longer that feeling or “sadness” anymore, but rather the observer of that feeling. This can help transform positivity or negativity into neutrality. 

Also, I think next time someone comes to me and tells me something depressing, I will think about today’s conversation, like ‘okay just need to be mindful and not giving them toxic positivity, which is a very good reminder.

Ayano: Through today’s discussion I just realized that when we are negative, our sensitivity is higher than usual because we try to get out of the condition and go back to positive. Under such circumstances, we tend to compare ourselves to others or try to motivate ourselves hard. 

But I think it is better for us to accept the negative condition, admit ourselves even if we are not great at the moment.  And I think it is important to try to get the bigger picture because otherwise you may forget the initial goal and the reason why you are trying hard. So, I guess the important thing is to remember the human tendency that our perspective can be narrowed down sometimes.

Amane: I was thinking about how to cheer others up online because if you and your friend can see each other offline when your friend has a difficult problem, you can take your friend hiking and shopping or doing something else, which is not related to the problem. 

But if it is online, well you can listen to them but what’s going to be next? Maybe playing game or reading a book together can help but I am not sure if it is effective as much as offline support.

Kaori: I actually think the whole Clubhouse movement illustrates how we are looking for a state where we can communicate or connect with our thoughts, not with pictures like Instagram’s attractiveness. 

I think what’s important is to voice out your struggle and not to cover up your emotion –no matter what kind of emotion they might be, just voice out and share with your friends. So for now, I think at least telling our friends that is totally okay to share their emotion and problems potentially help them recover from the struggle mentally.  

Ayano: It is a good summary because it’s difficult when actually we face the situation like our friends come to us with some negative feelings. I think today’s discussion was meaningful because now we know we should listen to others to support, rather than pushing positive words to others with reasons.

Hinako: The one main thing I wanted to do was to expand the idea of toxic positivity to as many people as possible. I am not trying to force the idea, but I think people can have that idea as a tool. If they have the idea of toxic positivity, they can evaluate things properly so they can weigh the pros and cons and decide a way what they can do. And that’s my main goal so I am glad that I shared this idea with everyone!

Edit by Kaori Kohyama, Joomi Park, Hinako Kojima and Ayano Sasaki

Cover design by Kaori Kohyama


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