“Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn.” (Unknown). I saw that little saying on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently. It certainly makes sense. Have you met people who always have a frown on their faces? Speaker of the House, John Boehner, immediately comes to mind. Boehner always looks pained and unhappy, like his underwear are riding up in a permanent wedgie. I can’t recall more than one time seeing him look happy in news coverage.
I do know some people whose normal mien is a down turned mouth. At best, with a full smile on their face heir mouths may reach a neutral position. You kind of get used to looking for other facial clues with them – a twinkle in the eye, for example. Most people actually have “at rest” facial expressions that might initially be taken the wrong way. I know that I do. When the face is completely relaxed, it does tend to droop a bit and the lips turn down. One has to work at it a bit to appear to be happy, with a smile. I think that comes fairly naturally if you are happy. The completely at rest face is an outward sign of a somewhat blank mind, but for many that results in a look that can be too serious at best (I get that a lot) and angry at worst. The old saying, “he looks down in the mouth” might have been uttered about someone who really wasn’t sad or angry, but just looked that way to others.
So, the solution is to be cognizant of what your face looks like if it is in its normal rest position and make the effort to put a smile on it. It doesn’t have to be a big, idiotic smile; just enough so that people who meet you get the impression that you are happy or content or at least someone that they might what to get to know. Don’t be the guy or gal that others avoid because you look like you’re ready to bite someone’s head off.
It’s a much better start to a conversation if someone says, “you look happy, what’s the occasion?” than if they note, “you look mad about something, I hope it’s not something that I’ve done.” People are much more comfortable being curious about something good than inquiring about what appears to have you so upset. Co-workers and bosses also prefer to deal with people who seem to be in a happy frame of mind; as opposed to someone who looks like they are about to be fired.
Resolve every morning to make your day the way that your mouth curls and then make sure that it is curled up in a smile. Have a great day and a great rest of the week. It’s hump-day, which is something to smile about.