are you pretending to be happy

Are You Pretending to Be Happy? (It’s Not Helping)

What is the one thing we all want from life? To be happy!

But are you truly happy with your life, or are you just pretending to be happy? If you are pretending, it’s not helping.

We all sometimes feel pressure to put on our ‘happy face’ and smile. But it’s perfectly normal not to feel happy all the time!

Pretending to be happy can be detrimental to your well-being. You need to address this before you can open yourself up to true happiness.

Today, we’ll examine why people fake their happiness, how it’s counterproductive, and what you can do about it.

Why Do People Pretend to Be Happy?

Pretending to be happy is a sign that something is wrong. There are a couple of reasons you might choose to do this over revealing how you’re actually feeling.

Convenience, fear of being misunderstood, or not wanting to burden people with your negative feelings can drive you to fake happiness.

But if your state of happiness isn’t genuine, can you ‘trick’ yourself into being happy?

Why Doesn’t Pretending to Be Happy Make You Happier?

Does pretending to be happy make you happier?

You may jump straight to the Law of Attraction to answer this question. After all, like attracts like, right? If you act happy, content, and grateful, you’ll attract these positive feelings. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

Let’s explore why faking a smile won’t lead to happiness and health.

You’re Pretending, Not Feeling

It is important to note the distinction between being happy and pretending to be happy. When you pretend something to yourself, you don’t really believe it. All you’re doing is putting on an outward show to appease others.

man sitting on a bench looking down with his hands behind his head

Faking Happiness Can Be Harmful

Faking happiness is more harmful than helpful. First, you will not get the help and support you need. Second, and more importantly, you are deceiving yourself.

If you keep suppressing your true emotions, you risk having your negative emotions accumulate inside you and cause considerable mental health problems down the line. Also, by not facing your feelings head-on, you cannot process them, learn from them and eventually move on.

The first step to mental health and emotional contentment is to be honest about your situation.

Acceptance Is the Key to Improved Mental Health

Acceptance of your current unhappiness is the first step in getting to a place of true joy.

Accept that it is entirely natural to feel unhappy or depressed. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! It happens to all of us at different times in our lives.

Signs You’re Pretending to Be Happy

How do you know if you’re pretending to be happy? Let’s review some of the most obvious signs you’ve been faking a smile.

Drowning Your Problems

hand reaching out from under a pool of water

Social drinking with friends at a party can temporarily lighten your mood. But drinking because you feel overwhelmed by a bad day is a sign that you are not happy.

This coping mechanism can lead to much bigger problems in the long run.

Hiding Behind Small Talk

Someone in your close circle asks you how you’re doing, and you immediately deflect by talking about the weather. Or you offer a polite “fine.” Sound familiar? When you do this, you’re trying to shift attention away from yourself.

If you are not actively engaging in conversation and are deflecting personal questions, it could be because you’re uncomfortable discussing the actual state of your mental health.

Glued to a Screen

If you’re looking to distract yourself from what’s wrong, there’s a good chance you’re glued to your phone, laptop, or television. You might spend hours gaming, streaming, or on social media not to have to process your emotions.

Using Humor as a Shield

A painful topic comes up, and you immediately change the subject of the conversation or crack jokes about it. Let’s be honest – we’ve all done this occasionally. You’re attempting to hide your anxiety and discomfort when you do this.

Avoiding People

You used to be excited about social events, but you’ve started to avoid them. Although you might not realize it, you’re pushing people away. Spending time alone means you don’t need to pretend to be happy for other people if you’re feeling sad.

Pretending to Be Happy – How to Stop

How do you stop this pattern of behavior? Accept your true feelings and consciously decide to do something about them.

Get Real About Your Personal Life

Swap the chit-chat for some real conversation! Confide in a trusted friend. Whether it’s an issue with your physical health, love life, or work stress, find someone to talk to about what’s happening in your life.

two friends having a conversation

Find the Help You Need

Look after your mental health. Consult a therapist or life coach if you can’t open up to a friend or family member. Talking to an impartial person rather than your inner circle is frequently easier.

A qualified therapist will be able to recognize signs of depression. They will know if you are feeling down or need more intensive treatment.

Shift Your Focus

Ultimately, you’re responsible for your happiness. Shift your focus from the negatives to the positives. Much like developing a habit, being grateful can take some work.

Finding out what makes you happy and consistently trying to operate in those spaces can be helpful. You might want to read up on our elements of happiness to get started.

Practice Smiling

Smiling doesn’t just make you look happier; it actually makes you feel better! If you’re having difficulty changing your frown into a smile, listen to happy music or watch a funny video. Surround yourself with photos of loved ones and things that make you smile.

Look for Reasons to Be Happy

Don’t look for ways to pretend to be happy – instead, look for reasons to truly be happy.

Instead of doing things that make you feel sad or inadequate, explore our happiness hacks! Do you love being outdoors or baking? Consider spending time with loved ones or dabbling in a hobby. Try to do something every day that makes you feel happy.

person walking along a path in the woods

Final Thoughts

Are you pretending to be happy? If so, it’s probably doing more harm than good.

Faking happiness can isolate you from potential help. It can be hard to open up, but having support can make all the difference if you’re going through a tough time!

Addressing your emotions is healthy and essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Accepting your true emotions can help you to process and work through them.

It’s time to stop pretending. Remember – you deserve authentic happiness, and at the end of the day, happiness starts with you.

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