I saw this image on good ole Pinterest (have I told you how much I lurve Pinterest?! – Probably!!)
Anyway, it was so timely, because I’d already planned my next post to focus on ‘smiling‘. I guess the point of this post is not directly about how a smile can improve your looks, although I do agree, that it can, but more about how a smile can improve either your day or someone elses day.
It’s a brave thing to smile at someone in person – particularly someone you don’t know. What if they just ignore you – think you’re some weird person? Worst still, what if they smile back?!! What do you do?!!
We’re very quick to add our ‘smiley faces’ in text messages and emails – it’s almost too easy. It doesn’t matter if the person on the other side can’t see that you’re completely pissed off – as long as you’ve included your ‘smiley’ icon – that’s fine. To call these ‘emoticons‘ seems a bit ludicrous – ‘emotionless‘ seems to be more precise!
Anyway, when it’s done for real, you’ll find there are whole load of songs written about this physical act of, let’s face it, flexing your muscles on each side of your mouth and maybe occasionally, moving the muscles around the eyes too (this is called “Duchenne Smile”)
Songs that include Smile–Josh Groban, Make Me Smile–Chicago, Smile Like You Mean It–The Killers, Smile Away–Paul McCartney , Smile Again–Usher, Smile –Lily Allen … there are actually a few more (but I recognised these artists!)
To be honest, none of these songs actually convey the point of just smiling at someone for no good reason. They all have a hidden reason for smiling (these are not the smiles I am referring to!) But it does demonstrate the importance and impact a smile can have on someone.
Never mind the people we know and see frequently (they get to see our smiles and frowns on a regular basis) but thinking about the person on the street, as you walk past them. Just offering them a smile is showing an act of kindness. It’s a really pleasing acknowledgement of their existence.
We don’t really know what’s going on in other people’s lives, but if you offer a smile to someone, it might be the only one they see that day, week, month. It might be just enough to lift their spirits to keep on going. And the great thing is, the more you do it, the more naturally it happens as you’re walking along. And then one day, you’ll realise that you’ve become this really smiley-for-no-good-reason-person!
And I love it when I do get that smile in return! Because although I know what’s happening in my life (which is a good place at the moment), it still makes me feel special. And I also love it when I’m offered the smile in the first place .. wow! It’s quite uplifting sometimes.
Of course, when we’ve mastered the art of smiling at strangers without ulterior motives, the natural progression is saying the word ‘Hello’ <gulp>!
But, tomorrow, start with the basics and smile at people you don’t know. What a happier place this would be if we could.
Oh – and yes, smiles do make you pretty – they invite people into your lives.