The holiday season has provided me with ample opportunity to watch human interactions at levels from simple commercial transactions to discussions about life and death in stores, schools, hospitals, gatherings, and other places.
Based on experience and reinforced by this recent “research”, my unscientific, yet almost universal conclusion is that when people smile, things go better. Genuine smiling tends to create more genuine smiling, sometimes even when you resist the urge a little.
This finding has “face” validity, if nothing else.
When you have a choice between smiling and frowning, choose to smile.
When you smile,
… you are conveying a message of awareness, warmth, and acceptance to others.
… you are helping yourself feel more pleasant and receptive.
… you are influencing others to respond in kind.
… you can convey a range of positive emotions at several different levels of intensity.
… you look, think, and feel better.
I am also distinctly NOT talking about fake smiles. Any emotion displayed without congruence is suspect, but that “plastered-on” smile which too many adopt is particularly irritating. If you can’t feel it, don’t try to display it.
We even sing about the power of smiling …
Dean Phelps smiles at church …
Roger Rabbit and ‘toons version …
So what do you have to lose? Try smiling more … it just might be habit-forming.
Grinning from ear to ear and meaning it in the Heartland …
Photos: The first displays the smile that hooked me over thirty years ago and still makes me feel quite nice inside. The other is just a casual shot of me by me.