I was training last week and the manager had said that. As simple as it was, it made me think because how many of us smile on a daily basis with that thought in mind? Whenever I’m out, I feel like my smile is more of a form of surrender or kind of like a mini invitation. I smile more now because I used to keep this grim look on my face knowing that if I did, no one would talk to me and that was kind of what I wanted back then. In a sense, smiling was an indication that my guard was down and that I was available to say ‘hi’ to or start conversation.
Never in my life have I heard someone inadvertantly descibe a smile as being a stregnth. Technically I’ve never thought of it that way because a smile doesn’t necessarily scream ‘stregnth’ in certain situations. Sometimes we smile to seem less intimidating. Intimidation felt by others is often felt because we think someone is stronger than us, so naturally they’re smiling to seem less of that, or to kind of have a very basic facial expression to relate to. If I see someone intimidating smile at me, I naturally feel at ease because I realize they’re not going to kill me with their words or arms. This makes me want to smile back because they’ve momentarily come to my level by giving me the most basic form of kindness.
Also, because smiling is such a basic act with so much power, it could be used as a weapon rather than a white flag. If someone’s trying to piss you off and you smile the entire time, it’s a really good way to piss them off instead. Their goal was to piss you off and you blasted that smile like one million pocahontas arrows, and they’re emotionally bleeding outwardly and internally now. All the result of you smiling. . . .I’ve come encounter with many people that have been sad at times, and me smiling at them (they said this, not me, I’m not that full of myself. . .) made their day better.
In both ways, a smile can be a weakness and a stregnth, I guess. Although, thinking of it as a stregnth is new to me, I feel like I might think that way more often. After I heard that statement though, it made me think about what a smile can really do, rather than being a sheer visual for vulnerability or surrender. It can be way more than that.