The Power of Smiling

Have you ever wondered why some people are immediately welcomed and accepted by many they have ever met before? ( Ted speakers, comedians)

In your lifetime I bet you have met a friend of a friend or perhaps a total stranger who you immediately felt you could become friends with without giving it a second thought. I have met such people in the past, some have a distinctive personality and great charisma, while others have turned out be depressed people wearing the perfect society mask ( think about Robbie Williams).

Still, smiling to a total stranger can always put you in a good position specially when visiting a new place, country, office or simply the pub next door.

In my case, I used to be a very giggly baby but eventually due to some family issues I started withdrawing from society and instead opted for wearing the serious, introvert, alienated mask in front of others, because that’s what I felt was best at that time.

Indeed, we’re all different and there are extrovert and introvert people but smiling touches both groups in one way or another.

Smiling is easy and it can really boost your self-esteem when you see that strangers look at you with bright eyes, they come to you to ask for an opinion and they’re willing to talk to you even if you have never met them before.

Cultural differences must be taken in consideration and some societies smiling just for the sake of it can be considered offensive or childish. But, I firmly believe that in nowadays interconnected societies, we get a good portion of cultural information and we know what makes us feel good.

So let me ask you:

How would you feel if you’re in a street market queueing up to get a burger around 21:30? You know they’re closing soon, the queue is quite long, everyone is impatient and the lady at the grill looks tired and it seems that she’s had enough for today. Finally after waiting for almost an hour it’s your turn, and you just want to get your burger cos you’re hungry; would you….:

a. …tell her immediately with a serious face what you want, and once you get your burger move on not saying thank you or instead…

b. ..would you say hi with a smile or at least friend face, perhaps crack a joke or a funny comment trying to have empathy for her; telling her kindly what you want, and once she finishes you say thank you with a smile and wish her a good evening and encouraging her telling her that the day is almost over?

My guess is that most people will automatically say option B, however we know that sometimes we might have had a bad day and we can take it on the wrong people, so always think about that.

I’m not pretending to be a psychologist or anthropologist, but I can tell you that when you truly smile and laugh throughout the day you feel happier, more relaxed, and in good spirit to overcome hard moments during the day.

Now let’s imagine that you go on holidays to Tajikistan and you don’t speak neither Russian nor Arabic. Most likely you will use google translate if you’re lucky to have mobile data on your mobile, or perhaps use a little phrase book you got at the airport. Yet, you have your best communication tool there is, and that’s your body (language), and smiling to others is perhaps the most important element.

Last Christmas I spent 3 weeks in Hungary visiting my family and also did a road trip with a friend around Eastern Hungary. Despite my efforts and pretentiousness my “Magyar” skills are very basic and more often that not I found myself letting my friend do the talk, but from time to time I would use my body language as a mean of communication. My friend was very surprised to see that wherever we would go the street or shop vendors would be very friendly. She told me that is unusual and that most likely the reason why they were friendly was because I was smiling in a very natural way.

Having a fake smile can work against you so you’d better see how people react when you smile at them, if you feel that things are a bit forced it means that you’re most likely faking it, and we can all tell when someone is fake or legit.

I’d like to finish this post by saying that Covid-19 has affected us all in some way or another. But if we’re still here, we should be thankful and happy at this time in our lives. Sure, we might have gone through hard moments but if you’re able to walk, talk, hear, taste and feel, try to enjoy life, smile, be happy and help others feel equally happy even if it means doing something as simple as smiling.

It’s just a very swollen and soared ankle, I’ll get better soon! Just smile and enjoy life

2 replies on “The Power of Smiling”

Que te paso sobrino? Donde metiste el pie? Esperamos que te recuperes pronto
Dios te bendiga

Todo esta bien, son cosas que pasan, es lo que tiene ir en moto. Un abrazote y un besote

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