Ever wondered what a smile could bring you?
Ever been in a situation where you walk into a room, and you don’t know a soul? And you instantly have that uncomfortable feeling, you look around and try to find an exit strategy, not making eye contact with anyone.
Sometimes you wonder why you walked in the door at all? Other times you take a deep breath, head to the nearest catering facility, be it coffee or a bar and hide by looking busy at your next consumption of fluid. This appears to be an entirely reasonable activity to do when you are in a place where you feel uncomfortable.
These last few weeks, I have had to attend several events where I do not know anyone, and I decided I would do an experiment.
I decided that instead of hiding and heading to the nearest catering table, I would stand a the door walk in with my head held high and smile at people.
You would be amazed at the response I have received.
I have met more interesting people than I ever thought possible. I have felt more confident and positive in an uncomfortable situation, and an even better outcome for me us – I have felt happy doing it!
With such a positive response, I decided that I would continue on my experiment in everyday life. I would smile at every single person who walked by, no matter where I was, how I was feeling or what my personal situation was. No matter what. I would smile.
Again, I have met the most beautiful people and had the most interesting conversations!
Not only have I had the opportunity of meeting new people, but I have also had the privilege of knowing that I have helped some of these people. An elderly lady who was buying Christmas decorations felt empowered to purchase something that she longed to always have but didn’t quite have the confidence to pursue her dream. A man feeling isolated, felt seen and heard.
I’ve discussed, families, travel, recipes, restaurants to go to, countries to visit, Christmas decorations, anxiety and mental health, climate change, politics, our medical system and where to go from here, joy and wonder of grandchildren and everything in between. Not only has it lit up my life, but also the complete strangers I have met along the way. Including some whom I am sure I will meet again and become a dear friend.
On top of feeling like I am adding some small thing to society, a positive aspect in some small way. But I am also contributing to myself. My own thoughts and idea’s have been challenged in new ways. And through these conversations, I have grown. Something that should never be taken for granted.
My experiences from my experiment have left me feeling more confident and happy. Maybe it is time you tried it as an experiment of your own. Decide to take a plunge and make a tiny gesture of a smile.
It costs nothing. No time, no money, only some small muscle movement in your face. You don’t’ need to take extra time our of your day to do it. You don’t need to do anything, but smile.
Try it, and see where it takes you. You just never know who you will meet, and what a difference you will make to someone else’s life and your own.