Why You Should Smile At Strangers
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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.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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