Smiling, like all human non verbal communication, is extremely complex and open to lots of interpretation. Studies show that smiles are based on many more emotions than just happiness or contentment. A smile is sometimes based on conceit, embarrassment and shame, deceit, grief, tension and uneasiness. How many times have you found yourself smiling when you are with someone who has said or done something that makes you feel very angry? In this type of circumstance, well known to most of us, their is a need to smile in order to cover the anger. Perhaps we are not comfortable discussing our real reaction? There can be a multitude of motivations but, the smile is not friendly. On the other hand, how many times have you found yourself smiling out of joy, happiness or another positive feeling? When doing something we enjoy or being with someone we love it isn’t out of the ordinary for human beings to smile on a regular basis, even if it’s effortlessly.
Its important to not come to conclusions too quickly when you see someone who is smiling in public. Yes, most of the time that person is conveying a happy state of mind. But, listen to your instincts when they tell you that something is wrong or doesn’t fit. On more than one occasion, I have asked a friend or family member what is wrong even when they are smiling. There is something not quite right about the smile. The mouth is shaped correctly, but the eyes, eye brows and tone of voice suggest something other than all is well. Finally, are you certain that your smile reveals or expresses what you are feeling? Perhaps it would be better for you if it did. If you are distressed, why not say so instead of hiding your emotions by smiling. In reverse, are you sure you are smiling when you feel good? Feeling good can also be covered up. Anytime you’re in a relationship you should pay attention to your partners smile. If it seems off, ask them what is wrong. If it seems happy and effortless, then you will know they are truly happy!