'The brightest smiles, always hide the most pain'
If you take a look back through the photos of me as a little girl growing up, my face was always filled with a glowing smile. So much so, that I was nicknamed 'Smiley' by my cousins, and it's a name that has stuck with me right through to my adult years.
Why do I smile?:
Whenever people notice that I smile so frequently, through the good and the bad, they always ask me why do you smile so much? What are you so happy about? To answer the question, I am happy about a lot of things, but I am also sad about many things too, and for me, a lot of the time my smile is a mask I use to conceal the true and raw emotions that I may be feeling at that present moment. Don't get me wrong, the majority of the time when I do smile it's genuine and full of real warmth and happiness, but a lot of the time it is a way to hide pain.
But at what point does a smile start having a negative impact on you. I would say at the point when it becomes your biggest defence mechanism, which is exactly what it now is to me. It is the thing I use the most to hide my pain, embarrassment, discomfort and heartbreak. For every bad or sad situation I could recall to you right now, there is a gleaming smile behind it ready to hide and mask the pain.
I laugh when people shout at me. I grinned and jeered when the guy I found myself falling hard for kissed another girl right in front of my face. And I smile when life just gets a little bit shit. In some regard, I guess you could say, that smiling in every situation is a good thing, it shows positivity and resilience. In some cases, yes, I guess you could say this is true, but in most cases, and mine in particular, it is just a plain old case of avoidance.
So what do I do about it then? Believe me, I have asked myself this question more times than I have listened to the 'Conor Maynard Controlla mashup' - ONE TOO MANY TIMES (basically). I don't know what it is, but for some reason it's as if I have this inherent trait to act as if everything is holy rosy 110% of the time. Perhaps it's my perfectionist rose tinted views, or just the 'Chambers' family blood, but it's not right, it's actually unhealthy and it's something I need to knack.
Now I'm not saying that a little positivity and pushing bad experiences behind us in the hope for something better, isn't something we shouldn't be doing, because we should, I am all for positivity. It's the avoidance part that is not right, because even when we are being positive, we still need to recognise and acknowledge the bad, in order to salvage the good.
I need to learn to live by the words I preach as a "psychologist to be", I can't be hypocritical. I need to learn that it's ok to not be ok and that a little down time A.K.A no smiling time, is also ok and actually required to create a level equilibrium within the mind, body and soul.
Do you guys use smiles to mask your pain too? What are your defence mechanisms to hide pain?
Scribbling Away Xx