When you travel, what do you notice about the people in foreign countries? Maybe they dress differently, maybe they’re all taller than you… maybe it’s the way they greet people or the way they spend their free time that sets them apart.
One difference that stands out between American and French people is their SMILES! American people ALWAYS smile. Whether they’re sad, stressed, happy, busy, bored or confused, their “go to” expression is always the smile.
My grandmother and I were in Paris around New Years this year, and she said something that had never occurred to me before. My grandmother, a true New Yorker, explained to me that whenever she is in Paris, she consciously smiles less, because the French just don’t smile like Americans. Smiling at strangers is just not the custom in France like it is in America.
What is the power of a smile? Can just one smile change someone’s life? Can one smile be the difference between life and death? Who knows the value of a smile? Well, in this article from TIME Magazine, I discovered that scientists may have the answers to these questions…
According to the Scientists, “ …biases in the perception of emotional facial expressions play a causal role in subjective anger and aggressive behavior.”
And WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? … you might ask. Basically, their experiments have shown that seeing a smile can reduce violence and aggressive behavior. So, next time you’re walking down the street, you might give it a try. You never know if your smile will change a stranger’s mood from aggressive to calm. Bring a little happiness to your community, turn someone else’s frown upside-down!
“Put a smile on your face,
make the world a better place”
-Thanks Vitamin C!