A person’s smile is one of the first things someone will notice. A sincere smile can brighten up someone’s day, it can make someone feel at ease, it can also make you more approachable. But these things we already knew. What you did not know is that a smile can also help you to succeed in the business world, a smile can fill up your social calendar, and even boost your love life.
How can a sincere smile do all this you ask? The smile on your face portrays the message that you are an outgoing person, and an intelligent one at that. These two factors attract people to you because they think that you are worth knowing.
So what does a smile say about someone, and how can you interpret a smile?
An interesting fact is that people don’t only smile when they are happy. They smile when they are angry, or when they are afraid, when they feel embarrassed, or when they are confused, and some even smile to deceive.
There is a way to tell if a person’s smile in sincere or not. When a smile is sincere, a person’s cheeks lift and the skin around the eyes scrunches up. Believe it or not there are some countries where emotions are suppressed. The only way they know for sure what emotions people are showing them is to look at the eyes.
Success behind your smile
Any person looks more confident and professional when they are smiling. A smile projects a positive attitude, and projects an open and flexible individual. A study found that these people are more inclined to cope better in challenging situations, than the person who is withdrawn and never smiling. This same study found that the woman who were smiling in their college yearbook photos, actually have happier marriages and a greater sense of well being.
Can a smile make you feel better?
A smile can make you feel happy even if you are not. Just by forcing yourself to smile, it will lift your spirits. This has been proven by Paul Ekman, PhD, who is a psychologist. He actually trained himself to arrange the muscles in his face to make different expressions. What he realised, is that whatever facial expression he was mimicking, he actually felt the emotion that goes along with it.
He also did some research on a college campus. He realised that even if the student was only smiling because they were told to, their brain activity still showed an improvement in their mood, and feeling happier.
The fear of smiling
Some people actually feel anxious to smile. They know that to smile a person needs to show some teeth. They might have some missing teeth, or maybe a chipped tooth here and there, even yellowing teeth. Whatever the reason, they refuse to let another person see. The good news here is that all these things can be fixed by a dentist. If you have one or more of these problems, make an appointment with your dentist and you will soon be smiling with confidence.
So now that we have learnt what a smile means, what a smile can do for you, and how to get you smiling again, here are some pointers for that perfect photo smile.
The first thing to remember when having your picture taken is to be as natural as you can. The best way to accomplish this would be to smile gently. By doing this you automatically relax your facial muscles making you look at ease, your mouth opens slightly and your lower lip matches your upper lip’s curve. The opposite happens when you give a quick smile. Your neck muscles actually tense up and your eyes squint too much.
The second thing to remember is to have a good posture. If your posture is bad and your head is bent too forward, you will end up with a smile accompanied by a double chin. Not a pretty picture. The best way to take a picture if your posture is not so good is by turning your head slightly and to drop your chin. This ensures that you are not facing the camera squarely.
The third thing to remember (and this is for the ladies) is to wear a lipstick that will make your teeth appear whiter. The best shades of lipstick for this would be cherry red, wine, berry, plumb or rosy pink. These lipsticks all have shades of blue or pink undertones, and this is what helps to hide the yellowish tints in your teeth.
The fourth but most important thing to remember is to keep up a good oral hygiene. You need to brush and rinse your teeth twice a day, with an alcohol free product, and to floss regularly. This will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
The fifth thing you have to remember is that practice makes perfect. If you are not comfortable with the way you smile, stand in front of a mirror and practice smiling different ways until you find one that you like. Remember how it looked and felt and keep practising so that by the next photo opp, you will have your smile pinned down to the way you want it. Remember to smile as natural as you can and to keep your shoulders straight. You can also experiment with turning your head a few angles, to see which one looks best with your smile.