Do you smile and say hello?

Smiles and hello's from strangers - Strangers smiling and saying hello
@bounce58 (17524)
Canada
September 29, 2010 12:54am CST
I was having a crappy day, and I was at a local grocery trying to get a few things which I should have gotten on my last trip. As I stood in front of the shelves, berating myself, with my mind at a hundred miles a minute, I saw a lady across the aisle smiling at me. She didn’t look familiar, and I was so sure that I didn’t know her, yet she continued to smile. As she got closer she said ‘hello’, and then continued on her way grocery shopping. This took me aback, and got me confused that I forgot why I was in a foul mood. Right then I realized the power of a smile and a ‘hello’! It helped change my mood. To put this in context, I must say that I never do this. I rarely smile or say hello to strangers. So for someone to effortlessly do this, and help me make my day, is really foreign to me. But, I’m glad that she did. How about you? Do you smile and say hello to strangers? Is this part of your personality? Have you ever had a similar experience?
17 people like this
86 responses
@erikmama (12929)
• United States
3 Oct 10
I am so glad that this simple gesture turned your day around. I am starting to become the outgoing person that I use o be once again and will talk to people more, but generally speaking,I will not speak unless spoken to, especially someone who already looks like they are upset. A lot of that has to do with being from Nashville,too.You can't just talk to any ole body you want to.Its the 6th worst city for crime in the US!
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
11 Oct 10
Its the 6th worst city for crime in the US! But, didn't you say you moved already? I am so happy to hear that you are becoming an outgoing person. Specially with the closure that you seem to be having currently. I hope that it leads to more good things for you down the road.
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Sep 10
I always say hello, and smile at people...maybe because I live in Canada, and people here are generally very over-polite. Which in most cases is a good thing. Even driving to work this morning, stopping at stop lights and looking over to the side and making eye contact with the person beside me, 3 times they smiled, and you could see them mouth 'hello'. It is a bit strange to some people, but it's a nice way to start your day.
2 people like this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
It is nice to live in a city where everybody is friendly. Where everybody is ready to smile or say hello. Even at this age and time where there are a lot of 'weirdos' out there, it is refreshing to see that most people are generally nice. Thanks! GCG!
• United States
2 Oct 10
I constantly say hello to strangers! Me and my father are the type that just don't care and like to be friendly people. This really is our personality. Many people will stare at me in wonder and thoughts of strangeness, but I couldn't care any less. I'm being friendly, it's up to the other person to decide how to react to it. What's funny is when we walk around saying something different and funny to every person we see. What I enjoy doing is going up to a random stranger as if I know them, say "hello", and act like they're an old friend of mine, explain how I "know" them, and then just walk away. It's all about being friendly even to strangers, not being afraid, and just having fun!
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
9 Oct 10
I think you're right MattFrankftw. The onus is on the stranger you smiled at. You are just being yourself, and it's up to them what they do with it. They can smile back and maybe gain a friend, or they can be weird about it and not do anything. Thanks for the response.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
9 Oct 10
And welcome to myLot!
@TexLadyPj (1329)
• United States
30 Sep 10
Herro bounce58 I found this conversation late, however, thought my input was important. I do smile and say good morning, etc. when I pass someone outside. Most return the smile and hello, some even start a conversation. I feel better within myself by being friendly. I smile on the inside too. I'm also a hugger. Most ladies at our church like my hugs. God frequently tells me when someone needs a hug. Prosperous mylotting
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
6 Oct 10
Hello TexLadyPj. Are you sure you were not the person I saw? I also found your response late, but I'm happy that you did put in something here. It's nice to hear from people who are naturally friendly and 'smilers'. Just reading your response made me think I need a hug.
1 person likes this
@TexLadyPj (1329)
• United States
6 Oct 10
Herro bounce58 I'm not sure where u live, so I won't promise a physical hug, however, I can give a big, hugh, cyber HUG.
