Updated: Mar 1
In American culture, we are used to giving a smirk or smile to others as a form of greeting or acknowledging their presence. We are also accustomed to giving fake smiles to our bosses or relatives when they tell uninteresting jokes. This gesture according to a report published by the New York Times, can reduce our inner happiness which can, in turn, reduce the quality of our mental health. It has been noticed that the more we try to suppress our negative feelings the more persistent they tend to be. Not surprising right??
On the other hand, there has also been evidence based on this study that fake smiles can deceive the brain into thinking it is happy hence causing the release of neurotransmitters that will actually induce happiness in you. Not surprising either.
Both of these viewpoints seem to hold true at different points in times in our lives and depending on the situation we find ourselves in. There have been times where putting on a fake smile made me more pissed and there have been times when faking a smile made me forget some of the issues I was dealing with but from what I know, it all depends on the context. I would encourage speaking up for yourself every time because it helps you deal with the problem in the most effective way. This is why therapy is important. If you decide to go the other way and offer a fake smile, let the burden go because it can drastically reduce your mental health and mood.
With the pandemic and most of us at home, this is a period where we will discover things we don't like about or significant others, friends, etc. Whether to give a fake or genuine smile is an option but always remember to do the best for your health.
Always remember it's you and us.