You might think that’s a bit of a silly question.
Should I smile?
You might be thinking, “Yes, of course, you should smile”.
And I agree. It’s nice when people smile at us first or return a smile.
What do you do at the gym and other similar places where people are doing their own thing and sometimes your eyes happen to meet?
Do you smile?
I’m usually the first one to smile or wave.
In fact, years ago, Ross and I were driving home one afternoon, and as we came around a corner, I waved at some of the neighbours on their veranda.
“Do you know them?” he asked.
“Then why are you waving?”
“Because I’m having a game. Every time I drive past and see them, I wave. I’m waiting to see how long it takes them to wave back.”
“Whatever”, he sighed.
It took a couple of weeks but they did eventually wave and smile. I didn’t get to speak to them, ever, but we had a good waving and smiling relationship.
So, back to the gym.
I don’t know what to do.
Sometimes I smile at people and they seem to look right through me and that triggers my fear of rejection, so then I look down and tell myself not to smile at anyone.
And I can’t help it.
I smile or at least I want to. My mouth sort of half turns up, as if I’m going to smile but I can’t give a full smile though, until I get some sort of sign that it might be welcome. So I suppose I end up looking a bit goofy.
Occasionally someone smiles back, but not very often.
What do you do?
In situations like this, it can become awkward.
And to get more complicated, some days people return a smile and on other days they do not.
I find it really uncomfortable to not smile.
For me, smiling and saying “hello” is a friendly gesture.
I like to acknowledge people; let them know I’ve seen them, they’re important.
When we travelled in the motorhome, we were surprised and delighted at how “friendly” people from Tasmania were; even the young kids would walk past, look up at us, smile and say “hello”.
When we travelled back and stayed on the south coast of NSW, it was a totally different experience. We kept looking at people to smile and say “hello” but the majority of people just looked away before our eyes could meet.
So back to my question, should I smile?
Do you smile or are you the type of person who prefers not to make eye contact?
What are your thoughts on the topic?
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