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How do you respond when someone smiles at you?

reloaded

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I understand that it is probably polite to smile back. The thing is I always forget to smile. I just keep staring at the person. Rude, I know. I only start to remember that I am supposed to smile back when the person has long left. How should I cultivate a habit of smiling back? I don't want to seem like an oddball! Today, I forgot to smile at this girl... yeah, I have a crush on her. I'm still wondering if it should be part of my (late) new year resolutions to woo her. But I've never done that sort of thing before so I'm not so sure.
 

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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That makes sense. You're over analyzing the situation, and you're not feeling like you're even part of it. Merely an observer.

I like to smile at everyone because I'm just a happy person usually. Also it's sort of a lifehack I make myself do, because I know when I get a smile in return that it stimulates my brain in a positive way. Am I interested in starting a conversation with these random people? Not at all. Will I use them for my own sociological biology boosts? Yes.
 

Pyropyro

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You could nod in acknowledgement. Faked smiles are detectable, hard to make and creepy.
 

Happy

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I give a really creepy (but obviously not sincere) wink because it's never what people expect and they nearly always find it funny

;)
 

Creeping Death

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I give a really creepy (but obviously not sincere) wink because it's never what people expect and they nearly always find it funny

;)

I prefer this, but followed by a long dead serious stare, licking my lips a couple times and slowly clenching my fists. Then smile wide and follow them.

I usually have a permanent smile, this can put some in a humorous or playfully curious mood. Others can seriously react with hostility towards a smile, especially when the smile was poorly timed and it's just not their day. I've taken offence to smiles before, but probably for misunderstanding why they were smiling. Believe it or not, smiles can often be provoking.
 

peoplesuck

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look away and keep walking. my fake smiles look psycho
 

nanook

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Happens to me too. I smile alot in conversation, but in a complex physical situation i am too inside of my head to react to an unexpected face popping up in my visual field with some expression on it. I just feel an acknowledging openness around my eyes, which is probably invisible to the other person. There is nothing i could possibly do about that. It's just how i work. But its really bad. What would be needed would be a physical practice that changes my energy and brings me into the body, so i have faster reaction times, but that is just not realistically possible, as the effect of such practices is short lived.

Also sometimes i feel really stupid, when people (say at a grill party) pass me by and give me a really particular look and i don't know what they are trying to say with it. I am not generally stupid about reading people, but this is the one thing that leaves me dumbfounded. I know this is like a real relationship they try to open up with me but i don't get it. And i feel as inferior as a child to a parent, perhaps because a mother would give looks like that to a child or so i think. I feel patronized but am unsure if this is just paranoia or really happening. Are they just fucking with me? Like padding me on the back?

And i wonder if i have provoked these looks without knowing. Perhaps i look around in a sad searching manner and they just respond to it and i don't even get, that i started it???
 

reloaded

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Happens to me too. I smile alot in conversation, but in a complex physical situation i am too inside of my head to react to an unexpected face popping up in my visual field with some expression on it. I just feel an acknowledging openness around my eyes, which is probably invisible to the other person. There is nothing i could possibly do about that. It's just how i work. But its really bad. What would be needed would be a physical practice that changes my energy and brings me into the body, so i have faster reaction times, but that is just not realistically possible, as the effect of such practices is short lived.

Also sometimes i feel really stupid, when people (say at a grill party) pass me by and give me a really particular look and i don't know what they are trying to say with it. I am not generally stupid about reading people, but this is the one thing that leaves me dumbfounded. I know this is like a real relationship they try to open up with me but i don't get it. And i feel as inferior as a child to a parent, perhaps because a mother would give looks like that to a child or so i think. I feel patronized but am unsure if this is just paranoia or really happening. Are they just fucking with me? Like padding me on the back?

And i wonder if i have provoked these looks without knowing. Perhaps i look around in a sad searching manner and they just respond to it and i don't even get, that i started it???



