Posted by Meg Bear on July 2, 2009
Well, to be more clear, I got this feedback years ago from my husband, but of course, I ignored it, as often happens, with personal feedback from family members.
To be fair, his suggestion was don’t frown so much, which somehow sounded critical where the coach said, you have a great smile, you should smile more which somehow sounded enlightening. Note to self — coaching works better with positive spin.
In general, I’m a pretty happy person, so it was a bit of a shock to hear that I do so much frowning. The truth is, I’m in my head a lot and when I do that my facial expression is a bit dour. The other bi-product of being in my head, is that I walk around a lot not noticing people around me.
For the last year, I have focused on two primary things — looking people in the eye and smiling at them.
Today, I noticed that people regularly smile at me unprompted. It really was a great feeling to know that people naturally expected I would smile at them and occasionally beat me to it.
I decided to congratulate myself on this publicly, to give others a chance to consider if they might be perceived better by trying to smile more.
One interesting benefit, is that when you make a conscious decision to smile, you often tip the scales from a normal day to a happy one, and since happiness is contagious there is a follow on effect that benefits everyone. So you see I really wasn’t taking this goal on for me, I was doing it for you.
Now how is that for positive spin?