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How often do you smile?


That may sound a fatuous question but the amount of smiling we do does reflect our mood. Generally people who scowl project an image of hostility and set themselves for an antagonistic interaction. Certainly when clients turn up for their first anger management class they are not wearing smiles. And while that may be good optics it sets the individual up for stress.

364 smiles

 

 

 

There are real and phony smiles, the latter often used by politicians, but for the average person smiling has its benefits. It establishes a relationship of trust and support, makes the other person safer and more receptive. No salesman is going to view a potential customer whit a frown.

How easy or difficult is it to argue with one’s partner with a smile? It may antagonise them but it certainly will keep you in control.

The fear and contempt smile is often a smirk,  the dampened smile is a real smile where people attempt to suppress or conceal the extent of their positive emotions. The miserable smile is a “grin and bear” it smile indicating stoicism about negative emotions. The flirtatious smile is partly embarrassed because the person gazes/faces away from the person of interest/contact.

Even holding pen between one’s teeth can produce a more upbeat mood as it effects the part of the brain’s left prefrontal cortex and makes it more active, and that is where depression sets in when it is not activated.

Basically smiles are infectious, they disarm others. Lack of smiles often indicates fear and a  desire for separation. Often that means unconsciously there is underlying hostility and anger. So if you hold back on smiling ask ‘Why” “What are you afraid of?”

 

Source: Psychological science

 

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