Social Awareness

Just How Powerful Are Smiles?

Smiling is powerful and contagious. Here are 3 reasons why we should all carry a jar of smiles to share with the world:

  • Your smile affects your emotions. You actually feel happy when you smile and angry when you frown (1). Instead of smiling only when you are happy,  try smiling to be happy.
  • Smiles can influence whether you are considered trustworthy or not, and just how trustworthy you are thought of is dependent on culture (2).
  • Smiling increases your social-network ties and your ability to connect through the spread of goodness. In fact, like a chain reaction, we are able to spread happiness, generosity and love through our networks to friends and friends of friends –up to three degrees of separation, affecting people we have never come into contact with (3).

Have you noticed how contagious a smile is?  How has a smile made a difference in your day?

Text and Image: Mithzay Pomenta

(1) Laird, James D. (1974) Self-attribution of emotion: The effects of expressive behavior on the quality of emotional experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 29(4). 475-486.

(2) Hiroki Ozono, Motoki Watabe, Sakiko Yoshikawa, Satoshi Nakashima, Nicholas O. Rule, Nalini Ambady, Reginald B. Adams, Jr (2010) What’s in a Smile? Cultural Differences in The effects of smiling on Judgments of Trustworthiness. Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science, Vol 1(1). ISSN 1884-927X.

(3) Christakis, Nicholas A. and James H. Fowler (2009) Connected: the surprising power of our Social Networks and how they shape our lives – How your friends’ friends’ friends affect everything you feel, think and do. Little Brown and Company, New York.