"Don't judge a book by its cover" is not an uncommon phrase. However, we are constantly doing just that despite the best of intentions. Every human encounter, the impression you are given, is what is used to make that initial assumption.
The same can be applied to happiness and sadness.
It is ingrained in us that a happy person smiles and a sad person cries, but that's not always true. We are taught from childhood to believe these signs when in truth, a smile is just an illusion.
It is a mask we wear for the world to let everyone believe that everything is A-OK, when in fact, our entire world is crashing down around us.
Getting out of bed in the morning is a mental battle. Our insides are moaning in pain, sadness, depression, anger, frustration, worries. The list goes on and on. We paste a smile on our face and go throughout the day on autopilot, just to be able to get home and remove the smile: to let go entirely.
But, we put on this illusion for the benefit of everyone around us.
We say we are doing just fine when we are not. We smile, laugh, and joke to make everyone believe nothing is wrong. But our minds are on overdrive.
We disguise the pain, in the hopes that we fool ourselves into thinking we are OK. Sometimes, the illusion may feel like the truth. Until we are alone, and that bandage we used to cover our fiery wound comes off — exposed. And everything comes racing full-frontal, giving us whiplash with how fast it hits us.
The truth is, we smile because it is the perception we are trying to sell. No one wants to be that unhappy person.
We fake it until we make it. Or until the pain is insurmountable that it overtakes us completely.