Yes, and the thing is, when I smile, my lips don't curve up naturally. I didn't realize until I observed myself in front of the mirror. My lips just form a straight line. No wonder I do not get "normal" responses! I've tried practicing but I just can't smile naturally. In the end, I gave up.

Yeah, that's relatable. I do look around a lot as well. Sometimes I catch myself doing that and I try to stop! It's just a natural response to keep staring at people. I could be vaguely curious in what they're doing or just thinking of other things while looking around periodically (to avoid seeming like I'm daydreaming). I get those looks too. I have a feeling it could be that we seem like we're looking around helplessly, in search of someone to be friends with!
 

Niclmaki

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I usuallly just smile and wave back if they're far away. If they're closer I'll say, "Hi, X."

Simple stuff, eh?
 

redbaron

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Tell them to turn that smile upside down. Then when they frown tell them off for frowning instead of upside down smiling.
 
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Yeah, sometimes a smile can be hostile, a display of power, or of mockery, characteristics like having the teeth displayed, grinning/laughing, having relaxed eyebrows, and seemingly manipulative or judgmental eyes are expressed.

Then there's those who always smile due to inner tension, an inability to relax, a temporary display of submission (through an excessive display of friendliness), loss of control (like being caught in the moment, temporarily passive), a detachment from one's body creating facial muscular tension, rigid/tense in communication, likely hypersensitive (emotionally unpredictable), excessively excited types...

Then there's the benign, calm, and gentle smile, acting as a lubricant or relaxant to ease social communication, a non-threatening signal.
 

Jennywocky

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You could nod in acknowledgement. Faked smiles are detectable, hard to make and creepy.

Maybe you need more practice. ;)

... basically, it's got to source from inside and come out through your eyes, not just be slapped on the exterior face.

I've gotten kind of good at this. Inside, I can feel indifferent but somehow I found a way to tap into that well regardless of how I actually feel.

(Now that I have typed that, maybe that is something for me to find depressing...)
 

Pyropyro

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Maybe you need more practice. ;)

... basically, it's got to source from inside and come out through your eyes, not just be slapped on the exterior face.

I've gotten kind of good at this. Inside, I can feel indifferent but somehow I found a way to tap into that well regardless of how I actually feel.

(Now that I have typed that, maybe that is something for me to find depressing...)

Uh so like this?

 

Artsu Tharaz

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I... smile back. It's not something I generally need to remember, although if they smile when walking past I might not respond quickly enough.

redbaron said:
Tell them to turn that smile upside down. Then when they frown tell them off for frowning instead of upside down smiling.

Ah, the baron is back. 'Tis not long now before the return of your nemesis, the great Sinny91. :smoker:
 

Glaerhaidh

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I smile when I'm positively dispositioned towards that person and I'm actively following the situation, could happen without them smiling if they talk about something exciting or funny I might start smiling.

If it's a shopkeeper or someone similarly backgroundish I don't notice at all then I might subconsciously smile if I'm in a very alert mood, but I usually do my thing and forget I ever met or saw most of the people. If they were saying something and expect me to reply out of routine, then it's too bad, because then I ask them to repeat it and then focus on the situation I'm in by then. I'm generally polite, thank you / good day/bye when appropriate if they smile.
 

J-man

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Depending on your personality you can get away with just not smiling.

...and sometimes even not "get away with it" but you don't have to be ashamed.

That's what I do. Otherwise I give the fakest, most low effort smile you've ever seen and that does the trick. Seriously. I think those people are just looking for a kind of validation that you'll be sensitive toward them. Know what I mean? If you completely disregard social contracts they might get freaked out, maybe wondering what other kinds of rules you would break. But if you play along it's kind of a social buffer against breaking rules that actually matter.

By the way, is that Extraverted Feeling? Being mindful of others' feelings? I've read a lot about it but I still don't get what the fuck Fe really is.
 
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If it's a stranger, I'm pretty awful at this stuff. Awful/ slow coordination; by the time I register that theyre smiling at me and start to smile back, they're already looking away :( and then I wonder how they read the situation

With people i know, smiling back is more a natural reflex
 
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