Although there have been flashes of the brilliance that has seen Balotelli crowned the world's best young player since his summer arrival at Eastlands from Inter Milan, there have been just as many scowls and temper tantrums.
It was more of the latter on Monday as the 20-year-old turned in an ineffective performance against Everton and was eventually substituted due to injury.
Mancini expects Balotelli to be fit for the Boxing Day trip to Newcastle. But if he is involved at St James' Park, the City manager would like to see a lighter approach than the one he has been getting recently.
"He must improve in this situation," said Mancini. "You need to smile to play football. That is the best thing you can do."