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Monday, August 3, 2015


In Seth McFarlane's award winning movie, A Million Ways to Die the West, there's a rumor of a man (from Texas) who actually smiled for a photograph. Sobriety defined decorum in the Old West, apparently. Otherwise, you just might appear a lunatic. Imagine being skeptical of a smiler for the camera! In this age of photo bombs and selfies! Certainly, how good for times to have changed, allowing for folly and joy.

I've been thinking about the topic of smiling a lot lately. It began when I met a group of my mother's friends the other day and was struck by one lady in particular. She wore one of those smiles that made you melt inside and I immediately felt special to know her. All of the ladies were friendly, but her inviting smile was like a soulful, unspoken welcoming. I can attest she made my whole day brighter.

Research shows a smile can activate endorphins within the giver and the receiver. Yeah, I just made that up. But doesn't it seem right? No matter, who could deny the warm fuzzy when someone, anyone, presents you a sincere happy face? It feels like eating ice cream, without the calories.

One day a coworker and I were talking about giving presentations to groups. As bankers, we often have to give information on some pretty dry topics. We do our best to keep the audience engaged. But it doesn't always work, no matter how dazzling deposit compliance or human resources can be. I do become amused, of course, by the sleepers. They have mastered sleep with open eyes. Then there are the scowlers–the "I don't care what you are saying and I don't care what you are telling me" people. Or at least that's what their expressions insinuate. My coworker has given them the benefit of the doubt. She doesn't believe they actually think those things, but has diagnosed them with "resting bitch face."

Resting Bitch Face |restingbichfās|
A crabby facial expression, projected by an unsuspecting person or non-expressive animal. 
Hmm. One of these needs a smiling lesson...

But there is always that tiny group of smiling nodders. You know the type. You love them! You can't take your eyes off them...because you know they're rooting for you!

A nodding smiler. That's who I want to be. It's who I want my kids to be. The type of person who will always root for you.

Award-winning Smiles

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