Just Don’t Make a Happy Face
Bluerrrgh!!! Sorry. Thinking of people telling you to “make a happy face” got me wanting to heave.
Like putting a stupid mask over your face. Just to please and deceive people. That’s just fake, phoney, and false.
And… it’s not even real!
Mitzi, (not her real name - because she was actually called Ingrid) was a German woman I once met who was weird plus, plus. She used to carry on like everything was all so wonderful and marvellous. She’d even tease you for not being happy-happy-happy.
As she flitted around like a chirpy cuckoo, Mitzi cheerfully served up slices of strudel and cream to anyone who came to the door.
“You’ve come to deliver a parcel? Good! Why don’t you come in for a bit of strudel?”
Wow! I thought. She is such a happy person, in her dirndl and goldilocks hairdo.
I’ll have what she’s having.
Only, she wasn’t having a happy time at all. It was all a complete act.
Turns out her no-good husband was a two-timing ratbag. And, she was too. Putting on a happy face was a mask to hide the complete mess her life really was.
Beneath that chipper manner and Sound of Music smile, Mitzi hated people. Including her American daughter-in-law, who she kept making racist remarks about.
Then, when Mitzi’s husband ran off with a newer model, ‘Happy’ Mitzi started reeling in younger men. Then after fleecing them of their assets, she dumped them. One-by-one.
Until at last count she was up to her second dozen.
Was she happy? Not relally. Calculating? Was she ever!
The fact she was all smiles in your face was a sham. A complete con that concealed her real intentions. And a pretty devious streak.
So what’s the point of putting on a happy face anyway?
Well, obviously other people like it because happiness is attractive. And, as Mitzi realised, there’s power in that.
Plus, uncaring people prefer an insincere smile to a sincere frown any day. They’re just don’t want to know.
So there’s that.
And, in most workplaces, people expect a smile. It goes with the job.
So where is honesty in all that?
It’s true you can be a phoney. Though, personally, I’d give sincerity the thumbs up first. Then apply a smile.
Even if it’s just little one.
That’s because a happy gameface can’t compare with an expression of genuine pleasure. Do a side-by-side comparison and it’ll definitely beat pepsi hands down.
Why? Because, deep down most of us want honesty. It’s in your genes.
We want to trust that what we see is what we get. And a plastic smile doesn’t cut it.
That’s why a polite facial expression should be enough. Better than people posing with a maniacally laughing clown face.
Nobody wants that.
If you feel the need to put on a happy face, at least keep it set to low. Because sincerity matters. And in the long run, you’re better off being yourself. Even if your frenemies’ “Instagram: Wow-what-a-life-I’m-living-while-you’re-just-a-scummer” fakery makes it seem way too ordinary.
Because, in supermarket taste tests, people prefer it to margarine 10:1. You’ve just got to show you care. Because people are drawn to real, caring, and friendly people.
Which is a clue. When all is said and done, a happy face is just the packaging.
You’ve already met people sporting what I call the grinning hyena face. And it’s not good, is it?
Nobody likes a phoney smile with a heart of stone. Reminds me of my creepy Uncle Rudi. All the warmth of a reptile under a rock.
So don’t stress the hyped up smile. Just take the time to care and be yourself.
Forget your own troubles. At least now and then and be there for people.
Then you can shove the happy smile where the sun don’t shine. And, miraculously, you’ll find you’ll get on fine.