A wise man once said, “Smiling is my favorite.” That man was Buddy the Elf.
Like Buddy, I too think smiling is just the bee’s knees. And I want you to think so as well. So here are 10 reasons why smiling is the best.
1. It’ll instantly make you happier, no matter how good or bad your day is. Maybe you discovered your water color painting is being put on display at an art gallery, or won $15 at trivia night, or found out you’re an Egyptian Prince/Princess and now get to play croquet inside the Great Pyramids. Whatever it is, you’re having a pretty good day. But what’ll make you have an even better day is to smile. Stop what you’re doing, and simply smile. Go ahead, try it. Even better, right? By contrast, smiling also works for the days that are better left on the side of the road with that three week old tuna sandwich. And anything better than that is a win, isn’t it?
2. It’ll make people think you just skied down a mountain in Montana. If you’re walking away from a ski resort in Montana with a pair of ski’s over your shoulder, that is.
3. If you’re looking at a complicated piece of art people will think you “Get it”. You know that painting that looks like a child got ahold of a couple of buckets of paint and threw it on a canvas hoping to get under Mom’s skin and is raved at by experts and costs $76,000? Yeah, you get that now.
4. If you’re buying produce it might just be enough to get you a free zucchini. Let’s try. You walk to the check out line of a grocery store and place one single zucchini on the counter. Smiling, you say, “Zucchini’s, am I right?” Yeah okay, maybe not that one.
5. It gives people the impression you are listening to them, even if you’re not, which may or may not be on purpose. We’ve all been there before. Maybe somebody coughed during the punch line of your friend’s joke. Or maybe someone is talking about something that you’re just not super in to, like their thoughts on politics or their personal best at CrossFit last night. Either way, no judgment here. Just smile. (Pro-tip: if you nod while smiling people will think you’re that much more engaged. Be careful though, doing so may make you someone’s personal confidant for years to come.)
6. It’ll make that person across the room wearing the red shirt and cargo pants who you have never met before feel kind of weird inside, but kind of flattered at the same time. Hi, guy wearing the red shirt and cargo pants.
7. It’ll add years to your life and reduce wrinkles. Science, probably.
8. If you’re looking longingly out a window people will think you’re sophisticated. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about how awesome your microwavable macaroni and cheese was for breakfast, or how cool it’d be to befriend that little chipmunk scurrying across the sidewalk, this will give people the impression that you went to an Ivy League school or were shortlisted for a Nobel Prize in literature. (Pro-tip: don’t smile too big here. Marginal effort works best. Otherwise people will know you’re thinking about the chipmunk.)
9. It’ll give you a significantly better chance at landing an Orbit commercial. This actually almost worked for me once. I was sitting in a cafe, alone, drinking coffee. In between sips I would just smile. Not at anything in particular, just doing my best to show off my recently brushed teeth and the pack of Orbit conveniently sitting on the table in front of me (after all, Orbit talent scouts could be anywhere). After about 10 minutes of this, the person who was sitting a couple of tables in front of me in my direct line of vision came over and said, “Are you okay?” It’s still the closest I’ve come to landing an Orbit commercial to this day.
10. It could make somebody else’s day a little better. Maybe someone is having a crummy day. It might be due to serious real life problems, or they could have stepped in mud after buying a brand new pair of white sneakers. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to have a little boost. So hold a door for somebody and smile. Compliment a co-worker on their rakish sweater vest and smile. Or just say hi and smile to the next person you pass by. Who knows, you might just make their day a little better.