I love the United States. It's a great country and I've been blessed with great educational and job opportunities among other things. One thing I do not agree with though is the hyper-agreeable social behavior that goes on here.
Other countries do not push the customer service smiles and greetings as hard as the US does. It's nice that everyone is so courteous while working, but there are consequences. The loss of genuine human interaction is one of them.
The higher you go in corporate office positions the more you see this, but I've started to see it everywhere really. You are talking with someone and they are smiling and nodding their head and laughing at your jokes and making eye contact and giving you a firm handshake AND their full undivided attention… at ALL TIMES. ALL TIMES. That is absurd! I am coming in contact with more and more people that never have a negative word to say and are always happy.
My personality puts great emphasis on traits like integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, the list goes on. This robot-like "positive" behavior really throws me off. It's dishonest. I know that you aren't actually 100% happy all the time, yet every time I see your face there is a huge corporate manufactured smile on it. If you are not experiencing any negative emotion whatsoever, then you might be a psychopath, and that is a whole other thing that might need to be addressed…
People want interactions that are real and honest. They don't want to have conversations that feel staged and manipulated. We all have our intuition, our gut feeling. We can tell when things do not feel natural. I don't think people realize that. WHEN YOUR SMILE AND LAUGH IS FAKE, PEOPLE CATCH ON.
The fake laughs especially stand out when you have heard someone's real laugh before. All of these modified behaviors that have been ingrained into people are hurting them more than helping. A genuine, honest person has a sort of magnetic pull to them (as long as they aren't honest to the point of being hurtful.) They provide a feeling of security because you can trust them.
When someone is covering everything up with smiles and laughs and not actually getting anywhere it pushes people away. It's like putting fake grapes on the table as decoration. It looks nice for a minute but then people catch on real fast.
If people moved towards a more honest approach, communication would be much more effective. Friendships and relationships would be more meaningful. You could actually know who your coworkers are and what they think, instead of hearing constant positivity and forced laughter.I challenge everyone to be a little more open and a little bit more themselves to the people around them this week. Watch what people's reactions are. If you're real and actually tell people about what is going on instead of sugarcoating it, they'll respect you for it.