Here's Why You Should Never Fake Being Happy at Work

- Worker Happiness

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by Warren Fowler

The philosophy of positive thinking is ruling the business world. It’s a mantra that most managers keep repeating, reminding each other that they all need to stay positive. We bet you’ve heard something like this too many times already:

  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again.
  • Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.
  • When you think positive, good things happen.

By definition, positive thinking is a mental attitude in which you expect good and favorable results, waiting for happiness in any situation. Although it seems like a reasonable mindset at first glance, it’s actually not that good after all.

In this post, we will explain to you why you should never fake being happy at work. There are literally dozens of reasons to resist the social pressure and stop acting as if you are happy 24/7. However, the list is way too long and we decided to show you seven reasons to avoid positive thinking:

Avoid positive thinking tip #1: Positive thinking can make you sick

We will begin with the most unobvious case. Although it’s a mental technique, positive thinking can actually hurt you physically. According to the study, faking happiness at work can make you ill and cause health problems ranging from depression to cardiovascular conditions.

It turns out that faking happiness over the long period creates the so-called emotional dissonance, thus making positions where “the customer is always right” much more exposed to the negative influence of positive thinking.

Avoid positive thinking tip #2: You need to be realistic

It’s always good to add a little optimism spice to your tasks and projects, but it can be counterproductive if you force yourself to keep believing in unrealistic achievements. When you stay unbiased and objective, it helps you to analyze things more rationally.

That way, you can evaluate situations and make better job-related predictions. For instance, a person who pretends to be positive about the project might end up wasting too much time without capitalizing on it. But if you remain focused, you will probably notice that it’s more profitable to turn the page and switch to the next task.

Avoid positive thinking tip #3: Faking happiness is stressful

Faking happiness demands efforts from your side. It’s just another item on your to-do list because you have to remind yourself to look satisfied even if your soul is screaming the opposite. This, of course, takes away a lot of strength from people.

This presentation reveals how people transmit moods and feelings in social interactions. Essentially, a person who responds to an encounter with the systemic impulse brings no stress to your system. On the other hand, you keep adding more pressure when you fake emotions, thus reducing the overall productivity.

Avoid positive thinking tip #4: It can make you feel bad about yourself

The positive thinking gurus keep repeating that “you are the master of your destiny.” In other words, it’s your fault if something goes wrong at work – the attitude that can be really frustrating for most individuals.

Lower self-esteem is the common consequence of such reasoning. People take too much responsibility, so they end up wasted because of the professional failure. However, you need to remind yourself that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes at work, so there is no reason to pretend otherwise and lose your confidence as a result.

Avoid positive thinking tip #5: Negative emotions are not always bad

While it is true that a positive attitude is better than negative, no one can say that negative emotions are still counter-effective. As a matter of fact, they are a natural segment of organizational discourse and often lead to better and more productive work.

Here’s what Gabriel Mason, an HR manager at Resumes Planet, says about it: “You cannot solve the problem at work if you keep quiet about it. But if you express your opinion and negative emotions, it can lead to the constructive dialogue and the eventual resolution.”

Avoid positive thinking tip #6: Superficial interpersonal relations

This problem comes as the direct consequence of positive thinking. If the entire team of colleagues pretends to be thrilled about their cooperation, the reality will soon kick in and ruin the fairytale. It will reveal external relations among team members, so you will have to be honest and start all over again to make a genuinely united group.

Avoid positive thinking tip #7: You will hate your job

The last argument on our list is solemn. It’s a known fact that satisfied individuals are the most productive employees. But if you only pretend to be happy, you will succumb to the pressure at some point and start hating your job.

We already mentioned that positive thinking is a valuable mental technique on some occasions, but it shouldn’t be misused to repress feelings such as sadness, depression, and loneliness, or to neglect problems that you want to get out of. Sometimes you just have to face negative experiences in order to break the barrier and reach the next level of professionalism.

Surface acting can sometimes help you get through the hard times at work, but most times it will only make you even more miserable. The whole philosophy can be extremely counterproductive, so you should understand how it works before you decide to embrace it.

Photo: Pexels

Are you tired of pretending to be happy at work? Let us know how these tips helped you in the comments below!

One thought on "Here's Why You Should Never Fake Being Happy at Work"

  • Joseph Mathes says:

    Please include a caveat in your blog post. This may be true for managers, but it’s dangerous for workers. Hiding anger has many downsides, but showing it is a death sentence for career progression.

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