To Smile or To Not Smile

I do a lot of fake smiling. Not for the fun of it, or at least that’s what I’d like to believe, but because it seems easier than getting into why I am not smiling. I may not be extremely sure about this, but I am under the expression that people expect to see me smiling, happy and chatty, all the time. So I sort of fall in line. Might just be my imagination though.

Not to say that I don’t smile genuinely, but there are times when I’d rather not smile but can’t because certain expectations have been set into my mind, I can’t not smile. I guess that’s why I really love Grey’s Anatomy – because being sad while watching it is a normal reaction. It should be okay to not smile without using Grey’s Anatomy as a scape goat. Although there are things that I’ll never get over like Mark Sloane’s death, Arizona winning custody over Sofia and the fact that April Kepnar is still alive, so it may not be scape-goatism after all.

All I am saying is that it should be okay to not smile.

Why? Because life is hard.

And we should be allowed to not smile if we don’t feel like smiling.

That makes me curious about other people. Do y’all fake smile from time to time because it’s easier than getting into why you are not smiling? Or are you immune that even in such moments you smile that smile that brings a sparkle to your eyes, and lights up the room?

What’s your coping mechanism? For some it’s fake smiling, others it’s drinking, smoking, using drugs, sex, shopping and not to say that only one mechanism works. For some, it’s a combination. Everyone survives the best way they can. Some people cope in ways that you don’t even know about that you won’t even know that they are coping. Others decide that there is no version of them alive that will work and choose suicide.

Amongst all the mechanisms, suicide is the most frowned upon by society. Which raises a question, would society prefer that people continue coping in a way that doesn’t offend it? Wouldn’t it be better to find ways to make life better in order to reduce the need for coping? Shouldn’t we focus on improving the quality of life?

As much as we hate to admit it, we are society. We know our friends/family that are using drugs, drinking ‘socially’ all the time, walking chimneys, gambling, you name it, and we do nothing about it. Because if they weren’t okay, they’d say something and we would willingly help. We know this isn’t true because we don’t say something every time we are not okay.

May be instead of reacting after someone jumps off a building, overdoses, drowns themselves, goes to rehab, we can try to be each other’s keeper. To be kind, to be present and hopefully that can improve the quality of life to a point that people don’t need to indulge in dangerous habits/actions to survive the ordeal that is life.

To a point that people choose to live, instead of merely existing or numbing their existence.


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2 Responses

  1. Estar K says:

    Eh, I have so much to say in response, it may end up as a post. *apologies in advance*
    Yes, I do fake smile from time to time. I think most of us do. Of recent, I have decided to stay away from people until the fake smile isn’t necessary. There are times though when you have a genuine one because of the people you are around, making you forget, even for a moment how difficult life is, after which you can go back to ‘drowning.’
    As for being present and watching over our own, I strongly concur and this goes beyond the occasional text. Emoticons have enabled our desire to hide emotions . Whenever we can, we should listen to voices, look into eyes, go the extra mile to feel.
    Vulnerable is not the most attractive look but why have loved ones if we can’t let them see even the bad and ugly side of us?
    The society we so often want to please cares nothing for us, to the extent of mocking suicide and/or mental illness and instability. The onus is really on us to jealously guard our space, our light and love loudly.

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