What is the true cost of a counterfeit smile?

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

Beware of any emotions you feign to beg the attention from someone who withholds it.

Exaggerating the way you feel to win someone’s favour isn’t genuine, and while it might initially appear to work its charm, in the end it will only create distrust and discontent, and both people will ultimately feel scorned.

When you falsify who you are, how you feel, and what you think, you not only do a disservice to yourself, but also to whom you’re trying to impress. Pretending to be someone you’re not, to attract someone who isn’t aligned with the true nature of your heart, will only lead to suffering and disillusionment later on.

I wish I had understood this when I was younger, it certainly would have saved me from a lot of wasted time and heartache. Anyone who has looked for love in the wrong place knows this feeling all too well. At one time or another, we’ve all put on a mask to try and gain attention from someone who otherwise wouldn’t look at us twice.

But this isn’t just about looking for love or trying to fit in with a different group of friends, this also applies to our careers and our professional lives too. What are you faking to gain favour from a client, an associate, or from an employer?

If you find yourself pretending to be someone who you know you’re not, then you’re setting yourself up for tremendous emotional pain.

What is the true cost of a counterfeit smile? What is the price of a falsified feeling? What are you willing to compromise for the fake approval from someone who doesn't respect the real you?

If you create your life through inauthentic means, you will be left feeling incomplete and empty. What you thought mattered, won’t. The connections you so desperately craved will no longer matter. You will be unfulfilled because your core needs will remain unattended to and empty.

Don’t sell your soul for someone’s untrue affection. A true connection cannot be shared with someone through simulated exuberance or insincere joy, nor can any solace be found in phoney concern or artificial compassion.

Stay true to yourself.