Can you really act as if you’re happy?

Let’s just imagine that you’re a successful professional interior designer.

Now for all I know, you may indeed be, but even if you aren’t, perhaps you’ll humour me by pretending that this is indeed your chosen profession.


Now let’s also agree that despite your accomplishments you have your bad days as well as your good. Times when your mood is nothing to write home about.

During a period such as this, I rather suspect your clients wouldn’t be too delighted were you to express your innermost feelings in the colour schemes you dream up for them.

Drab browns may not be exactly what they had in mind for their kitchen. Midnight black isn’t perhaps what they’d expected for the conservatory.

As a professional, there will always be times when you simply have to override your own mood in the work you do.

Is this somehow being untrue to yourself? No. I don’t think anyone would take this view, because at times we all have to step into a positive role even when we really don’t feel like it.

Is that breakfast show DJ really always deliriously happy? Does the flight attendant honestly never have a bad day?

The strange thing, of course, is that acting happy can actually make you feel happier – well at least a bit.

So maybe there’s something to be said for occasionally slipping into a different role when your mood has taken a dive? I know (I really do) how hard this can be, and there will always be times when it’s an impossibility, but why not experiment with this thought?

How about approaching your next down-day as if you were a professional designer? (Probably resisting the temptation to fill the world with throw cushions.)

6 thoughts on “Can you really act as if you’re happy?

  1. Very apt for our family today, Jon, as we mourn the loss of father in law, who died on Sunday. You put things so well, as ever, and inspire. My heart is so grateful to you.
    The widow is putting on a brave face, and being solicitous towards everyone else, but the telltale signs that she is grieving terribly are nevertheless all there. She will cry in private once we have all departed. Nearly 66 years married, a happy union, how on earth do you overcome that loss and remain so dignified? It is a new and unique experience for me, and I am full of admiration.
    By the way, I love the bit about the throw cushions!!!

    1. So sad for you all, Sally. You all have a new life to start without him there, but I’m sure you all have wonderful memories…funny ones, happy ones…things he did that made you all roll your eyes…please share them, especially with his widow as I’m sure she will need to hear them all. Keep that brave face on!

      1. Thank you so much, Karen. Your reply means a lot to me. The suggestions are good, and I will put them into practice!

  2. My sincere condolences Sally
    Yes, I believe it can be very useful to fake it, I have found it buoys me up and makes me feel better.
    This can be a beneficial tool

  3. While I may not be able to emanate an effervescent, ongoing sense of happiness when I’m actually in a rut, I think I can rely on a happy memory that brings to mind a positive sensation. I don’t think it’s completely out of the ordinary to be able to simultaneously feel upset about a personal situation one is dealing with and also have a little jolt of positive emotion brought on by experiencing or remembering something pleasing through one’s five senses.

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