How To Pretend To Be Happy When You Are Not

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readJun 27, 2022

Because being optimistic all the time can be exhausting.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Everyone wants to become the spirited leader in a crowd of cynics, grin despite the grind of daily life, and be a beacon of light in a society filled with darkness.

But here is a dirty secret that folks rarely mention — it is damn hard work being an optimist.

It takes a ton of energy to remain cheerful in a world overpopulated with malcontents. And despite our best intentions, you cannot always be “on.” It’s simply impossible.

So how can you pretend to be happy when you are not, but don’t want others to know?

First, keep busy and exude positivity, even when you feel the gravitational pull of negative vibes.

People who are active and taking on new endeavors (whether at work or as hobbies) appear to be de facto happy since they appear inspired. If you keep busy, people will mistake your motivation for happiness.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto:

Also, resist the temptation to say anything negative.

If presented with a scenario where your response can be one of many, always choose the most positive.



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·