Smile… it’s contagious

Closeup funny woman in summer hat smiling and show teeth through a magnifying glass

Walking down the road I saw the woman passing me giving me what I thought was a dirty look. I pulled the face back without actually knowing why.

Closeup funny woman in summer hat smiling and show teeth through a magnifying glassHow rude, I thought, I don’t even know her and she’s giving me ‘that look’. But then I stopped and thought to myself: is she looking at me because she’s judging me or is she just reacting to the face I pulled?

It made me wonder how I come across to people just by my body language and facial expressions. And why do women think other people are thinking bad things about them?

We think things like: “What’s her problem, looking at me like that?” But perhaps they are just doing it because they think you did it first. Why are we competing against each other, putting each other down like this?

Judging someone purely on that five-second period and presuming we know what they’re thinking is a dangerous game.

Instead, what if we said to ourselves, no, I am not going to jump to conclusions. In fact, I’m going to do the opposite.

Which is exactly what I did.

Paying it forward…

The next day I saw another woman look at me in my car as she was crossing. She had a serious face, but instead of mirroring her I smiled and automatically got a completely different reaction. She gave me a big smile and put her hand up to say thank you. It felt great.

Many of us, me included, think people always see the worst in us. But I bet if we actually spoke to them our opinion would change completely. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve seen someone a couple of times and presume all these things about them, but when you meet them properly you realise they are completely different?

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You find yourself saying “Oh they are really nice actually” or “They’re not what I thought actually.” The word ‘actually’ just shows we were so quick to presume.

Now, if you’re like me and have a serious-looking face when you are concentrating or walking down the street then it may give the wrong message to people. But really, I want people’s perception of me to be “She looks like a happy person” or “She looks friendly”.

So next time you see someone just give them a smile. You will be surprised how many people smile back. Smiling can be contagious. Once you start doing it, more people will react positively to it and start doing it to others.

Also, you may not realise how much it may impact someone for the better. They might have had really rubbish day and you may be the one that, even if just for a split second, made them forget it just by showing a kind gesture.

As woman we should be cheering each other on, being positive about each other. So instead of thinking negatively, let’s start complimenting and motivating each other.

It’s amazing how much difference it can make when you are surrounded by positive people. So smile… it’s contagious.

Charlotte Gilbert

About Charlotte Gilbert

I'm that girl everyone relates to as the 'crazy blonde one'. My main aim is to inspire girls and women of all ages to feel confident in their own skin, making them realise how beautiful they are and how much potential they have. I want to put a smile on people's faces and to give them something inspiring but fun to read. I want to help women shine as an individual and to embrace who they are. I love volunteering and fundraising. People are my passion. I love to help others, it's so rewarding to see the difference you make.