I have mentioned in previous articles that my childhood was not the easiest to get through. My family had a lot of different issues that we were dealing with and it took years before everything started to feel okay again. Even though my family is in a good place now, my childhood had a significant impact on my presentation of my emotions to others.

Specifically, when I was young I often felt sad at home. However, since I didn’t want other people, like my friends, to know what was going on, I chose to always act like everything was completely fine. This meant that although I felt sad when I would leave my home, I would put a smile on my face and be the “happy Nidhi” everyone knew me as.

With that being said, I never realized the effect this would have on my current relationships as a 20-year-old in college today. I think a lot of people who I am very close to expect me to always be in a good mood and smiley. It is the perception of myself that I have given off for so many years and although I am fully aware that feeling this way is only partly true most of the time, others seem to have taken it has who I am all the time.

Thus, when I am having a bad day and just want to keep to myself, people react quite differently towards me.

A lot of people will bother me as to why I am not acting how I normally am or take my responses as being mean or out of character rather than just a result of being judged for having a bad day. I know this sounds really weird, but I swear on the days I am feeling not myself, people around me tend to be surprised that “happy Nidhi” could possibly be having a bad day.

This reaction that others often have towards me has been weighing on me heavy. This is mostly due to the fact that I really want to be treated like everyone else. Yes, many days I am very happy and I like sharing that sentiment with others in my life. However, I am human and I have bad days sometimes.

Really bad days.

On those days, I just want to feel respected for my feelings and not feel like I have to fake a smile to get through the day. I have done that my entire childhood and I really don’t want to have to deal with that now as a young adult.

I am not sure if others have ever experienced this type of reaction from those close to them, but if you have, just know that I can relate. The best advice I can give is to simply be honest with those around you so that they are aware that you are going through something. However, if that is something that you do not feel comfortable doing, then it may be best to take some time to deal with your rough patch on your own -- whatever you need to do to get through your day, as long as it is healthy, is perfectly okay.

Further, if you are reading this and you know someone who is similar to me, my only request is that you respect that them having a bad day isn’t totally out of character and something that needs to be made a big deal. They are human just like you and should be treated as such.