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View Full Version : Do you ever smile at people in the store to see who smiles back?



MorrisonGal
09-03-2012, 01:23 AM
This is something I do when I'm in a really good mood, or I want to get in a good mood. It just makes me feel like the world is a nicer place than I imagine when I'm feeling down. When I go to the grocery store I try to meet people's eyes and smile at them. Not in a weird way, just like, smile and nod or maybe say "good morning" or "hello". It seems like about 1/3 of people won't meet my eyes and just ignore me, another 1/3 smile right back, and the other 1/3 seem really pleased or surprised that someone smiled and them and it makes them smile too.
I had a good experience with this yesterday when I went grocery shopping. I've been in a flare for about 3 weeks and I have been soooo ill. I was a mess in sweats, a kerchief and flipflops because, well, I really just want to be comfy when I roll out of bed and into the store. I was pushing the cart so it could both hold me up and protect me from the other shoppers. I was shuffling along, anxious and worried when other shoppers were whizzing around me, giving me dirty looks, and a couple people bumped into me (which hurt!) My boyfriend was also visibly annoyed that I was slow, which wasn't helping. But then I decided to start smiling at people, and that seemed to make people act more compassionately and patiently towards me, and lifted my spirits.

The Survivor
09-03-2012, 03:36 PM
I try to smile at people but I always end up feeling very awkward. So most of the time I let people smile at me first. Whenever I do smile at people its a very nervous smile accompanied with a shaky laugh. I guess I want to be polite but I can't shake off my social anxiety. I'm not suggesting that you have that though. Just thought you should know that the whole smiling at people thing is hard for others as well, such as myself. I'm sorry to hear about your flare ups. I hope things get better for you. :)

Nonna
09-03-2012, 05:34 PM
I do it a lot, I do get a lot of mornings back. When I'm driving through our neighborhood I wave and 9 out of ten wave back. I had a grouchy old man come into the bakery where I worked during college. My purpose that summer was to get him to smile. By the end of the summer I'd get a smile and a hello.

I've found that kindness is always repaid one way or another

When you're in pain it's easy to be grouchy. Smiling or saying good morning might even help us feel better

steve.b
09-04-2012, 06:06 AM
the personal touch is one of the many benifits of living in a country town.

i smile to most people......
and most smile back.
it is not unusual for a stranger to say good morning......
just because we met eyes.

i love this part of our country life.

n.mac
09-04-2012, 04:45 PM
I live in a relatively small town but quite often work in chicago-it is amazing the different reactions to the same act.
What is considered normal-holding a door for someone or simply smiling and saying good morning at home can get a quite different reaction in the big city.
People tend to act a bit apprehensive-perhaps suspect of motive,but then tend to warm up!

Nonna
09-05-2012, 03:36 AM
I live in a relatively small town but quite often work in chicago-it is amazing the different reactions to the same act.
What is considered normal-holding a door for someone or simply smiling and saying good morning at home can get a quite different reaction in the big city.
People tend to act a bit apprehensive-perhaps suspect of motive,but then tend to warm up!

Oh that is Chicago alright; the apprehension is due to fear. At least it was on my part when I worked there. It was taught to me by people around me, especially the cab drivers. Had one tell me not to walk to the train station after 8:00 pm

SleepyInSeattle
09-05-2012, 08:01 AM
I live in the Pacific Northwest where people tend to be very polite (even if we're kinda in our own world a lot, LOL) - I love it. And I go out of my way to be really kind and appreciative, especially in interactions with people in public spaces. I just think it makes the world better, and it definitely makes ME feel better. Admittedly, sometimes I am having a bad day and it's just a lame half-smile, but I try.

When I visit family on the east coast (NY and Boston), I do the same thing and it's really funny to watch the reactions. It's not so much that people are RUDE there, just that most interactions happen in a kind of impersonal zone. When I really look people in the eye and smile and thank them (cashiers, etc), most of the time I kinda see them open up and smile and be - I dunno - more HUMAN for just an instant. And I hope it makes their day better, and that they pass that feeling on to somebody else.

I know that when I am having a bad day, somebody treating ME that way can make a big difference....

steve.b
09-06-2012, 12:29 AM
:) :) :)


i like to hear we are not a grumpy lot.

jmail
09-07-2012, 02:57 PM
... somebody mention grumpy old men?...

MorrisonGal
09-08-2012, 02:14 PM
I live in a relatively small town but quite often work in chicago-it is amazing the different reactions to the same act.
What is considered normal-holding a door for someone or simply smiling and saying good morning at home can get a quite different reaction in the big city.
People tend to act a bit apprehensive-perhaps suspect of motive,but then tend to warm up!

It's not even big cities where there is a general mistrust of people -this week I was sitting at a picnic table outside a gas station in a small town near here waiting for my boyfriend who was inside, and a man pulls up and walks over to me, and I start to get a good grip on my handbag and I'm looking all over for my boyfriend and to see where other people are around me. He stopped a ways from me and asked if I knew how to get to some lake. I didn't and suggested maybe there was a map inside. Then I saw him go up to a car full of a family and ask, then he went inside, so he seemed legit, but there is that moment when someone walks up and you just don't know. It's sad, but you have to be careful, maybe more careful than nice though.

magistramarla
09-08-2012, 02:18 PM
LOL I walk through stores being partially supported by a 102 lb. German Shepherd. Now that's an ice breaker!
Children either run away in fear or run up to Conner to pet him. Conner LOVES to be petted and he loves little kids, so he has a great time.
I've noticed that many men are very envious of me having him, and lots of them will come up to see him and tell me stories about their own dogs.
One even told me about a German Shepherd exactly like Conner saving his life and the lives of his platoon in Vietnam by alerting them to an ambush before any human could have known about it.
As a working dog, people aren't supposed to pet him, but Conner cheats and pushes up against anyone that he wants to get friendly with.
I think that walking through a store with my big boy brightens my day, and does the same for many others.
Hugs,
Marla

MorrisonGal
09-08-2012, 02:21 PM
I try to smile at people but I always end up feeling very awkward. So most of the time I let people smile at me first. Whenever I do smile at people its a very nervous smile accompanied with a shaky laugh. I guess I want to be polite but I can't shake off my social anxiety. I'm not suggesting that you have that though. Just thought you should know that the whole smiling at people thing is hard for others as well, such as myself. I'm sorry to hear about your flare ups. I hope things get better for you. :)

I do tend to get anxious in public too, and there are days that I am definitely not the friendly type.

MorrisonGal
09-11-2012, 06:18 AM
Marla, Conner is awesome! thanks for the pic.

nvsmom
09-16-2012, 03:36 PM
I'm Canadian, and that stereo type is partially true, we smile and nod to everybody. LOL