It never stops to fascinate me how people avoid looking at you when you meet on the street. No, not when you are walking in a busy crowd on your way to work at 8AM and you walk past a million people in less than a minute. I understand that people don’t necessarily have a massive smile planted on their face at that time, making sure they say hi to everyone they see on the way. If you do that you will probably be looked at as a little weird, crazy or even a little creepy (but that’s ok too, if that’s your thing). But, when you’re out walking on a walking track or a long the street heading for the local park, and you are the only person on the street, except for this other lonely person walking towards you. What do you do? Do you pretend like you are super busy typing a text to someone really important? Do you look down on your shoes hoping you won’t crash with this other person? Do you look away? Or are you one of the few rare individuals who actually look the other person in the eye, smile and even say g’day?!
These lovely, smiling people are a rare breed these days. You will find fever and fever people smiling at strangers. Why? Are you scared of getting a smile back? Or are you scared this other person won’t smile back at you? Or are you scared the other person will stop, shake your hand and start a conversation? Are you scared you might just meet a beautiful individual who happens to have a bad day, but suddenly saw the light in the tunnel and again believes in the human race, just because you smiled?
It truly fascinates me how we always smile at dogs. Quite often we say hi to them. And we sit down next to them and pat them. But we usually ask ‘does he bite’? Maybe we should apply the same tactics when we meet new people. Smile first, then say hi, but before you get any closer simply ask ‘do you bite’? I think that would be a perfect way to start a conversation with a stranger. If they don’t want to talk, they can say ‘yes, today I bite’ and you move on. If they’re happy to chat, then they could say ‘no, you can pat me’ (I am smiling just writing this). That would help us manoeuvre around new acquaintances and friendships a lot easier wouldn’t it? Maybe your new college is a morning grumpy person, she could just put up a sign at her desk saying ‘I bite before 10AM – you may pat me of you bring a coffee’. I bet that would bring a smile to other people’s faces at least.
Are you afraid of smiling to strangers when you randomly meet in the street? Did you know smiling has massive health benefits? Let me just mention a few; smiling lowers your heart rate (and laughing rises it), it reduces stress and relaxes your body, it improves you mood (duh, it’s not rocket science), it increases productivity (must be why I’m typing so fast, because I am constantly smiling), it encourages trust and produces empathy, it’s a natural pain killer, it makes you look a lot more attractive (it’s a winner), it makes you look younger and it also makes you live longer and on top of that it helps support your immune system. And guess what? It’s contagious! So pay it forward. If you smile, random strangers will smile back. Then they might smile at the next person and they will smile back and so on and so forth. Before you know it, your first smile might make it back to you before the end of the day.
Therefor, smile at random strangers. Smile at your grandmother, smile at that sleepy guy in the car next to you at 7AM and smile at your boss when he walks in. It will only make you feel better and you will on top of that spread a lot of other feelgoodness! It’s Monday, let’s make this a smiley week 🙂
Hope this made you smile 🙂 🙂 🙂