Posted by: Wendy | May 18, 2012

Are you okay? Looking beyond the smile

In all my days as a volunteer, student, and member of Australian society, one of the key lessons that I have learnt from life is to always look behind the veil. I’m writing this post today because I feel it’s finally time that release my lifetime guilt of always putting on a fake smile when I’ve been hurting inside.

In my life so far I’ve found that:

  • People are so well versed now adays with saying things other than what they mean;
  • People are great at putting on a smiling face when inside they’re tearing themselves apart;
  • On the converse, people are sometimes very bad at revealing how they feel.

The situation that appears immediately visible to our eyes is often one that is constructed, forced, and untrue.

Don’t put up a face

Are you okay? 

One of the key experiences that I had whilst working as a volunteer with homeless people is that people hide their true feelings. I worked for many months on the “call station” where I picked up all the calls from the homeless people seeking help.

I received a phone call one day from one man who was living on the streets. I asked what help he needed and he replied “I don’t need any help, I just wanted someone to talk to“. He called back week after week, until one day I found out that he had ended up in hospital having tried to take his life.

From this experience, I suddenly realised that people put on a brave face when they’re in times of need. People hide their feelings in fear of letting people in. People put on a smile so that they are not judged on their frown. So always look behind their veneer and ask,”are you okay?” when you suspect the smiling face may be hiding a more suffering soul behind it.

Look behind the veil

And as for me?

Well there are too many times in my life when I’ve put up a veneer only to be hurting inside. They are so countless you would be surprised to read all of them!

Spare a thought 

I’d like to spare a thought for those who are suffering in silence.

Let your suffering known to someone. Even if it is an anonymous call to an organisation. Even putting up a blog  post about how you feel might help you let it out. The important thing is the release of your suffering. 

Don’t put on a smile; a blue sky; a show of grace when you are suffering inside. There is so much help out there that there is a way out, it just takes courage to get there.

Take courage

Thank you for reading my post


  1. great thoughts and great post

    • thank you very much for reading my post and commenting :)

  2. Look beyond the smile – this is very good advice that more people should know. And I was just about to write about “putting up a front/wall” to not let people in. I’m glad I found your blog, this is great stuff I’m reading here and agreeing with. Thanks!

    • Thanks very much for your comment, look forward to reading your post too :)

  3. Fantastic post; it’s always heartwarming to see people talking about these things; stuff which is brushed under the carpet because everything’s so false now. I sometimes feel like the only human who isn’t pretending.

    • Thank you very much for your comment – I felt like it was really time to let it out! I really enjoy reading your blog too.

  4. Wendy,you have the right idea about life,you are very unique .It is human nature we some times put on a mask.We are different as nations ,but we are the same as humans.Wishing you success and happiness.
    Jalal Michael Sabbagh

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