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Why Smiling is Good for You

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Why Smiling is good for you by Kim Wilson

Winter 2014

Not really in the mood to say cheese? You may want to have a rethink after reading these hidden advantages of cracking a smile.

Smiling doesn’t just show that you are happy, research suggests that smiling has lots of other benefits that may not be so obvious.

Next time you want to seem trustworthy, sociable or even more attractive, then smile. Here are our top 5 favourites.

1. Trust.

People who smile are perceived to be more generous and more extravert. Smiling sends a message that people can trust you and that you are co-operative. In one study it suggests that a smile increases people’s willingness to trust you by 10%.

2. Live long and prosper.

Did you know that smiling helps you live longer, sound implausible? A study of pictures of basketball players in 1952 suggests that those that smiled outlived their non-smiling counterparts by seven years.

3. Hurt? Laugh it off.

Due to something called the facial feedback hypothesis if we smile even when we don’t want to it is enough to give us a lift in mood. This may be something you want to try in private though. People who smile at something upsetting are less likely to be judged likeable by other people.

4. Been naughty? Flash that grin.

According to a study by LaFrance and Hecht (1995) we are more lenient with people that smile after they have done something bad.

It works because we find people who smile after breaking the rules more trustworthy than those that don’t and it doesn’t seem to matter if the smile is real, fake or rueful.

5. Share that Smile

When you smile at people, half of them will smile back. Why only half? We don’t really know but what we do know if that no one shares a frown so why not see how many smile’s you can collect today but showing yours first.

So next time you are feeling low, want someone to trust you or just boost your chances of working with someone, you know what to do 🙂