“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” These are the opening lyrics to a familiar song whose origin is unclear. I’m sure every American knows the song.

Most of us need to fight the impulse to clap our hands when we hear the words.  

I’ve always wondered how many people are happy and don’t know it. I’ve always assumed the people who don’t clap their hands are unhappy. 

But it could be they are happy but unaware of their happiness.  

A few weeks ago, I was at a dinner with a dozen or so people. I only knew about half of the people at dinner. About 15 minutes into the dinner, one of the people who didn’t know me asked the lady sitting next to me why I looked so crabby. The lady sitting to my right laughed and said, “he’s not crabby. He is always the opposite of crabby.”

Both comments made me smile. 

Although I’m not sure, my smile was wide enough to convince my new friend I was, in fact, happy.

If you know me well, you know I am incredibly unserious, but I live my unserious life without looking like a goofball.  

When people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them I’m doing fabulous, excellent, wonderful, or tremendous. 

It’s confusing, and it sends mixed messages. I know it sends mixed messages because I often get comments like “you look crabby” and “why so serious?”  

I should work on fixing this issue. Present the world with a more pleasant-looking version of myself. Because for every person willing to tell me I look unhappy, I assume dozens of other people notice but don’t say anything.

I would also guess it makes me unapproachable. I regret appearing unapproachable. It is part of the brand promise at Willmar Electric. (On-time, Organized, and Approachable).

To take it a step further, what other wrong signals am I giving off? Or, when people see me and think I look unhappy, do they conclude why I am unhappy?

I’m not unhappy. I am happy, very happy. I should always be clapping.

To go even further, how often do I project the wrong emotions on others? I value being genuine and don’t like others who appear to be less than totally genuine. If people are reading me wrong, I must be reading others wrong at times.

It is all very confusing. 

If I would smile more, this would all go away.

Next time you see me and think I should be smiling, ask me if I am crabby.  

It will help me be more approachable. Thank you.