Do you smile at people you meet? Most people answer yes when asked if they smile at other people. Smiles are contagious, and it seems that smiling causes more happy memories than frowning does. Your smile is your way of welcoming people to your space, telling them that you are happy to see them and that you are looking forward to meeting them. A smile can be infectious; therefore, making the choice to smile in public is not a difficult task.
Smiles are formed primarily by rotating the muscles in the face. A smile can form for various reasons – amusement, flirtation, sad mood, greeting, or just the simple pleasure of relaxing. Some smiles form an involuntary contraction of certain facial muscles, known as a Duchenne smile, an action also called a forced smile. Facial expressions have been shown to affect memory, mood, immunity, sex drive and reproductive system.
There are many different kinds of facial expressions, but they all share a similar trait – the intention to convey a message. Smiles are intended to show enjoyment, relief, approval, or boredom. The person smiles not because he or she wants to; these kinds of smiles do not last long, because facial expressions are involuntary.
However, the way that smiling feels is different from how others perceive it. For some people it means that they are being touched in a special way, while for other people it means merely that they are pleased with whatever is being done. In order to get this information across to others, we must master the art of body language. By observing others and their facial expressions, and by copying their basic moves – you will be able to understand the underlying meaning behind their smile. This is something that a good psychology degree program can help you do.
Smiling is very contagious. If you smile at someone while he or she is looking at you, they will feel immediately the warmth you are feeling. Smiling can also make other people more approachable. When someone smiles at you, it puts you instantly in a better position of standing out from the crowd, and you become more appealing. Smiling is not a conscious act, but an unconscious one, so it is up to you to choose your actions at a certain point in time. Thus, if you are afraid of confrontation, smile when you see someone approach.
In short – smiling is an important human behavior that has been shaped by evolutionary psychology. It is important to realize that smiling is very important in our everyday lives, and that there are times when we need to smile more than other times. Once you understand this universal aspect of human behavior, you will be able to understand why experts recommend that you smile even when you don’t feel like smiling – that you will give off the same signals that your body sends out, “I am feeling good”.