Quote of the Week

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.

– Don DeLillo

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Stop Telling Me To Smile (I’m talking to you too, ladies)

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“Couple chatting over coffee” Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Listen, I get it. When someone doesn’t smile or laugh at your oh-so-amazing joke it devastates you. When someone doesn’t smile 24/7 it also devastates you. But that’s kinda on you.

I am not a smiler. Not because of some hateful bias but because I’m just not a smiler. Unless I know and like you that is. I smile tons when I’m with my friends, watching TV or listening to music, and not at all with strangers.

My bias, if anything, is closeness. If I’m not close to you, I naturally stay stiff. The only time this isn’t true is if I’m in an unusually good mood. This isn’t because you aren’t interesting or whatever.

Seriously, not everyone has to smile all the time. My advice is to stay calm and not give a fuck. Because when you don’t give a fuck you start acting more like yourself and stop caring.

I have laughing fits sometimes that are prompted by memories (because I was spacing out) or random nonsense. I laughed for like 10 minutes because a friend and I spotted like 20 trucks and buses in a row. I’m not kidding.

And this is where not caring comes in. That friend and I were not as close as we are now but instead of worrying about looking crazy I just let it out. Turns out she thought it was pretty funny too and a week later when we saw a truck we both cracked up.

So unless you want a smile like this:

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“Scary clown face” Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash

I suggest relaxing. Trust me, just because someone isn’t smiling back doesn’t mean they’re angry or dislike you. How can you tell? Listen to them when they talk.

If they ask a lot of questions about a topic you showed a bit of interest in — they like you.

Are they playing hit-and-miss to try and get you to open up? They like you.

Are they okay with sharing semi or completely personal stories? They like you.

Or, at the very least, they aren’t turned off by you. A smile does not mean the same for everyone. There are polite smiles, angry smiles, condescending smiles, and genuine smiles.

Do not judge yourself based on how many smiles you get but on how engaged the other person was.