You know that saying "Fake it till you make it?" It's kinda great, right? It carried me through some tough times (hello, early sobriety). It taught me it was OK (healthy, even) to pretend I felt however it was I wanted to feel. Like, if I wanted to appear self-confident, I'd have to ACT self-confident, even if I didn't feel that way AT ALL. That perfect little pearly nugget of life wisdom suggests that by just pretending to be something you want to be, you're training yourself to feel that way, like strengthening a muscle or learning how to sew.
My problem, when it comes to handy mantras, is that they're like vitamins; I almost NEVER keep using them on a daily basis. And one of the reasons I think I always manage to conveniently forget my aforementioned mantra is that while it sounds awesome in theory, in reality it feels kind of ... hollow and inauthentic, constantly pretending to be something you're not. Which inevitably ends up making me feel worse about myself, not better. I don't want to PRETEND to be happy; I want the genuine article, thanks very much. Anyway, I think lots of us are faking it, pretty much all the time, in various areas of our lives. Which areas of my life am I pretending more than actually being, and is that helping or hindering me? I think I fake it in my love life (or my lack of one). I pretend it doesn't bother me that I'm totally, utterly, completely single, or that it doesn't make me feel somehow damaged that I haven't been in a serious long-term relationship in 8 years. I'll try to justify it, rationalize it, to both myself and others -- "but I've totally dated, and had flings, and had mini-relationships, NBD."
Occasionally I'll even act like I'm having fun doing the whole OKCupid merry-go-round. I try to convince myself it's fun, because people seem to want to believe it's fun -- that there's some upside to continually trying to sell yourself to strangers with Peter Pan syndrome who feel they have every right to put you right back on the shelf if you don't quite fit. But when I'm real about it, and honest with myself, it's glaringly clear -- DATING IS NOT FUCKING FUN. It would be great if I found it fun -- I'd love that, I really would. But, I don't. Let me off the merry-go-round; I'm exhausted and want to go home.
Anyway, what things are YOU faking in your life -- either consciously ("till you make it") or unconsciously (to protect yourself and others)? Let's hear it, if you please.