Recently, I attended a social event and had the opportunity to meet and talk to a really nice woman. We ate and had a delightful discussion during the course of a murder mystery play.
One of the things she mentioned was that she was a divorcee and I asked her if she wanted to remarry. She answered that she did but the dating game was difficult and it seemed that men in their forties preferred much younger women. So, I asked her “what action do you take when you see a man that you may want to know better?” Her answer was “nothing” and that she wasn’t very good at flirting.
I asked her did she ever consider just smiling at him. She told me no and that she would feel very uncomfortable doing so. So, I surmised that she hopes to meet someone with psychic capabilities. I find that most women are waiting on that same type of man.
Culturally, women have been taught to not be assertive in pursuing their desires and dreams. We are told to play the “waiting” game, to “hope” to be the chosen one and all the while someone wonderful may be a smile away.
When I was in college, a girlfriend and I went to the university library to study. Now, I was dressed in some jeans, a tee-shirt, a ponytail, no makeup, and sandals. My girlfriend was dressed as always……well-coordinated and appearing like a magazine model.
When we sat down at our study table, I noticed a good-looking guy sitting at another table but facing me. Since I was already in a relationship, I told my girlfriend to switch seats with me so that she would be facing him and maybe get his attention. I told her to smile but she did not.
So, we sat there studying, 2-3 hours passed, and I really forgot about the guy sitting there. Suddenly, my girlfriend looked up behind me and the guy walked by our table. He slid an index card on our table to me and it said “You have a beautiful smile. Please call me” and his phone number was on the card. I laughed. He had only seen my face for about 5 minutes but had faced her unsmiling one for 3 hours. It proved my theory.
Another time, I was on a business trip in Chicago. I entered an elevator on the 15th floor of my hotel and there was a man on it that would have put a young Denzel Washington on the backseat in a “most handsome” contest. I smiled at him. By the time we made it to the 1st floor he had told me everything about himself that a single woman would need to know to make sure a man was available.
I don’t think they are more powerful than any other person’s but my smiles have brought some interesting people, lifelong friends, and wondrous adventures into my life.
Here is something I wrote about it as a writing exercise once. I think it adequately sums up my thoughts on the power of a simple smile.
“Be the first to smile” has always been something I tried to incorporate in my interaction with people. An uninvited smile can generate lots of positive forces in one’s life. It can incite curiosity, spark interest, create more smiles, or cause a positive action and/or thought within a total stranger.
There is truth to that old saying that a smile is like honey. But, why is it that so many of us find it hard to smile “just because”? Why do we use it as a response instead of an overt action?
A genuine smile from the heart can radiate beauty from anyone. It is a gift that costs nothing but gains only positive rewards. We should all put aside our reserve for one day and be the first to smile. See what happens. Make a list of the positive things that unfold.
- If you are single, do you think you have enough confidence to “be the first to smile” at a person that attracts you? If not, why? Do you consider it flirting?