HOW TO SMILE AT STRANGERS

Last week I decided to abolish my resting bitch face and set myself the challenge of smiling at 4 strangers every day.

I have heard that a simple smile from a stranger could literally be somebody’s life raft on a stormy day. How hard can it be? I think the least I can do each day is to remove my head from my own arse to occasionally smile at others. I want the smiles to be genuine. Nothing worse than being known for dishing out fake smiles and it needs to be a smile that says ‘Hi, have a nice day’, rather than, ‘Help me’!

I learnt a lot whilst doing the challenge so I thought I would write up some tips and do’s and don’ts for smiling at strangers so that I can help prevent people making the same awkward mistakes that I made.

1) Before you leave the house, check your teeth. You want to lift someone’s mood with your smile and not show them what you had for breakfast.

2) Don’t smile with your eyes wide open. It looks like a cry for help. You want to raise a smile, not general concern.

3) Don’t wait to get too close to a passer-by and then squeeze out a smile as you pass. You want to appear friendly and not as if you’ve just farted.

4) If for whatever reason you have a doctor’s appointment and you to have a medical examination don’t smile through this, it can look perverted.

5) When you’re out and about and you see someone walking towards you in the distance, don’t start smiling too soon, as it will be difficult to maintain the smile by the time you reach them. You can get something called the smile shakes. This is where the corners of your mouth will begin to shake under the pressure of the encounter and the strain to keep the sides of your mouth lifted.

6) If you walk past several people in a row, keep the same smile going for all of them. You won’t have time to release back into resting bitch face in between smiling and you don’t want to look like you’re having a stroke.

7) Be careful of multi-tasking whilst smiling. The cashier at Cost-cutter had to ask me twice for £13.65 as I was too busy stabbing her in the face with my smile.

8) Don’t make the smile too intense and lengthy. Nothing worse than a smile that says I am going to murder you at some point today. You don’t want to scare people. Less stalky, more smiley.

9) Beware of the smile and stack. This is where you are so focused on smiling you fall over and land on a now non-smiling face.

10) Don’t smile in the gym, you will just annoy people.

11) I found smiling on public transport the most rewarding as generally, people will avoid sitting next to you.

12) If someone doesn’t smile back don’t be offended or waste time thinking about it or cursing them violently to yourself as you walk away. Let it go and get your smile back in place for the next person.

13) If someone smiles back with a bigger smile, don’t compete. Maybe, add in a slight nod to show your appreciation but remember, it is not a competition.

14) Reserve your best smiles for the people you see out and about who need them most. You don’t want to be giving them out willy-nilly but also don’t be too stingy with your smiles. Spread the love.

See also: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/happiness-in-world/201202/smiling-strangers

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