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Fake it to make it. Tuesday July 16, 2013

It's said the way to greater contentment is accepting the things we can't change, and giving the ones we can a bit of a push.

On an off-day, it's not always easy to lift yourself long enough to see the division between the two. Let alone change anything for the better.

A good way to begin feeling different is to fake it. Start thinking, behaving or saying the opposite of how you're feeling. Go wild. Give yourself a bit of room, even just for a moment or two, to elevate your thinking out of the same old, same old.

Recently I've been working under rather trying circumstances that have left me feeling less than happy for a while. Thankfully, the lovely Ivor who sits next to me, delivers a Masterclass in fakery just by the way he speaks.

'Morning, mate.'


'How are you doing?'

'Truly beautiful,' he says with a genuine smile that belies the rubbish we've both had to put up with.

(Even better is the absurdity of his 'living the dream' response, which by anyone's standards, we're not.)

What's great is that his repetition is rubbing off on me. Now I'm faking it. It's getting quite tricky for me to deliver the line without smiling. And we know how infectious that is. Before I know it, faking it takes me off on a journey through my little grey cells for other things that make me smile.

Yesterday it was comedian Les Dawson. Gurning. Tinkling the ivories of the grand piano, smiling Liberace-style at the audience whilst smashing out all the wrong notes. One-liners like 'I can tell when the mother- in-law's coming round…the mice throw themselves on the traps'.

Suddenly, I have another perspective. A different take on things, a break from making heavy weather of every day and a desire to stop fighting the things I can't do much about right now, to have a pop at something I can. Now that's what I call truly beautiful.

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Eileen Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 8:39am

What a great blog, Mark, thanks. Important to be reminded about my sense of humour which I seem to forget about, and what a great tool it is. Levity was often used in grim times to help people through. Pity you had to quote a mother-in-law joke, though I always liked Les Dawson (it is funny though...).

Rupert Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 8:41am

Yes I think I have been doing that all my life in a way - kidding myself that things are better than they are but is slightly dangerous as there is a tendency to live an almost parallel life which involves possibly geting into situations that you wouldnt otherwise if you took a more rational approach. Dont know if this strikes a chord?

Jen S Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 9:27am

Good one. I needed to hear the fake-it-til-you make it part, but more importantly, I appreciated the personal insights from you.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 9:39am

Nice one. It's not about pretending that things are ok when they're not, but finding a way of surviving and self-preservation. Humour is a great way of doing this. Sounds good that you have "partner in crime" to share it with too.

ticketyboo Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 9:46am

Well done Mark, it takes a lot for me to literally laugh out loud these days but you(and Les Dawson) did it today. Also liked the Kidology, this sometimes works in the right situation.... I wont get down about the other times as you've made me smile today.

Julia Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 9:48am

Yes this is good (apart from the (albeit funny) mother-in-law joke!). I email a friend and always start it off with "HAPPY DAYS!" we say how brilliantly happy we are today and how life is a wonder etc. and we are just off to do such and such,,what a joy.." It stupidly makes us laugh.

Faye Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 10:54am

Haha, lovely post - thank you.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 12:37pm

Nice concept BUT Fake is dishonest to yourself and others, people can see through ones lies. You can persuade yourself your feeling great that life's great and that you can do it! But I found it exhausting and false

Anonymous Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 12:39pm

I agree

Elizabeth Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 1:51pm

Great writing, though I cannot agree with the idea of pretending on principle. But I guess in the case when both you and your coworker know the truth, it might be a good way of decreasing the tension.

Jessica Yang Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 2:12pm

I think that the value of 'faking it' doesn't lie in pretending that nothing is wrong - instead it is a way to get out of a rut. 'Faking it' doesn't always mean forcing yourself to pretend to be upbeat enough to get a stadium cheering along with you - for me it's often just doing something 'normal' (i.e. something I'd usually do in good days/weeks that I haven't done for a while), like rereading a favorite book or singing.
This was a good post - it's so easy to get trapped in circles of sad, stressed, anxious and frustrated.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 4:24pm

Like your post - sort of....Must say though after pretending to be happy no matter what since 2009 am dead tired of faking it! With two youngish adults still living at home - one crippled by Crone's disease & the other with full blown bi-polar disorder big time-(includes several suicidal attempts) & my having to still live with a wretched husband who has had another partner since end of 2009, you'll probably understand where I'm at....

Marilyn H Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 5:24pm

Excellent post. I've acted confident in my looks and personality for as long as I can remember, even on days I feel 'off' and I've noticed that over time acting confident (I'm a bit on the chubby side) about how I look has actually MADE me genuinely confident. I am now 'Truly Beautiful' (cough cough) because if you like yourself, so does everyone else, they see YOU and not your illness, weight, height, etc. I also find that making jokes about myself eases tension when people don't know what to say, it always starts up a great before you think I'm contradicting myself by being self deprecating, think like this.....when, in a bar, I want to sit on a bar stool I say to someone 'where's my effing JML step stool, come on who's got it' - not only does this make people laugh (I'm 4 foot 10 inches) it also guarantees someone will help me up, and it also makes people think I'm HUGELY confident to make such a joke.... go on try this tactic, and let me know how you get on.....

olegzaezdny Tue, Jul 16th 2013 @ 8:20pm

A really good one. Thank you Mark.

Roc Chic Wed, Jul 17th 2013 @ 1:30am

Well put, Jessica. I completely agree.

Roc Chic Wed, Jul 17th 2013 @ 1:38am

Thanks for a great blog, Mark. I really appreciate the thought and efforts that the Moodscope team go through to help lift its members' spirits. I've find that ever since I've started meditating (Meditation Society of Australia's podcasts and online classes), my outlook on life-in-general has improved. With the visual aid of Moodscope's mood chart, I'm able to better help myself grow, spiritually. Bravo, Moodscope!

Anonymous Wed, Jul 17th 2013 @ 8:34am

So sorry about your situation, it sounds very tough, and not one to "pretend" through. Can humour help at times though? Go well, and I hope things get better for you.

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