Smile at somebody and watch what happens!

Chances are they smile back.  People tend to mirror behavior and smiling is the quickest way to establish instant rapport.  (And it’s free!)  Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.  When people look cross or sad and carry that message on their face, it tends to put people off.  This is obvious, right?  Sometimes I am not so sure by the sour puss look people choose to put on their faces.

So smile at somebody and watch what happens!

In 1971, UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian published a book, Silent Messages, in which he discussed his research on non-verbal communication.  This became known as the 7%-38%-55% Rule.  He theorized that communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal.  The non-verbal component was made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent.).

 While some disagree with Mehrabian’s findings and claim that they are often misused, it remains a basic framework for examining just how much human communication is non-verbal. For discussions’ sake, if 55% is body language and 38% tone of voice, it stands to reason that a pleasant smile and a sincere, “Hello”, have a greater than 9 in 10 chance of hitting their mark.


If You’re Happy and You Know It, Tell Your Face

According to recent NIH studies, smiling helps reduce stress of mind and body, almost similar to getting good sleep.  Smiling also helps to generate more positive emotions within you.  That’s why we often feel happier around children – they smile more.  On average, children smile 400 times a day.  Happy adults smile an average of 40-50 times a day.  The average adult smiles only 20 times a day (and who wants to be average?).

 Here are some quotations from famous people who agree, if you’re happy and you know it- tell your face.

 “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”  (Mother Teresa)

 “Smile in the mirror every morning and you'll start to see a big difference in your life.” (Yoko Ono)

 “When I look out at the people and they look at me and they're smiling, then I know that I'm loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems.” (Etta James)

 “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.” (Maya Angelou)

 “You'll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” (Charlie Chaplin)

 “Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.” (Greta Garbo)

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” (Leo Buscaglia)