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What You Should Know About the Person Always Wearing a Smile


Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

These days, it is becoming easier and easier to fake how we are feeling and to hide behind another personality that only comes out when we are around others. It has become almost second nature for people to put on this smile and hide how they are actually feeling. But the sad truth is that a smile has become a sort of mask for people. People will put this mask on whenever they aren’t feeling that great because they don’t want people to see how they’re actually feeling. It feels so much simpler to just keep whatever is going on in your life to yourself, but doing that will tear you apart inside and will make you end up digging a deeper hole than that which you may already be in. Because so much of society puts on this mask, we really never know what someone is going through.

The person always wearing a smile might have just lost a friend to suicide.

The person always wearing a smile might have just found out a loved one has cancer. They might have just lost a parent or friend to a drug overdose, or had a miscarriage after trying for years to get pregnant or have just found out their loved one isn’t returning home from the military because they were injured and died.

They might have just failed a really important exam or might have just lost their job. They might have to work four jobs just to be able to put dinner on the table every night and afford a place to live, or might have cried the whole way to work this morning because they hate their job that much. They might be a single parent trying to take care of four kids by themselves.

They might have just hurt themselves last night because they felt like they had no other option, or might have just been released from an inpatient program for mental illness. They might have just gotten out of the hospital for an eating disorder, and might go to the bathroom every time they eat so they can throw up everything they just ate, or might be starving themselves to lose weight and look like the people society deems to be beautiful.

The person always wearing a smile might have just had to say goodbye to a friend who is moving across the country.

They might have just been diagnosed with depression and is feeling lost on what to do next in their life. They might have just found out they have to take meds every day just to feel somewhat OK.

The person always wearing a smile might have had trouble getting out of bed this morning because they see no point in life anymore. They might have been up until 5 a.m. last night overthinking every little detail of their life, and not by choice, or might have slept 13 hours last night and still feel exhausted because just getting up every day and talking to people drains all of their energy.

They might have just gotten kicked out of where they live and not have a place to stay.

They might have just had a panic attack before they walk to the front of the room to give a presentation.

The person always wearing a smile might have just been told they failed the last class they needed to graduate and now they cannot walk with all their friends at graduation.

They might have trouble making friends due to constant anxiety or fear of being disliked and rejected.

The person always wearing a smile might have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse when they were a child or at any other point in their life, and might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from something that happened in their past.

They might have just found out their parents are getting a divorce or might have just been dumped or just broken up with their significant other.

They might have not showered in a week because they see no point in taking care of themselves or cannot find the motivation to do anything.

They might have all these intrusive thoughts going through their head at any given moment of the day.

They might hate the way they look but came out in public anyway. They might not feel safe going anywhere because of the countless shootings that have happened in the recent past.

The person always wearing a smile might have trouble reading social cues and people judge them and assume bad things because of it.

They might just be going through the motions all day until they can get home and cry themselves to sleep over everything going wrong in their life. They might feel like everything that goes wrong in their life is their own fault.

The person always wearing a smile might be breaking inside, but they still put on that smile and go about their life, because that’s what is expected in our society — to just push your own problems aside and make a living, no matter how miserable you might be feeling. And it’s not fair; I mean, nothing in life is fair. But we should never, ever judge someone to be OK and completely fine just because they are wearing a smile on their face. We can never tell what someone is going through. So, be kind — always.