She was sitting in the local java joint, invisibly connected via wireless and intently reading something super important on her phone. A chair grittily scrapes the floor and forced her to glance up. Their eyes met, and then a wide, fantastic smile spreads ear to ear. It’s warm, real and he simply must speak to her.

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Why does a smile catch our eye?

A smile reels us in, makes us feel warm safe and comfortable. Genuine smiles, are when your eyes even ‘crinkle’ at the sides and are one of the keys to gaining confidence and assuring those around you that you are confident. It sounds too simple to be true. A smile, at least in the North American culture is the best confidence key you can own. A smile is disarming, think about what that really means; your defenses that are usually bound around you are rendered worthless. You are open and vulnerable. No wonder a smile is such a great tool! Smiles are contagious, if you smile at someone they will reciprocate.  

Of course there are dishonest smiles, but our lizard brains can sniff those out and sound the alarm.  How do we know that? It’s all about the micro gestures, those little invisible details that we acknowledge on another level of our consciousness. Micro gestures are super significant in the realm of smiles. Eyes, cheeks, teeth, lips and the direction you lean are all subtle movements that we absorb without really noticing. Each gesture registers in our brain determining if we can trust the person in front of us. We reciprocate because of mirroring. It is human nature to emulate the facial expression especially if we are trying to communicate with that person. Scientists have found that people will match both a fake and genuine smile. A smile releases feel-good endorphins, which in turn makes you feel good, confident and satisfied. It’s hard to feel bad and smile at the same time. There have even been studies done that show smile therapy can even relieve depression.  

If you smile when you are depressed or unhappy in a few minutes your attitude will change. Its biological, a smile even when you are down, can bring you back up. Is that cheating? It’s not cheating it is just utilizing some very special tricks and tools that are built into our bodies. Amazing.

There are 3 kinds of confident smiles

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The Star – big, wide, lots of teeth, mouth open like you are laughing, totally at ease, being wherever you are.

Shy Smile – Lady Di was the classic poster child for this kind of smile. Demure, coy, come hither, looking up seeming like you know a satisfying secret.

Genuine Smile – When you are really and truly smiling the corners of your eyes crinkle up, your cheeks puff out and your face looks fuller.

How great is it that I am suggesting an actual action item that allows you to indulge in that habit we all deny? There must be millions of funny-cute puppy videos out there. Remember you only need a few to change and boost your mood!

Let’s review why the smile is the #1 magic confidence key, it makes you feel better and it makes people around you feel better. Sounds like a win-win to me, so why wouldn’t you make it part of your arsenal of confidence tools? Make it your #1 go-to, mental note to self, smile.