The Top 3 Reasons to Smile

The Top 3 Reasons to Smile

Dale Carnegie's reasons to smile

This article is a tribute to Dale Carnegie, the author of the timeless book How To Win Friends and Influence People.  Before I landed my first seminar or my first client, I read everything I could find that explained what made people attracted to each other.  Dale Carnegie’s book was my favorite.  (Eternal thanks to my friend Samantha Joseph for giving it to me as a gift.)

In Dale Carnegie’s honor, each heading is a quote from his seminal book about the importance of smiling.

YOUR SMILE IS A MESSENGER OF YOUR GOODWILL

The road from stranger to soul mate starts even before you say “hello.”  It starts when you first make eye contact with a potential partner.At that very moment, there are two gaps you must overcome:

  • Physical gap  the actual distance between where you stand and where your potential partner stands.
  • Personal gap  the metaphorical distance between two people who know nothing about each other.

How do you bridge those gaps?

Smiling is crucial.  Your smile says that you’re friendly, non-threatening and happy.  It is a “messenger of your goodwill.”

A SMILE SAYS, “I LIKE YOU, YOU MAKE ME HAPPY.  I AM GLAD TO SEE YOU.”

Let’s say you’ve already gotten past the initial “hello” with your potential partner — perhaps by delivering a Killer Conversation Starter — and you’re having an interesting conversation.  Can you stop smiling?  No!

Smiling at the appropriate times during conversation is hugely important.

Your potential partner is still a stranger.  He or she can walk away from your conversation at anytime.  Smiling acts like glue to keep you together.  Why?  Because people like being liked.  People appreciate being appreciated.  Your smile is a non-verbal message that says, “I like you and I appreciate the time we are having together.

YOUR SMILE BRIGHTENS THE LIVES OF ALL WHO SEE IT

That heading is literally true.  It is a scientific fact that smiles are contagious in two ways:

First, when you smile, you make yourself happier.  Even when you are sad, faking a smile will make you measurably happier.  The reason has something to do with the related concepts of cognitive dissonance and cognitive consistency.  Essentially, your mind’s mood is reflecting your body’s mood.

Second, when you smile, you make the people around you happier.  Isn’t it cool to know that by exercising your facial muscles, you can actually brighten someone’s day!?  When you brighten a potential partner’s day, of course he or she is going to want to talk to you.

I AM TALKING ABOUT A REAL SMILE, A HEARTWARMING SMILE, A SMILE THAT COMES FROM WITHIN, THE KIND OF SMILE THAT WILL BRING A GOOD PRICE IN THE MARKETPLACE.

While all people are created equal, all smiles are not.

The smile that you make as you say “cheese” is not a real smile.  Nobody mistakes the “cheese” smile for genuine happiness.  It’s as contrived as the photo you’re posing for.

Stand in front of a mirror and say “cheese.”  Do you look genuinely happy?  Of course not.  Now try this exercise to find a genuinely happy-looking smile:

  • Stand in front of a mirror
  • Think of something that makes you genuinely happy and then let a happy smile take over your face.  Get your mouth involved.  Get your cheeks involved.  Get your eyes involved.
  • Shape your smile in the mirror until you see a smile that looks genuinely happy
  • Hold that smile until it feels natural to you
  • Repeat the exercise until you can make that genuinely happy smile naturally

What if you don’t know what a genuinely happy smile looks like?  Try copying George…

 

George Clooney smiles like a champion

Courtesy of Esquire.com

S*H*A*R*E

I don’t have a witty introduction.  It was a long day!  I’m just asking you to make the world a little friendlier place by sharing the message about smiling.

Spreading happiness is contagious Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon.

QUICK REVIEW

  • Smile when a potential partner looks at you
  • Smile when you’re hanging out
  • Smile when the it’s appropriate during a conversation
  • But make sure it’s a genuine smile.  Fake smiles don’t count.
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh
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Comments

  1. Tony Langdon says:

    Definitely agree, smiling spreads goodwill. And it’s a no lose proposition. Worst that can happen is you feel a bit better than you would have otherwise! :)

    I do believe you need to give yourself reason to smile to be able to offer a genuine one, and that comes from learning to see the positive side – even the funny side of situations, even when things go bad.

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