A Simple Way to Make People Smile


In the narrow sense, a smile is an expression you have on your face when you are happy or amused. Moreover, it's a sign of acceptance. When you make somebody smile, you know subconsciously that you have formed some sort of bond, however small it may be, with that person. Of course, I am talking about genuine smiles. There are those smiles which people force onto their faces out of politeness, just to satisfy you, or sometimes even to spite you. Those are not real smiles. True smiles are an expression of one's heart being touched by another being, a sign of inner fulfilment. This type of smile shows trust as it allows for a certain amount of vulnerability. It starts with the eyes and the lips follow.

My focus is on strangers as we are not familiar with them. The people we know intimately are usually easy to please as we already know what makes them smile or cry. The thought of somebody you love can instantly trigger a smile on your face when you see them or hear their first “hello” on the phone.The key to bringing about smiles on the faces of the people you encounter is to take an interest in them. 

Chances are that the garage attendant, cashier in the supermarket, or the lady who works at the post office is serving hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of people a day. Most people rush into the store, or go for the service they require, rush out afterwards and never think twice about the people they have just interacted with. Taking the time to sincerely ask the person serving you how their day was may just turn that day around for them and trigger a realisation that they are contributing to the world. The fact is that many of the people we tend to ignore do the most work, pay the most taxes and drive the economy, yet they are neither appreciated nor recognised by most of us.


It takes five to ten seconds to say, “hello, how are you?”; get a response and reply with: “Very well, thanks”. Usually people will be shocked that you even asked, and somewhere in their response, a heartfelt smile will appear on their faces. The after effect is another perk. Not only will you have made the other person smile, but if you happen not to be smiling at the time, you'll find yourself smiling too afterwards. The conversation may even continue, turning that old acquaintance into a new friend.


Society has taught us to judge. So we perceive the doctors, lawyers, engineers and CEOs of this world as more important than the municipal workers, waiters, shopkeepers and cleaners. Our communities are based on status, positions and titles and we do not recognise that each of us has a unique role to play in life which is neither more nor less important than anybody else's. Nevertheless, the fortunate few receive the recognition and the praise, whilst everybody else lingers backstage.


I've noticed that when you speak to members of the working classes, it's fairly easy to get them to smile, just by asking how they are doing. On the contrary, when you visit the doctor, who is highly esteemed, it's expected of you to treat him in accordance to his position. So, you'll need to take it a step further and smile first. Sometimes, sadly, people are suspicious of smiley characters, and will refuse to smile back but may be surprised by your attempt.

This is fairly easy to do. Sincerely greet and ask everybody you physically come into contact with, or speak to over the phone, how they are doing. This must be done before any service is rendered, work is done for you, or conversation begins. Honestly, not everybody will smile at you, nor smile back when you smile at them, but it's remarkable how many people do. After you've tried it for some time, you'll find that you feel happier and more secure among other people. You'll also be adding value to your contact with others.

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Maja Dezulovic

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