Back when I was part of the working class, I used to think this saying was true. If I didn’t know how to do something that my job required, I would figure it out as I went along. Luckily for me, my bosses weren’t very astute at my lack of competence. Or maybe they were faking it, too.
Now I know that there are certain things you simply cannot fake. Since everyone loves an easy-to-digest list, here are 7 of those things you cannot fake.
- Laughter - Sure, Chandler and Monica had fake laughs on Friends, and I’ve been accused of fake laughing myself a time or two, but most people can tell. At least those close to you who will call you out on faking it. And why should you pretend to laugh when something really isn’t that funny? Nervousness, maybe? Trying to avoid hurting the unfunny person’s feelings? Hey, if they can’t make you laugh, they are probably used to their jokes falling flat.
- Love - Oh sure, that’s an obvious one. Don’t worry, I’ll throw some curve balls here in a sec. But this is a big one worth mentioning. I know–or have known–several couples who know they’ve lost that loving feeling but convince themselves that everything will be ok. The charade doesn’t last, and life is too short to be miserable pretending.
- Light - See, I told you I would have a curve ball or two. I’m not talking about the light you see every morning at the break of day. Of course you can’t fake that, so don’t try. I’m talking about how you feel, which sort of goes together with laughter. You know when you ask someone how they’re doing and they say they’re fine, but you can tell by the tone and lack of smile that they really aren’t ok. The heaviness sinks around them and starts tugging at you too, making you wonder if there is anything else you can do to help lighten their spirit without being too nosy. That type of lightness can’t be faked.
- Attention - My four-year-old is going through this phase where he says, “Mommy, watch!” about once a minute. Or maybe it feels that way. So of course, sometimes, my attention is elsewhere. Like on the meal I’m cooking, or the laundry I’m doing. Ok, I admit it, half the time it’s on my dang iPhone. So instead of saying my name once, he now says it about 5 times in a row until he’s sure he has my attention. I can’t appease him by saying I’m listening or watching, he needs to know he has my full attention. I can’t fake it. No matter how hard I try.
- Gratitude - Have you ever given a gift and the person said thank you, but you knew they really didn’t mean it? I sometimes wish we weren’t forced by politeness to pretend to be thankful. I would rather know that when a person said thanks, they really meant it. It would mean so much more if we didn’t have to fake our gratitude, but I guess that has to start from within.
- Trust - Ever play that game where you fall backwards and have to trust your friends to catch you before you hit the ground? You can’t fake that trust. I’m pretty picky when it comes to my friends, and I guess it all revolves around trust. I want those closest to me to know they can trust me completely, and I hope I can do the same with them. And if I screw up, you can trust that I’ll be honest about my mistake.
- Faith - I’ll wind this list up with one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’ve noticed that when it comes to my faith, I’ll have high moments and low ones. I don’t know if I’ve been exhausted or stressed for some unknown reason, but I’ve been in a valley the last month or two. I can tell a difference in my attitude, and I’m sure my husband can, too. There really is no other way around it but to go through it, and keep praying. And reading my Bible, which has been gathering dust for a bit. I know this, too, will pass.