A smile is not just a show of comfort. Psychological research has revealed 10 reasons for using it in their own interests.
People always smile, especially when they are not alone, but this does not always mean that they are happy. We use a smile for social purposes because it sends signals that can be useful to us.
We offer you to get acquainted with 10 options, when a smile can be a sign of your reliability, attractiveness, sociability, etc.
1. A smile inspires confidence
In a world where everyone is on their own, who do we trust? That’s right – those who smile. They send us a signal that we can rely on them and deal with them. It is believed that such people are happy to share whatever it is with others, and according to financiers, also cause generosity.
According to a study by economist Jorn Scharlemann, a smile increases trust by 10%. For example, when they see a photo of a smiling partner, people are more willing to enter into financial transactions.
2. Makes up for our mistakes
Forgot to buy a gift for the anniversary of meeting a loved one? Did the name of an important client or partner fly out of your head? Accidentally stepped on the foot of a small child? As a rule, in such situations, we smile awkwardly, lower our eyes. This reaction on our part evokes in others a sense of camaraderie, which helps them more easily forgive our small mistakes (and sometimes serious misconduct).
3. We feel better
Sometimes a smile is a sign of politeness, and without showing it, we risk regretting it. For example, if your friend receives a discount coupon for a small amount and is very happy, you are unlikely to be able to fully share his feelings, but still smile, simply because it is polite.
Boston College specialist Marianne LaFrance conducted an experiment: she asked its participants to listen to other people’s good news with stony faces. As it turned out, such behavior causes discomfort: it makes people feel that they give the impression of those who do not know how to rejoice for others. By the way, women are more worried about this.
4. Forget about annoyances
In psychology, there is a so-called feedback hypothesis. Its essence is this: just as emotions affect our facial expressions, so do facial expressions affect our emotions. This means that sometimes just smiling is enough to lift your spirits. Although, as you know, a smile may not always be appropriate and correctly interpreted by others.
5. Get to the bottom of things
When we experience, we become less attentive, we see only what is happening right in front of us, and we notice ideas only in the center of our consciousness.
Smile. This will help you not only feel better but also be more attentive and think more holistically. It’s called seeing the forest, not the trees. According to the study, those participants who smiled before the test performed better on attention tasks.
6. We look attractive
A woman’s smile has a magical effect on members of the opposite sex. An experience by Debra G. Walsh and Jay Hewitt has shown that when a woman makes eye contact with a man, she is approached in 20% of cases. When she also smiles, she arouses interest in 60% of cases.
That is, a smile makes a woman in the eyes of men more attractive. But whether this rule works the other way around is a big question. According to some experts, the less a man smiles, the more courageous he seems. Sometimes women are more attracted not by a happy smile, but by an undisguised sense of pride or even shame.
7. Hides our thoughts
Sometimes with a smile, we try to hide our sad thoughts, happy mood, or something that we do not like the interlocutor and/or the topic of conversation.
Most psychologists are convinced that a sincere smile never lies. How to recognize it? It is believed that only the corners of the mouth are “involved” in the case of a fake, and the corners of the eyes are also involved in the case of a sincere one (although some studies question that it cannot be “forged”). Another sign of sincerity is if a person “blurs” in a smile, rather than “dressing” it instantly. In addition, a “slow” smile evokes more confidence and seems more attractive.
8. A smile helps to make money
The above-mentioned studies of economists, who estimated the smile at plus 10% to trust. But is it possible to feel its benefits in monetary terms? According to Kathi Tidd (Kathi Tidd) and Joan Lockard (Joan Lockard), so: back in 1978, they found that smiling waitresses leave more tips.
In general, the service sector (hotel business, restaurant, air transportation, entertainment) involves the manifestation of certain emotions when communicating with customers. Psychologists call this “emotional work.”
9. Causes a smile of the whole world
Everyone heard the saying, “Smile, and the whole world will smile with you. Cry – and you will cry in solitude. Obviously, “the whole world” is an exaggeration, but as the study of Verlin B. Hinsz and Judith A. Tomhave showed a quarter of a century ago, this phrase is not at all meaningless: 50% of the “subjects” answered with a smile. But almost no one frowned in response.
10. Extends life
If none of these studies make you smile, think about how it prolongs life. Here’s proof: In 1952, a baseball team was photographed. The smiling athletes in the photo outlived their comrades by an average of seven years. Isn’t that a reason to smile?