PRETENDING

Posted on August 20, 2021 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

You are not alone when it comes to pretending to be happy. It is a fairly normal occurrence. Many of us pretend to be happy at some point in time or another. Maybe we are just having a bad day but do not want to spread negative feelings to those close to us, so we put on a smile and pretend in order to keep those around us happy. We might sporadically feel upset but not want to bring the people around us down, and maybe that is fine in the short term. Pretending to be happy for the sake of those around you is not inherently wrong, and is even an indication of your moral regard for others’ wellbeing. But when you find yourself pretending more and more, you may find that this can become a self-destructive or debilitating habit.

Think about the last time that you pretended to be happy. Did it actually help anything? Sure, someone else felt pretty good, but how did you feel? You probably felt even worse pretending than you would have if you had not. It is unlikely that you are helping anyone when you are pretending to feel something that you are not.

Understand that you are not helping the person that you are trying to convince because they want you to be actually happy. You may manage to convince them a few times, but they are likely to catch on to the fact that you are not actually happy. When that happens, they may feel even worse for not realizing it sooner. They may feel like they have failed you and that they are not doing what you need them to do. Not only that, but they might feel like you do not trust them, and that is why you are not sharing what is actually going on.

Even though you may pretend to be happy out of care for others, pretending to be happy is likely to only sap even more of your energy. This can make you feel even more upset. On some level, you are wondering why the people around you cannot see through your façade and why they are not helping you. On another level you are wishing they would see through the façade or that you did not have to pretend at all. You are likely tired of putting up that front and you wish you could just be yourself, whatever that might look like.

By pretending to be happy, you could be negatively affecting your own mental health as well as your relationships. It may appear that pretending to be happy is going to help your relationships and keep the people around you feeling better, but that is not actually the case. You are hiding your true feelings and your true experiences from them, and this is going to play a role in how you feel and how you interact with the people in your life.

Many people try to pretend that they are happy when they are actually experiencing symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Depression is serious but treatable mental health condition. It is also important that you talk with the people around you and that you are open and honest with them. You may benefit from telling people that are closest to you and most important to you. Whether that is your partner, your best friend, or your parents, it is crucial that you have people there, in your corner, to help you. 

When you are able to truly express yourself and open yourself up to someone, you will have a chance to actually work through your feelings. It is impossible to work through something that you do not acknowledge, after all. If you do not admit to anyone but yourself that you are feeling stuck, depressed, angry or anything else, you are not going to be able to push yourself past it. Mental health disorders just do not let you go that easily. They often hold on and can keep you from feeling like you can ever get on with your life again.

Hiding the feelings that you have just pushes them away and makes you ignore them. From there, they tend to get even worse. Think about it like the dishes at your house. You might look at them and think “I don’t want to deal with that right now” and you let them sit. If you do this daily, more and more dishes pile up until you eventually have no choice but to deal with them. The feelings that you are hiding are the same way. Every day that you do not face them and do not acknowledge them, they are only going to build up even more.

The most important thing that you can do is to address what you are feeling. A simple conversation is just the first step. It is a long and difficult process to work through whatever it is you are experiencing and start getting back to your own semblance of normalcy. But it is more than possible, and there are strategies and tools that can help you. Being open and honest is the first step.

When you talk to trusted individuals in your life that you feel close to about what you are experiencing, it might feel scary but also liberating. Know that you are not burdening others with the weight of your thoughts, but you are simply sharing your experiences. You might have to make yourself very vulnerable to talk about the things that you are really experiencing and how you have been hiding those things for all this time. But when you are able to actually express yourself and feel like you are being heard and understood, you may feel that invisible weight lift off your shoulders simply by virtue of being addressed in the open.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.

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