Why You Should Smile At Strangers
Start writing a post

Why You Should Smile At Strangers

“It might be the only sunshine they see all day.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Why You Should Smile At Strangers
Alice Yoo

A pleased, kind, or amused look created by a curl of the lips and just 17 muscles. A smile. It is an extremely uncomplicated gesture that can mean so much.

Smiling seems like such an easy, automatic action that we do, yet so often people seem to go through life without one on their face. People are always so busy running from one thing to the next that they forget to do this simple task, but when you slow down for just a minute, you'll realize there are so many reasons why we need to remember to smile at strangers daily.

1. A simple smile can turn someone’s day around.

You never know what a person may be going through. They may have just failed an exam, gotten their heart broken, or missed the bus to work. Just a quick smile from a stranger may be the thing they need to make their day better and remind them that not everything is bad. Many people have admitted that on a day where they thought things could never get better and were contemplating harming themselves, a complete stranger smiled at them and changed their decision. You never know when you might be the one to save a person’s life.

2. Merely acknowledging a stranger through a smile is uplifting.

You provide them a sense of being connected rather than being deliberately ignored or unnoticed. Most people these days constantly have their head buried in their phone. Flashing a smile at a stranger as you walk by can refresh them because it shows that not everyone is engulfed in their phones and unaware of the world around them. It is comforting to them to know that there is still a sense of compassion and care others have that can easily be conveyed through a smile.

3. Smiling is one of the easiest ways to spread positivity.

With all the negatives happening in the world today, showing a small act of kindness is so important. It's disheartening to constantly see all the terrible news when you turn on the television, open up the Internet, or read the newspaper. Spreading positivity through a smile is one of the best ways we can make our world seem a little better. Although there are so many evils around us, smiling at a stranger will remind them of the good in others in the world and provides hope for the future.

4. You might spark conversation or create a new friendship.

A smiling person seems more approachable and charming to others. When you smile at a stranger, it can invoke them to say a simple "Hello," "How are you?" or "What are you up to?" Although this might not lead to an extremely in-depth conversation, you may see them another day and talk again, or you might find them on social media and continue conversations to build a relationship.

5. They just might smile back at you.

Smiling is contagious. At first, they might be taken aback by a stranger smiling at them, but half of them will return a smile. You'll feel good about yourself and get a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction for making someone happy, even if it is only for a split second. The exchange of smiles will help relieve a little stress, boost self-esteem, and lengthen the lives of both people.

A smile is so simple, yet so powerful. This single act of kindness can do a lot for just one person. So smile hard and do it often. Next time you are on your way to class, walking through the grocery store, or sitting on a bench in the park, smile at the strangers who pass by because you never know what the outcome of that one gesture could be.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments