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Can Faking it Bring You Happiness?

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maskWe’ve been told that we can make ourselves happy and joyful by “faking” it until it becomes real.

A recent study published in Psychological Science found just the opposite to be true, at least when it comes to wearing fake designer sunglasses.

People wear fake designer items to build their self-esteem and appear affluent. This study showed that people wearing fake designer sunglasses not only feel less authentic but also influenced their judgment of other people’s unethical behavior.

The researchers, Gino, Norton, and Ariely, conducted four experiments in which participants wore purportedly fake or authentically branded sunglasses. The subjects who were wearing fake sunglasses cheated more across multiple tasks than those wearing authentic sunglasses, leading to the conclusion that the costs of counterfeits was deception.

Of course taking steps to make yourself feel happier is not quite the same as wearing fake sunglasses to give yourself status.

Those who support positive thinking believe that you can increase your happiness by repeating positive affirmations with conviction until you convince your own subconscious.

Positive psychology studies have found that there are many things we can do to increase our own happiness. Some of these are expressing gratitude, focusing on what is going on now rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, and staying connected with supportive family and friends.

Then there are those in the mental health field who believe that repeating positive affirmations or focusing on the good in our lives, only delays us from confronting the imbalances that are causing us to be unhappy or depressed. They believe that our time would be better spent in receiving therapy or taking medication to correct the chemical imbalances.

Spiritual healers believe that our outer experience is determined by our inner beliefs, thoughts and vibrations. No matter what we do on the outside, we can’t fool our insides. They believe that everything is energy. Whatever we send out into the world in the form of energy is what we attract back to us. So, if we want to improve the outcomes in our lives we have to increase the energy vibrations we are sending out.

Throughout history we’ve been told we can alter our mood by putting on a happy face, singing in the rain and whistling in the dark.

Are we faking it when we are being proactive in creating and maintaining happiness?

What is your take on this?


  1. To become truly happy, you need to work on your inner self. The best way that I know of to better yourself is to use the power of positive thinking. This positive thinking starts with the words of your thoughts. By using positive words in your thoughts ones beliefs become positive. The positive belief system readies you for all the opportunities that await you each day. By being in a positive state on mind true happiness and joy will occur meaning you are not faking it. The key is using positive words in you thoughts.

    • Thanks for weighing in on this topic. I agree that positive thoughts are critical to happiness and that we must keep them uppermost in our minds.

  2. Positive thinking is good – I would never advise anyone against it, however there are two far more powerful paths to happiness.

    1. Gratitude. Feeling grateful for the beauty in your life makes unhappiness an impossibility. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Find it and you will be happy.

    2. Belief in a higher power/grand order. Knowing that everything happens for a reason, and that no matter what life throws at you, you will get through it, is the basis for a happy life.

    These two paths lead away from fear, lack, and unhappiness to the joyful existence for which we came here. (Irrespective of sunglasses brand, or any other brand). Be happy in yourself and you wont give a hoot about brands.

    Live Life Happy!

    • You’re right. These two paths are absolutely effective. They could be used along with positive thinking, of course.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation.


  1. […] In fact, studies have even shown it to be detrimental to one’s health. Like “people [who] wear fake designer items to build their self-esteem and appear affluent,” people fake their happiness to give off the appearance of a wonderful and even care-free […]

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