Look around you while you sit in morning peak-hour traffic or stand in line at your favourite coffee shop, and you’d think the fun police just enacted a law banning smiling.
Whatever the reason for the stony faces (and there are many before the working day starts), it’s a shame so many of us look like we have our bitchy resting face on. A smile on your face has endless benefits and appeal.
A Smile Will Get You Noticed
Here’s a simple question: Which one of these people looks more approachable?
A study in the UK found that a person photographed with a great smile was most likely to be characterised as approachable, fun, confident, youthful and successful. The same person pictured with a frown was described as moody, disinterested and hostile.
A little lesson here perhaps? A smile is the easiest way to leave a positive first impression.
A Smile Can Break The Ice
When you try to connect with new people, a smile is one of your best tools. In fact, it’s strong enough to break the ice between you and the frostiest guy or girl in the room. Use this power tool unsparingly and often.
A Smile Can Seal the Deal
As you meet someone face to face for the first time, 93 per cent of how that person judges you is based on non-verbal data—your appearance and body language. And people typically form their first impressions of you in just seven seconds.
In a business meeting, those seven seconds can help you win over a client or lose them at the first handshake. Leave the death-grip handshake at the door and flex those smile muscles to make sure a frown isn’t costing you potential business.
A Smile Can Demonstrate Compassion
Witness someone walk into a street sign? Miss their mouth and pour coffee down their front?
Whereas a hug can seem a tad too intimate for a random stranger, a warm smile is the easiest way to show people you sympathise with them. Plus, laughing out aloud just makes them think you are a heartless wonder.
A Smile Can Start a Friendship
George Eliot said it best, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles”.
A Smile is Universal
Handshakes or bows? A hug or pat on the back? One, two or three kisses on the cheeks?
A lot can be lost in translation when travelling and communicating in different countries. A warm smile, however, is a gesture of goodwill across cultures. Don’t leave home without it!
All you grinners out there: Where and how has a smile helped you?
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