Fake smiling makes you miserable

When you're Smiling - Louis Prima

When you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
the whole world smiles with you
and when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'
the sun comes shinin' through
But when you're cryin'.... you bring on the rain
so stop your frownin'....be happy again
cause when you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
the whole world smiles with you

Pretending to be happy can actually make you more miserable - especially if you're a woman, according to a new study.

Researchers found that walking around with a forced smile and faking happiness simply led to people feeling gloomier.

So, putting a brave face on your woes could actually be counterproductive.

The research found that women suffered more than men when pretending to be happy.

Psychologist Dr Brent Scott, who led the study, said employers should take note because forcing workers to smile when dealing with the public can backfire.

He said: "Smiling for the sake of smiling can lead to emotional exhaustion and withdrawal, and that's bad for the organisation."

Dr Scott said the research showed customer-service workers who 'fake smile' throughout the day worsen their mood and then withdraw from work, so their productivity drops.

He added: "Bosses may think that getting their staff to smile is good for the organisation, but that's not necessarily the case."

Dr Scott, assistant professor of management at Michigan State University, analysed a group of bus drivers during at two-week period.

The study is one of the first of its kind to examine emotional displays over a period of time and compare the different effect that has on men and women.

His team examined the effects of surface acting - or fake smiling - compared to what was termed 'deep acting', or cultivating positive emotions by recalling pleasant memories.

Dr Scott said: "Women were harmed more by surface acting, meaning their mood worsened even more than the men and they withdrew more from work.

"However, they were helped more by deep acting, which means their mood improved more and they withdrew less."

Dr Scott suggested women tend to suffer more when pretending to be happy because they are expected to be more emotionally expressive than men.

Therefore, faking a smile while feeling down is more likely to go against their normal behaviour and cause more harmful feelings.

Although, 'deep acting' seemed to improve mood in the short-term, Dr Scott says it's not a long-term solution to feeling unhappy.

He said: "There have been some suggestions that if you do this over a long period you start to feel inauthentic.

"You're trying to cultivate positive emotions, but at the end of the day you may not feel like yourself anymore."

The study appears in the February issue of the Academy of Management Journal.

Source: Telegraph

Try the Spot the Fake Smile Test.

Do you agree with the results of this study?

Is it unhealthy to fake a smile?

When do you have to fake a smile?

Source: You Tube (chikashaq) Kew Words: smile king cole

Smile - Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile


Anonymous said…
Hello Graham, I´m Javier for intermediate course. I just read your article of fake smile and I think that is very exhausted be fake smile each moment. Always people say: one smile open doors! But I think the true smile come when you dont wait for it.
Here is one form to dont use the stairs, do exercise and smile.
I hope you like it!!
Graham said…
Hi Javier,

I'm glad to see you making use of the blog. I hope you'll find some more interesting posts to read and comment on.

I'm Javier - when we introduce ourselves to someone for the first time.
It's Javier - when we identify ourselves to someone we can't see (on the phone, at door...)

I agree that it must be tiring to smile all the time. Just as with ultra-organized people, permanently cheerful people get on my nerves.

It's Javier from your intermediate course. I have just read your article about fake smiles and I think that it is very exhausting to have a fake smile each moment. People always say: a smile opens doors! But I think the true smile comes when you dont expect it.

Here is one way not to use the stairs, do exercise and smile.