How Do You Smile When You Don’t Feel Happy?


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It’s not easy to hide your feelings.

My friend Jenny Dempsey recently wrote a personal and poignant post about this on her blog. Her beloved dog, Miso, had recently died and she was finding it difficult to hide her grief at work. 

That’s exactly what her job requires her to do.

Jenny is a customer care manager at Her legendarily warm and bubbly customer service inspires songs from customers. That’s what makes her so good at her job, where displaying warmth and friendliness towards customers is expected.

Suddenly, this was very difficult.

What Jenny found herself doing is what millions of customer service professionals do at some level each day. It’s called surface acting and it’s an epidemic. It causes poor customer service, decreased job satisfaction, and burnout.

Here’s what you need to know and what you can do about it.


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