Smiling doesn’t kill you.

ID-100480

The happy virus on a stick
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It takes more muscles to frown than to smile…And that my friends is bull shit.

It’s all a lie, spread by irresponsible happy prophets.  (At least according to the Wikipedia page on the subject.)  If it was true, like I believed it to be until 10 minutes ago, it would have been a great opening sentence for setting the tone of this post.  Instead I’m now at a loss for words due to my own ability to Google.

However.

Did you know a smile is more infectious than the common flu?  Try it and you’ll see.  Even a fake smile will result in a reaction of the person you are presenting it to.  Granted you might not get a smile in return, maybe an uncomfortable expression or someone suddenly seeking fallen cash on the pavement.  Fact remains, a smile causes a reaction.

It’s proven that only tormented serial killers will look you straight in the eye without any glimpse of a soul, after you smile at them.  If that happens run.  For if you don’t run, fast, you mind end up seeing a sadistic version of your smile when you wake up a few hours later in a small dark room. *shivers*

I was driving to work and due to some annoying construction taking place on route; they’ve placed traffic policeman to guide the traffic in a more orderly fashion.  This is to prevent the impatient motorists amongst us from swearing, flipping the bird, resulting in random beatings with sticks and shit.  As I was passing cop #1 he had the expression I see every Monday morning in the mirror.  In essence he was wearing a huge question mark, or like I call it a WTF-facial.  Let’s just say he wasn’t one of the shiny-happy people REM wrote about in their hit song.

Then I passed Cop #2.  He had the same job, the skillful art of routing traffic safely, but he seemed to have had it all that morning.  He was jumping and waiving and basically having a jolly good time, just like that fat guy in the red suit who visits all the kids in the world at least once a year.  But what really got my attention, besides the physical antics of the Cop on meth, was his smile.  Dishing one to every passing motorist, and it was infectious.  I smiled too.  And so did the girl in the car behind me, as I was checking her out watching her in my rear-view mirror.

I arrived at work, with the smile still firmly imprinted on this semi-handsome face of mine, which went from a 6 to an 8 just because I was showing some teeth.  I walked into the office, well basically skipped, and smiled and greeted everyone happily.  Most people just froze in their seats or dropped papers, totally taken aback by my jovial entry into the realms of work.

To clarify, I’m not a morning person, so even though my eyes open at 5 and I train for an hour, I still only wake up at 7 after my first cup of coffee.  My personality kicks in around nine, on a good day.  I have become accustomed in isolating myself from social interaction during mornings, not wanting unnecessary confrontation whilst my sense of humour is settling in.

But this post is not about me, it’s about smiling.  It’s about that amazing superpower each person on earth possess, almost like a happy virus of sorts.  A virus most people would kill to be infected with.  So I challenge you, go out and use that superpower of yours, find your closest victim, as it only takes 12 facial muscles to do. (frowning takes 11, hence my opening comments)

And here’s the fun part, smiling doesn’t kill you.

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13 thoughts on “Smiling doesn’t kill you.

  1. Over 50 years ago we had to sing this song in a Boy Scout’s Camp: “It isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E.” I hated it then; I hate it now. I hated the song, but I loved your blog! 😛

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  2. So true. There’s a lady at the front desk at the gym that I go to, and she is always smiling, and it catches on to others. Every time I walk past and she’s there, she manages to make mornings seem like a cheerful thing (at least to some people) lol.

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    • I’ll shoot our gym receptionist if she dares to be perky and upbeat when I arrive at 5′ o clock in the morning. No one is suppose to be that cheerful, at that time of the morning.

      OK, I’m kidding, I won’t shoot her, I’ll just throw my gym bag at her.

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  3. Very, very true Pieter! People will quite happily go to hell if you tell them to do it with a smile on your face. And it doesn’t only go for face-to-face contact, even when speaking to someone over the telephone, even if it is a stranger, you can HEAR when they’ve a smile on their face!

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  4. You’re right! I think a smile is more infectious than a zombie virus…so this world might not be half bad if you want it to be…or maybe I’m just saying that because your post ‘turned’ me into one of those shiny happy people!

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I won't bite, I promise...

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