A Simple Way to Make People Smile: After-effects

I started something in 2009. I started greeting everybody I come into contact with, with a smile and asking them how they were feeling. Well, almost everyone. I slip up too sometimes. People that went around with me told me that I “flirt” with everyone. Yes, as a result, some of the males would take my friendliness as a hint that I was attracted to them and they’d act on that. That’s okay. I was still polite. For a long while, this just became a habit and I really didn’t notice the change in people. Aside from the smiles I received in return at the moment, which made it all worth it, I didn’t realise that there might be some sort of ripple effect.

It’s only sincere friendliness, that’s all. The only downside and something I had to learn my way around was timing. Sometimes people are so consumed by what they are doing and being busy that they simply “don’t have the time” for a full greeting. That’s a shame. Perhaps, you can still surprise them. The surprise may just be enough to make them smile. Otherwise, they’ll just brush you off. Then you just brush that off. Slower days when they’re not so busy are fine.

It’s a numbers game. Like sales, dating, and I’m starting to believe that the same is true for most things in life. The more often you do it, the more people you’ll touch and the more smiles you’ll receive back in return. Nobody gets a ten out of ten. However, a simple one out of ten makes it all worth it.

The point is that there is a ripple effect. I noticed that people in general became much more pleasant to deal with. They are also more genuine. When I frequent a place, they smile when they see me just because of the mere recognition that it’s me. It’s me and them. We’ve formed a connection. It may seem like an insignificant bond, but it’s a bond nonetheless. Many people go through life without these natural ties. Why don’t people allow their innate human inclinations to just flow within them? We’re afraid of rejection, and letting drops of vulnerability seep from within us only to be gulped down by others. What is wrong with that? You might get hurt. The person might see that they’re in a position of power – the power to make or break you at that particular moment. You gave them that power and they accept it. People are suckers for power.

I was thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice to have written on my tombstone after death: “She made me smile”? I think that would make me smile, wherever I am. That is, provided I’ve still got a “face”. Then again, I won’t need a face. True smiles come from the heart and hearts live on.

Maja Dezulovic

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