“Smiling does not necessarily mean you’re happy. Sometimes it just means you’re strong.”
In the past, I’ve written a post or two about the power of a smile. I talked about how it could make someone’s day and the psychological effects it can have on you even when you’re not really happy.
Although that post is quite old now, I recently received a message from a new reader who didn’t agree. Their argument was that why should they fake an emotion? Isn’t the norm today to encourage people to speak up if something’s wrong?
I myself have strongly advocated, especially regarding mental health issues, to not remain silent. After all, if nobody knows your problem, how can they help you?
So perhaps a little clarification is in order.
When I talk about smiling, especially when life is throwing a roller-coaster of polarizing events at you, I don’t equate smiling with “faking it” or hiding your emotions. Much like today’s quote, I equate it with strength.
If you can crack a smile in spite of going through turbulent times, it’s not you saying, “Even though I’m sad on the inside, I’ve got to put on a brave front.” Rather, it’s you saying, “Look at how strong I am. I’m going through a lot of crap right now but the one thing life or destiny can’t take away is how I react to the crap.”
Far from conforming to society, it’s an act of rebellion against your fate. As pro wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson once said, “When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’? Say ‘TRY me.'”
So many people equate optimism with living in a dream world or building castles in the air. The people who have that point of view don’t see the entire psychological picture. Optimism is not fantasizing about things that will never happen. It’s about putting yourself in the right state of mind when working towards a particular goal or endeavor to serve as motivation to move forward. If we don’t believe in what we’re doing, how can we do anything adequately?
There are times when we all need to vent. So vent. There are times we all need to cry. So cry. There are also times when we need to stick it to our destiny to let it know that we can move forward in spite of its obstacles. When those times come, smile. Not to fake it but display your weapon of choice.
How do you feel about smiling and/or optimism when the chips are down? Do you see it as putting on a front? Do you equate it with fantasies or do you agree with the point of view expressed in this article? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.