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Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Happy Face

I find it interesting the we as a people are taught to put on faces, so to speak, to present ourselves to the world. It is something that some of us learn at an early age while others take a little longer and maybe a small percentage never learn at all.

Most of us put on the happy face to go out and meet the world, while inside we may be feeling sad, or angry, or bewildered or the like. But it is the happy face we pop on as in society other people really don't want to know how you feel. Your close friends and family might, but sometimes they don't want to know either. And so the happy face means that they are not confronted by what we really feel so they can walk on. Trouble is they have their happy faces on too.

I often get comments from my massage therapist that with my problems she doesn't know how I smile so much, well I suppose part of it is the happy face I put on in the morning as I leave the house to meet the day after all I really don't want to burden all and sundry with my problems but another part is my glass half full frame of mind. If I can smile then just maybe I can convince myself today will be a good day, quite often works as well.

I wonder to if we have faces that we put on for certain people in our lives. Is there a certain person that makes you feel like you should be the good child - always perfect. Does that mean that when you get older you are still fulfilling that myth. After all, none of us are perfect all the time, just like none of us are happy all the time either.

Should we as a society be more accepting of how people really feel. Or does that make us too uncomfortable, is it not easier to put the blinkers on as we walk past and assume that the person behind the happy face really is happy.


  1. Nice post, certainly thought provoking. I know I have been told in the past that I can be rather intimidating to people due to my tendency of calling a spade a shovel and I guess, presenting the world with the truth of how I feel.

    I believe I was raised to be myself and be confident in who I was. Some people would argue that I am a little too confident and indeed, too blunt. My mother once told me I needed to learn the art of tact.

    Somewhere in the middle, there must be a happy medium?

  2. I love that you wrote about this. I often wonder what is going on in the 'world' of another person as I walk past. People are very good at pretending, some of us are such great actors we could get an oscar for daily life. I did a post about perception a little while ago here:

    I do exactly what you say here often. The Happy happy joy joy sort of me tries to cover up the me that may be sadder or upset about something. Thanks for sharing your thoughts again.

  3. You are so right about putting on a happy face to the outside world. I was telling my physiotherapist last week that I sometimes get so down about all the aches and pains and her response to me was "and yet you are always telling jokes and laughing". So, obviously the 'happy face' works even with she who knows where all my sore spots are and just how bad they are.
    One person though who does see the unhappy, or hurting, face is my dear husband. It is from him that I am unable to hide the sudden pain which surely shows on my face or even the 'oooh' when getting up from a chair is difficult. I know these things upset him but he is wonderfully helpful and, although he is a man of few words, I know he will put up with my unhappy face as unfortunately I can't always control it . I also tell him jokes and say things I hope will make him laugh to make up for the bad times.
    I too try to help him through his bad times which we all have as we age so we are like a pair of bookends...between us we are holding our lives together.



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