Smiles are infectious

A genuine smile is your contribution in the moment

Smiles are infectious. But the smile cannot be faked or forced. You can try to fake a smile, but people can tell when you don’t mean it. In fact, some studies show that if you give an insincere smile, audiences may perceive you as untrustworthy or hypocritical. Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness says there are essentially two types of smiles: the “Duchenne smile” and the “Pan American.”

A genuine smile
The Duchenne smile is the genuine smile, characterized by movement of the muscles around the mouth and also the eyes. You can tell a real smile by how the skin around the eyes wrinkles up a bit. The Pan American smile is the “fake” smile and involves voluntary movement around the mouth only. This is the polite smile you may see from someone in the service industry who is doing their best but not having a great day.  (Note: take this very interesting test on the BBC website. Can you spot the fake smiles?)

„I love smiles. That is a fact. How to develop smiles? There are a variety of smiles. Some smiles are sarcastic. Some smiles are artificial-diplomatic smiles. These smiles do not produce satisfaction, but rather fear or suspicion. But a genuine smile gives us hope, freshness. If we want a genuine smile, then first we must produce the basis for a smile to come.“     — Dalai Lama

We all can recognize an insincere smile. But a presenter or entertainer who actually looks like she is happy to be there—because she really is—is well on her way to engaging her audience naturally. A genuine smile shows that we are happy to be there. And since people in our audience can feel what we feel, why wouldn’t we want them to feel at ease?

Quelle: Garr Reynolds Blog

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