5 Tips To Make Your Smile Magically Different
A smile can say volumes about a person and also give others insight into his or her personality. Knowing how to say the right things with your smile can mean the difference between a standard and a memorable impact on others around you. Depending on where you are and what you are doing, a different smile can be appropriate or awkward. Learning how to cultivate the proper smile or smiles will give you an advantage in all your encounters, whether they are personal or for business.
Use Your Eyes
A smile, of course, originates from the mouth. Regardless of the type of smile you have, you must also engage your eyes to give the impression of sincerity. When smiling the eyes often squint slightly. Eyes that stay wide during a laugh appear insincere. Smiles that only use the mouth simply have less weight to their impact on the person receiving it. Whether your personal smile is smaller or larger, whether or not accompanied by a laugh, chuckle, or no sound at all, remember to use your eyes as well as your mouth to give it the full impact.
The Abrupt Smile
If you are in the service sector, be it as a hostess, waiter, house cleaner, or desk clerk, an immediate and exaggerated smile can be your best choice. Using a large and excited smile shows those who you may be serving or assisting that you are excited and prepared to help them in all their endeavors. The abrupt smile can help put a customer or patron immediately at ease. Showing a smile tells the person that you are inviting and it tells the person you enjoy their company, and so to brandish a smile the moment you have an opportunity to gives a first impression that lets the person know that they are in a welcoming and caring environment. For an abrupt smile, making your grin very large, your eyes bright (almost as if surprised) and sustaining it somewhat throughout the conversation allows you to sustain this positive interaction. This abrupt style of smiling may not work well, however, for business meetings or formal engagements, for reasons we will delve into in the following paragraphs.
The Slow-Tide Smile
For those of us that are not in the service industry, first impressions can be much trickier. We will often need to establish power and confidence while simultaneously not seeming cold and uncaring. In order to formulate a smile that can garner a positive impression, it is important that we cultivate a proper and sincere smile. Using an abrupt smile may not be the best strategy as in a power or business setting it may appear insincere or a front. Instead, utilizing a “slow-tide” smile can help bring across the sincerity of friendliness you wish to impart, without making you look like you are simply “putting on a face.” Avoid giving a large smile immediately during your first encounter. Allow your smile to grow as you begin to interact with the other person, and only when the smile is applicable to the situation. Think of your smile as a treat or a candy. It should be something that is almost a present for the other person. Giving too much of your smile can be like eating too many sweets for the other person and they may not give it as much meaning as they should. It is hard to trust someone’s sincerity when he or she is smiling all the time. As your smile builds on your face it gives the person receiving it that the smile is for them.
Smile ‘AT’ the Person
When smiling, make sure you do not look like you are smiling at nothing, or at some thought you are currently having. Instead, make sure that your smile is directed to the person. Whether you have an abrupt smile or a slow-tide smile, make sure that you make eye contact with the other person first. Eye contact creates a connection. If you begin smiling before you make eye contact with the person, then you run the risk of them believing the smile is for something or someone else. Once you have made eye contact and your smile begins to grow, they can understand that the smile is for them and nothing else. This is an important aspect to the smile, as it is a subtle sign of friendship, kinship, or general comradery. If the person feels they are the cause of the smile, they are more apt to be pleasant and gracious to you.
Not Too Quick, Not Too Slow
The timing of a smile can be just as important as the type of smile you use or how you use it. Depending on the situation you are dealing with, a smile may not best serve you as a sustained event. Other times, not smiling long enough can seem awkward or mechanical. In a service setting or personal setting, it is more appropriate to sustain a smile for a longer period of time. In both instances, smiling is a sign of comfort and friendship, and so holding a smile through a story or conversation can be useful. In a business setting, however, a slow-tide smile must end much quicker than it arrives. The reason is that smiling can be seen as being distracted and so smiling too long will be noted as being distracted with previous events instead of staying in the moment. It is not that power business is no place for smiles, but they should be only occasional and fleeting.
No matter what situation you are in, a smile can say a lot about whom you are and where you stand. Allow your smile to be full, bright, and appropriate for the situation. If you can find the right smile, it can make a work of difference to you making the proper impression.
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