This morning I want to talk about the power of smiling. I was recently given a compliment that I’m always smiling or seem happy when *Ann passes me in the hallway (at work). I LOVED this compliment because it is a conscience effort that I make and I’ll tell you why.
Senior year of college I became friends with this sweet girl in my lab class. Half way through the semester she told me she had to admit something to me. She said, “I used to think you were scary and mean, until I met you and you’re the nicest person and I have no idea why I thought that.” No, I’m not tooting my own horn, this is exactly what she said.
I laughed and took it as a compliment, but was also completely mortified that someone I had never met was scared of me! If she thought this, I’m sure other people at school or in stores or wherever have thought the same thing. I realized she thought this because when I am deep in thought (ha! i don’t have deep thoughts unless it’s about what dessert i want to bake!) or tired or stressed, I get “serious face” and this can come across as mean or mad.
From that point on, I told myself I need to make a conscience effort to smile more or at least seem happy. It doesn’t matter if I am not happy, just fake it till you make it. And here’s why.
Every time I have received a compliment from a random stranger- someone who is not obligated to make any sort of eye contact, let alone converse with me- it makes me happy and makes my day, even if I’m in the pissiest of moods. I’ve had people say, “Good day!”, or “I like your dress”, or “Love your hair.” And it always makes my day. So instead of being on the receiving end, I wanted to make sure I participated in the giving of positive energy. sounded all hippie right there. And over time, if I smile enough and receive smiles back, I get out of my funky mood.
So now at work or in the grocery store or where ever, I’ve adapted the “Buddy the Elf Method of Living.” I try to smile at people if I make eye contact, even if I’m in a bad mood. I never know if the person receiving my smile is having a worse day than me, so maybe they just need a simple smile. I don’t expect a smile in return, especially if the stranger seems grumpy. But the (small) optimist in me wants to believe that maybe, just maybe, a simple smile might make a difference.
So, I challenge you today, to try to smile at 1 person you don’t know. but maybe not the guy parked next to the alley with a van that has “free candy” written on the sides.
FYI for me, all bets are off with this smiling crap before 7:30 AM 😉
*I changed the name to the first random name that popped in my head because I didn’t ask this person if they minded being in my blog.
Apparently I have deeper thoughts at 6:50 AM on Saturday mornings while I practice my half marathon morning ritual. More about that later…