For those of you not familiar with the term RBF, it stands for “Resting Bitch Face.” And has recently become all the rage. Interestingly, though, the direction that your lips curl on your face has a lot to do with the direction and patterns of one’s life.
I am sure some people pop into your mind who may appear to be “refusers of fun” because they appear so serious all the time. Maybe you don’t even know what their teeth look like. The question is, are we inclined to be around these people often? Or do we tend to keep our distance? Life is short, we want to enjoy it, right?
Here are a few simple truths about the impact of smiling…or not smiling.
Smiling shows confidence.
I’ve known several people in life who don’t smile. Some willingly, some not realizing it at all. Some utterly refuse to smile in pictures as if an image of your smiling face gives off an appearance of weakness. It’s quite the opposite truly. There is nothing that says, “I am confident in who I am.” more than a huge grin on one’s face.
Smiling attracts others.
Have you seen the “Debbie Downer” Saturday Night Live skit? Sure, this may be an extreme example because she is being so negative in the midst of her bubbly friends, but people who don’t smile are generally avoided.
I work in a busy environment with tons of customers coming and going. It is not uncommon to see a customer who needs help, intentionally walk past several employees who might be available, all because they didn’t make eye contact or appear friendly. The customer is generally walking with a purpose and scanning the room. Then when they catch an employee who makes eye contact with them and greets them with a smile, they make a direct approach to that team member. It’s like magic.
Smiling creates a subconscious human connection.
The truth is, smiling is everything. It makes all the difference in interactions. People generally don’t want to be rude to another smiling individual. Smiling creates this subconscious human connection. A reminder that we are all here for the same thing. It unifies us.
Smiling is a choice.
RBF has almost become this excuse to refuse to initiate a smile. We are all capable. I see people I know who claim to have RBF, smile just fine. So I know they know how. They are not broken. They just choose not to. Smiling isn’t difficult. It’s a choice. And one doesn’t have to be happy to smile, actually, smiling and receiving smiley replies, can stimulate internal happiness.
Smiling breaks barriers.
A few years back I used to do tech support. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the best technician. I didn’t have any technical expertise or prior technical experience. Prior to this job, I hadn’t tinkered much deeper than running software updates on my computer. But for some reason I excelled and people felt I was great at my job. Soon they asked me to facilitate trainings to help newer technicians. My philosophy was simple, “Anyone can learn how to turn a screw. You are all capable of reading a manual and following directions. The important part is showing the customer that you care. I have a secret weapon… It’s a smile.” It was cheesy, but it was the truth. A smile instantly broke down barriers between the frustrated customer and myself. It sent an instantaneous message of, “I am on your side.”
A smile creates an invisible bond. It creates loyalty. It’s what causes a customer to return to you with a smile, even though their technical issue hadn’t been resolved. It’s what will cause people to come to you for life advice because they know and feel that you care about them. But it has to be genuine. Not manipulative. You actually have to care about the person you are showing that smile to. It will work wonders. It will calm the angry. It will soften the bitter. It will bring life to the broken. Consequently, it will also happen to bring you success. People like being around kind and happy people.
Whether you like people or not, smiling should make your human interactions a much more positive experience.
Smiling can bring your life overwhelmingly positive results.
In “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie tells a story of a man who was not living a happy life. This man was tasked with a very simple assignment, but he had to commit to consistency in order for it to be effective. He was asked to smile more. A lot more. To be intentional about it. So he did. Soon, his marriage improved. His work life improved. He made more friends who invited him out. Later, he was told by people he knew, they thought he was mean because he never smiled. After this experience, he shared how he would never go back to not smiling because this simple change had such a tremendous impact on his life.
All because he curls his lips upward more often.
Here’s a challenge. Try smiling more. REALLY smiling. Do it for a week, straight. See what happens. See if people want to be around you more. See if people at work enjoy working with you more. See if your job becomes a little bit easier. See if your friends and family ask you to be around more often. I am sure you are capable. It’s your choice.
Do you have a similar experience of making a positive, smiley change, in your life? Do you have RBF, and somebody helped you realize you didn’t have to? Have you ditched the frown and seen more success in your life because of it? Share your own story below, in the comments.