TIP 6: Don’t Smile.

Smiling causes wrinkles—can I collect workers’ comp for this?

Negative Ned Says…

Ned with Tongue Out

“You want me to smile? I’ll smile when I win the lottery. You see anything to smile about around here? This is the face I make when nothing is going right and I don’t have any reason to think it’s going to get any better. Now, you want to buy this or not?”

Positive Paul Says…

Positive Paul

“The verdict is in: Smiling makes you appear friendly. And friendliness makes people feel welcome. Case closed.

Smiling makes the customer feel good, but there are benefits to you, too. Smiling promotes a positive attitude. It also makes you look younger and more attractive, makes you appear understanding and polite. It also feels good to smile.

It is understandable that you may not feel like smiling every second of every day. When you don’t, try the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ strategy. ‘Simply using the same muscles as smiling will put you in a happier mood,’ explains Dr. Michael Lewis, a psychologist at Cardiff University. ‘A smiling expression feeds back into how we experience mood, therefore making us feel happier or a joke seem funnier.’”

A Real World Example

A 2002 study in Sweden confirmed what our grandmas told us: “People respond in kind to the facial expressions they encounter.” Like attitude, facial expressions are contagious.

A participant from one of my seminars decided to try this theory on random individuals. She made a point of smiling and saying “hello” to everyone she met on the street. She found that even though some people avoided eye contact with her, most returned her smile and friendly “hello.” Some even commented on how nice her hair was. Now, that’s worth a smile, isn’t it?

Have you ever been going about your day, not thinking about anything, and then encountered someone with a huge smile? A while back, a friend of mine pulled up to a tollbooth, not thinking of anything in particular. Tollbooth attendants often look unhappy with their jobs and rarely make small talk. This day, however, my friend had a different experience. When she drove up, the operator had his back turned to her. After he turned and saw her, his eyebrows went up, and he gave a huge smile and said, “Oh, hi, it’s you!”

My friend was slightly startled. She looked down at the steering wheel, and then she smiled back and said, “Gosh, you’re in a good mood today.”

He replied, “I’m just happy because every day I get to meet friendly people like you!”

As my friend drove away, still smiling, she realized that friendliness is contagious.

If this shift in attitude can happen within seconds between complete strangers, imagine what would happen if you tried this with your customers! How do you feel when you are the customer and your Service Rep does not smile? Do you feel important? Do you feel the need to be friendly? I’d bet not.

Moral to the story: Warning! Smiling at strangers may cause them to compliment you on your hair.

Strategies to Turn This Around

Smile and be friendly.

  1. Just do it!
  2. If you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway. Most of the time, when you fake it, you make it!


Remember: Smiling is contagious!

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”

— Chinese Proverb

© 2012 by Barbara Khozam Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this message may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the publisher.

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