The social smile?

Zoso

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Zoso
I've found this site to be very helpful, but most of my progress so far is mental. I'm still working on developing the basic social skills that I'm inexperienced with from years of being shy.

One thing that I've read repeatedly is the importance of eye contact and smiling. Posts talking about starting out often suggest making eye contact with strangers at the mall, or while passing in the hall at school, etc. to build confidence. They also say to SMILE so you don't look like a psycho. This is where I have a problem.

I've always been shy, and I seldom talked or smiled except with friends. I'm gradually changing my mindstate and trying to be more outgoing, but old habits are hard to break, and the social smile still feels awkward. I think the problem is that I don't know for sure HOW to smile properly. Basically, there are varying levels of smile, ranging from a slight smirk to a big grin, and I'm not sure which to use when. Here's how I see it:

1. Slight smirk (corners of the mouth turned up)
2. Full smile, closed mouth
3. Full smile, open mouth (upper teeth visible)
4. Big grin (laughter smile)

Now, when I'm passing someone in the hall and I make eye contact, which smile should I use? 1 seems the most natural, maybe 2. 3 and 4 feel very awkward, like something that should be used when actually conversing rather than just making eye contact. Also, if I smile at everybody, how should it differ between guys/girls//strangers/acquaintances etc?

This may be a "stupid" question, but this doesn't come easily for me. I think if I get some guidance here I can at least be confident when I smile, and not be worrying about using the "wrong" smile.
 
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RKTek

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It's best to start off small, and smile at everyone at least to the level of the first two types of smile you mentioned. If you honestly don't know what to do, then occasionally smiling bordering on laughter as though you just won the lottery (17 million dollars) and got laid last night by Jennifer Garner might be a bit much.

So the thing to do in your situation would be to smile that gentle coy smile to everyone until you've built up a comfort level and can begin to differentiate.

By the way, the best method to generate a genuine happy smile is to keep an internal dialogue in your brain that continuously says "Wow, I just won the $17 million in the lottery, and got laid by Jennifer Garner last night!!" as your personal secret.

http://www.alias-tv.com/imgs/jennifer-garner-2.jpg
 

duke007

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Why is it that all of the photos I've seen of Jennifer Garner bar one haven't reflected her true beauty?

Seeing her acting is really exciting but all the photos just don't do her justice. Some of them are frankly enough to turn me away.
 

Matt Rogers

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Mmm. Jennifer Garner. It is always nice to be reminded why I put so much effort improving my DJ skills.

Regarding smiles, that raises an interesting point.

Should one smile most of the time when one is in public. Some people say this just looks wussy and insecure, others say it shows confidence and happiness.

Probably grinning at girls is best, when you first meet them, as a closed smile looks a bit insecure.
 

PANK

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Try em all man. I am 23 if i learnt this stuff when i was 17 thing would be easier now you can kill these habbits quicker than you think if you really really try.
 
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becker

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I think Jennifer Garner is one of those girls who is really hot, but not very photogenic unless you happen to catch her in the perfect light and angle. There are many people like that, and stars, who are mainly in the public eye, are very susceptible to this. It just shows you that nobody is perfect, but they can be made to look like they are. Ok, besides Halle Berry and Jessica Alba both of whom would look amazing even if they were wearing trash bags.
 

RKTek

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Originally posted by Matt Rogers
Regarding smiles, that raises an interesting point.

Should one smile most of the time when one is in public. Some people say this just looks wussy and insecure, others say it shows confidence and happiness.

Probably grinning at girls is best, when you first meet them, as a closed smile looks a bit insecure.
Imagine this smile:

It is a closed-mouth smile, your head is tilted a few degrees down, eyes slightly narrowed and one side of your mouth is a tad higher than the other. This is the sly smile, the "cat with a canary feather dangling from his lower lip", the "I know something you don't know" or "I've got a secret that I might share with you" type of smile.

If the girl smiles back in a similar fashion, it means you do have the ability to generate charisma.
 

Matt Rogers

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Wow! RK Tek. Any other smiles in your collection:D

Also, what should be a DJs normal expression in public, a smile or a blank face giving a sense of mystery. Just I feel a bit weird smiling all the time, and imbecilic.
 

Zoso

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Thanks for the replies.

Also, what should be a DJs normal expression in public, a smile or a blank face giving a sense of mystery. Just I feel a bit weird smiling all the time, and imbecilic.
Well, a blank face hasn't gotten me very far. When I think about it, it makes sense that a smiling, enthusiastic person would be more attractive because it puts other people at ease and shows that you are relaxed, happy, and sociable. Also, I don't think a smile appears weak, because the weakest and most insecure people are usually the ones who never smile. When you smile, it's like breaking out of your own little shell of security, which requires strength.

I still have the same weird feeling when I try to smile, but I think that could be because I'm trying to smile rather than just feeling happy and doing it. I guess I'll try the lottery/Jennifer Garner technique :D
 
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