Why I send a smile…

June 23, 2008 feelabustier

When I send people emails, I usually sign off with the phrase, “Sending a smile.” Until recently, no one has ever asked me why. I thought it rather self explanatory, but just the same, I will explain.

Way back when, I was a receptionist for the business office of a large franchised Copy Center. Oooh can you guess which one? Most of the calls that I received were from disgruntled customers and I had to forward them on to my disgruntled co-workers who would then stop by my desk on their way to nowhere in a huff and attempt to share the disgruntled vibe. Well, I don’t do “dis” anything. Not dis-ease,dis-comfort, dis-gruntled, dis-gust or even just plain diss. It’s just not my nature. I’m a pretty happy person, even when I’m not. (<– It will hit ya on Wednesday if you didn’t get it today, as a special friend used to say to me)

In an effort to stave off the vibe and keep it from cycling it’s way back to me, I decided to smile as my co-workers approached. It’s hard to be angry when someone is smiling at you( besides, they probably thought that the idea that anyone would smile in such a integral, yet underpaid and under appreciated position was really just step one on my way to going postal). It’s really hard to intentionally dump your crap on them if they look all Pollyanna chipper. The smiling worked so well with them that I decided to see if it would translate over the phone when a person couldn’t even see me. Turns out, people can hear a smile. They can detect that smiley tone and it diffuses their angst, even if a little bit.

As the years progressed, email became my primary mode of communicating for a variety of reasons and I discovered that tone is very difficult for some people to perceive in the written word, especially in email form. I’ve seen people storm out of meetings over the way an email was written. Watched as friendships dissolved because of “the way someone said something” in an email. Interesting notion, isn’t it? The same sentence written the same way can be perceived quite differently depending on the reader and what baggage they bring to the read. Sometimes, the intent gets lost all because of the little effort in paying attention to tone and the perception of the person reading. For such a simple thing, it causes a great many problems.

For this reason, I try to email the same way I answer my door, my telephone or any other communication and I do it with a smile. Try cussing someone out via email with a smile on your face. It’s nearly impossible unless you’re just a really snarky individual. So in an effort to diffuse ‘tudes and level out and balance moods, I send every email out with a smile. Sometimes just reading the word can make a person smile and smiles, like sneezing, nose checking ( love that one) and laughter are contagious. Couldn’t we all use a little light in our day? Wouldn’t the world be a better place with a smile on every face? How on earth would people proceed with wars if their enemies were throwing genuine smiles instead of grenades their way? Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s worth a try. *Eternal Idealistic Optimist that I am* With that, I send you a smile. Share it with someone just for the hell of it and see if it doesn’t benefit the people on both ends of that note.

Sending a smile…



Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks. ~Charles Gordy

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home. ~Author Unknown

Always remember to be happy because you never know who’s falling in love with your smile. ~Author Unknown ( My favorite)

If you don’t have a smile, I’ll give you one of mine. ~Author Unknown

I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful. ~Author Unknown

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. ~George Eliot

The shortest distance between two people is a smile. ~Author Unknown

Peace begins with a smile. ~Mother Teresa

If you don’t start out the day with a smile, it’s not too late to start practicing for tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa

Most smiles are started by another smile. ~Author Unknown

A smile is something you can’t give away; it always comes back to you. ~Author Unknown

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. ~Author Unknown


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