I ran across a study recently at PsyPost.org that talked about how “deep acting” improves interpersonal work relationships and work goal progress.
Deep acting means you try to actually experience the emotions that you want to display. So, basically shifting from a head-based ascent to a body-felt experience. For example, I can say I’m grateful for a difficult situation but if I don’t also feel grateful deep down I’m not deep acting.
What I love about this study is that it offers more brain-friendly proof that we can regulate our emotions to improve our relationships, and our goal attainment.
Now, here’s the danger I see with deep acting, and that’s if we don’t go deep enough with the acting, we’re just faking it or we’re in denial and burying stuff that shouldn’t get buried. Burying stuff that needs to be addressed is never a good thing.
So the question becomes how do you find the right balance? How do you know that your deep acting is working, and you’re not just burying stuff?
What I’ve noticed for myself is that “deep acting” is balanced when I see a change in my behavior. For example, being at the helm of my coach-training business, in addition to casting a vision for changing the world, I also have to pay attention to the numbers. So if the numbers don’t look great, and there’ve been several months where they didn’t look great, given the year we’ve all had, and I go into a deep acting space of being grateful about things but don’t make any changes, I’m in denial.
If on the other hand, I tap into deep acting, and truly feel grateful, plus start doing new behaviors—such as communicating with the team more often, marketing in new ways, amping up operational areas that need attention—then deep acting accomplishes what it should … I shift from denial to deliberately learning and engaging and growing.
So the bottom line is: we can’t slap a smile on a situation and simply fake it. We have to fake it ’til we feel it, and then feel it, ’til we figure our way through!
Light and Love to you, fellow humans, as you “Fake it ‘Til You Feel It, and then Feel it ‘Til You Figure it Out!”