In 1872 Charles Darwin said “The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.” Studies today support this. If you smile the tiniest smile, you will become a little happier. Smiling makes you happy! I try to smile a little more when I’m stressed, which is often. Sadly, many New Yorkers don’t practice this habit. I get it, you’re tired, over worked and under paid. You’re very sad. You have real problems, and I’m truly sorry. However, there is no way that so many people are miserable every day, all day. To quote the film “Peter Pan” #disneyclassic, “any happy little thought” has to enter their mind at least once throughout the 24 hours.
I was once told that my resting face is a “neurotic, worried face.” This bothered me for years. Then I realized I’d rather that than the mean resting bitch face. I would tell myself the looks I’m getting back from these people aren’t directed towards me. Yes, they’re usually not, but that doesn’t mean that angry looks can’t bother us. It’s upsetting. I’m smiling at you, there’s no need to look at me so coldly. A nod of a head, a slight grin would do.
The look of death from my fellow females used to bring me down. Then I realized, it’s the guys that really get me. If Stanley Kowalski is your muse, I suggest you get a new one. So many men look like they are saying, “Oh you think you have a chance with me?” My face acknowledging your existence is not a face of wanting you. Actually, I’m not at all attracted to you; I don’t want anything to do with you.
Yes, there’s a balance and a huge difference between the plastered, fake smile you see at an audition, and just returning a smile after accepting one. Oh believe me, I’m totally guilty of not smiling back at someone. Especially when I’m late, sad or over analyzing a text message; my mind is elsewhere. I usually catch my rudeness and run back to apologize and thank them for showing me kindness. Then, afterwards I feel so self-absorbed and stupid to actually believe that I, one ordinary person could affect their day. After many eye rolls and “go f yourself” looks, I’d lay in bed feeling sexist and paranoid. This isn’t in my head. Why are so many people making horrible faces at me when I look at them? Is God punishing me? #catholicguilt. Do I look like a member of Isis/Isol whatever the hell those jag-offs are going by?
Sure it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and look out for danger. However, I think it’s equally as important to show a little bit of respect. Perhaps, open the door for the person with the baby carriage. Help someone who has fallen. Don’t push an innocent child out of your way because you’re in a hurry. If you have to move past an annoying slow walker say “excuse me. “ These are just little tactics that would bring some positivity and love into this universe. If you think about it, people are much safer walking down a crowded street in Midtown , than being alone in a Target parking lot. Do you not watch Dateline? So why not once in a while acknowledge humanity.