By Gabrielle. Gorgeous image of the James family from Kinfolk Magazine.

Do you have a job that requires you to smile and feign happiness? (And here is where every mom in the world is nodding vehemently!) When you consider, as this article notes so brilliantly, that we engage in the buying and selling of feelings nearly every day, it’s kind of mind-blowing. Not to mention exhausting.

There are companies – like the UK-based fast food chain Pret A Manger — who base bonuses on enforced happiness. Even Apple manages happiness, forbidding employees to use negative words like unfortunately.

But here’s the sticky bit: At a Queensland hospital, for instance, the male midwife is considered a kind of empathetic rockstar, while his female counterparts are simply expected to be caring. The result? The women don’t receive as many accolades and, perhaps, not as much compensation.

What do you think about emotional labor? Is it stressful to be expected to be happy and suppress your true feelings in your workplace? Maybe especially when your workplace is also your home? Or is the term an overreaction to what was once called plain old courtesy? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one!