One of my friends said to me recently that she loved seeing my “reliable smile.” She liked the fact that she could count on me to be happy and encouraging.
I was surprised at this at first, mainly because I think I’m kind of cranky most of the time, but I’ve since realized that I do a good job of pulling myself out of bad moods. Like everyone, I’ve got my share of personal problems, and they are big and small and never ending. Still, I get extremely annoyed with myself when I allow the bad in life to overshadow the good. I’ve learned that “putting on a happy face” can have its benefits.
People Are Attracted to Positive People
I naturally gravitate toward positive people. Don’t you? I find that when I’m at my most positive self, I have more encouraging people around me. Coincidence? I don’t think so. You seek out people and things most like yourself.
Think about that friend that can’t stop talking about her problems. She goes on and on and then you begin to see things from her point of view. Suddenly, you’re thinking about your friendships or job in a negative light, too, simply because she has pointed you in that direction.
By contrast, the happy people in my life help me shake off the negativity. I don’t wallow when I have others to commiserate with (“Oh, so sorry that happened to you”) and encourage (“You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.”) me. With someone negative, I’m apt to think about bad situations more, rather than chalking them up to life and shrugging them off.
Putting on a Smile Helps Make It Real
Perhaps the most surprising thing I’ve found when I put on a happy face is that it changes my mood. When someone asks me “How are you?” I immediately think about the positive things in my life.
I don’t want to be one of those people who lists their health and money problems the minute someone asks about their day, so I focus on the positive out of politeness for others. When I do, I find that the good points I’ve told someone else stay with me. It’s like I’m reminding myself that oh yes, life has some crud in it but it’s mostly good. By telling this to someone else I can use it to change my own perspective as well.
Acting Happy Ticks Off People Who Want You to Be Sad
Do you have anyone in your life who just seems to thrive on your misery? Perhaps they spread rumors about you, or outright lie to others to get sympathy for themselves. Maybe they pretend to be friends but you have the sneaking suspicion that they really are just waiting for the moment you fail.
Nothing irritates people like this more than when you can’t be kept down. They might lie about you, make snarky comments, or twist things into nasty gossip, but with a smile you will show them their efforts are for naught. They will become bored with you and move on to harass someone else.
Keep It Real and Fight for Happiness
Pulling yourself out of a bad mood doesn’t mean you should act fake. Never do that.
What it does mean is that you’ll learn how to transform your dark moods into something more positive. You can change your approach this way, simply by refusing to act negatively. This isn’t to suggest that you act phony. When you need to cry, do it! Let it out, but don’t stay in a dark place. You need to get it out, put it behind you, and move on. This is true no matter what kind of setback you are dealing with.
If acting in a happy way sounds like work to you, imagine the effort you’re putting into being negative. I have a quote on my computer that I read every single day to help me remember how important it is to be in charge of your attitude. It’s by Francesca Reigler and says, “Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”
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