The Candor

The Art of Smiling

Andreana Holowatyj goes through life smiling at the world. Photo courtesy of Andreana Holowatyj.

By Kiran Munir


Smiling is a simple action that can make a dramatic difference in people’s lives. Receiving a genuine smile from someone can transform a bad day into a delightful one.

Over the years, humans have developed different uses for smiling. Nowadays, it has become more of an art rather than simply an instinct. There is nothing simple about a smile as they can mean many different things and convey hidden emotions. Watch out for the different types of smiles while interacting with people:

The Fake Smile: These smiles are used when people try to hide their true feelings about another person. For example, a person can be giving someone a big smile, that runs from ear to ear, but they can be thinking, “Gosh, I hate this girl. She is so annoying.”

The Weak Smile: After just failing a test that an all-nighter was pulled for, these smiles come in handy. People don’t like to show their emotions on their face and when someone in the hall catches them in a bad moment by saying, “hey how is it going?” they muster up the energy to put one of these smiles on their face, as painful as it is. These smiles are not very efficient at fooling the person that nothing is wrong, so they’re usually accompanied by a phrase along the lines of “I’m good, just tired, what about you?”

The Woops! Smile: These are meant to serve as an appeal for mercy. When people feel guilty about a wrongdoing, they are more likely to smile because a smile has the true power of casting a spell of happiness over the other person. Plus, when a person just did something completely ridiculous, what else is there to do other than smile?

The Nervous Smile: Similar to the Woops! Smile, these are flashed by people who are about to embark on something completely foreign to them or about to give a lecture in front of a room full of critical professors. It is used when a person wants to appear calm and collected, but this is sometimes unsuccessful and people who are good at reading body language can usually see the anxiety and nerves through this façade.

As if the art of smiling couldn’t get any more complicated, technological advances have taken smiling to the next level. In the age of texting, the phrase “LOL” of laughing out loud has become common practice.  But does one truly use “lol” for it’s true meaning or because one simply does not have anything else to say?

Although there are a lot of motives hidden under a smile, genuinely smiling truly makes a positive impact on a person’s health.   Furthermore, smiling is an expression which is most often expressed universally.  In fact, an average human smiles around 15 times a day as compared to kids who smile about 400 times a day!