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
30 Sep 10
That really seems to be a very refreshing experience for you. I wish that I could effortlessly do the same thing that lady did to you. Honestly, smiling is not one of my usual practices. Still, I can smile and laugh when the situation calls for it, perhaps something nice and funny got mentioned or I end up recalling some humorous memory and just start smiling which some people might find weird. Now, if I ever try to do that on another person, I guess that person would find me strange and be cautious about me. That's something that I can be sure about because most of the time, only those who know each other would do that. Yet, I guess its different in other places and smiles from strangers can't be all that bad, or I guess people can be paranoid. I guess I better work on smiling (^_^")
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
5 Oct 10
A few responses here said that it is dependent on where you are. Because if you are in a big city, and you start smiling, it could be misconstrued as weird or strange. Not when you are in a small town where everybody is relatively friendly. Then nobody would mind if strangers start smiling at everybody. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@ratyz5 (7829)
• Philippines
7 Oct 10
I guess that makes a lot of sense (^_^ ) Then again, even if the place be large or small, if the mind set of the people living in it is cautious with strangers smiling at you, I guess things will still get misconstrued. Would really like to easily smile at anyone that I like to smile at
• Pamplona, Spain
29 Sep 10
Hiya bounce, Sometimes I will smile out of the blue at People it can be for any reason. Mainly it´s a funny reason. Also I would like to smile at Children but now things have become so rarified that I smile to myself at their "antics" which are many. So mainly I smile at other People if they smile at me first. I said "Hello" and smiled at a lady I don´t very often see and she was in a very good mood but another Day she could be in a not so good one and probably totally ignore me life is like that. I love Dogs and I don´t even call to them any more but I send them "love" with my heart and I think that´s enough as they can sense it and so can Babies. Some People are very easy to speak to and others are just "clammed" up in their Shellos and you can´t reach them because they don´t want you to.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
I guess you're right that it could also be the personality of the person. One who is easy-going could very well accept a smile and let it change her or his mood for the better. And yes there are some who would rather not see smiles or hear hellos from strangers.
• Pamplona, Spain
31 Oct 10
Hiya bounce, Have found that just lately no one wants you to smile at them anymore. Maybe it´s just a passing mood that they have. It seems like most of are too stressed out and maybe we can´t smile because we lose our sense of humour for a while. Now Winter is here almost we have got the none smilers back out again.
• Philippines
3 Oct 10
Smile at strangers and say Hello? Definitely not me! But, there was one time that I was in a restaurant and the place was packed with customers. For one, I've noticed that the service crew was at their wits end trying to placate impatient customers from waiting in the list to have a seat. Finally, a female service crew approached out table ready to take our orders when i saw that she was wearing a grumpy look i greeted her with a smile. Viola! her face lit up and she smiled back... that was one time when i felt that a smile or better ye,t a laugh with a greeting can do wonders to our spirit! try it and you'll be amazed how people will react when you smile first with a genuine hello! So, Smile! Wont cost you anything at all!
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
11 Oct 10
Sometimes we get so pre-occupied with our current surroundings that we don't notice that it is already manifesting in our faces. People around us notice our 'grumpyness', and are just perfect invites for others to say hello, or at least smile. And we are then caught off-guard with this gesture, that we in turn smile or change our mood. Thanks florisatan and welcome to myLot!
1 person likes this
• China
3 Oct 10
Smile,how warm the word is! It can make anyone happy.And this happiness is from the bottom of the heart. It's not like enthusiastic laughter,but just warm,makes your heart warm. Smile is just like a spring wind,so gentle.When you are sad,it can make you feel happy again.When you are fail,it can make you face the failure and keep trying your best.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
11 Oct 10
Hello BlackCrown. I guess you're right that a smile can be a warmth that comes from the bottom of the heart, and that can be spread to strangers. Thanks.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Oct 10
maybe she knew that its what you needed for that time. and yes a smile really chase all the clouds away.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
10 Oct 10
Hello athanevilsauce. Yes! Maybe she knew that I needed a smile. Maybe she saw it on my face. And I'm glad she chased my clouds away. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@laken02 (3067)
• United States
1 Oct 10
yes i do this alot ... ive always done it.. i usualy smile at them first then if they smile back i say hello.. but some people you can smile at and they look at you like your carzy... i just leave them alone figuring they dont want to be bothered. so if someone smiles at me i always smile back too and try to be friendly sometime i even start up a conversation or compliment them on something.. i have made several freinds this way.. it's not bad to talk to strangers.. if u do it in the right manner it can be lots of fun getting to know new people.. and making new friends or like u said changing someone's mood all together by a simple smile or hello.. always remember to pass it on ..have a great day..
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
9 Oct 10
There seems to be a lot of those people where I live. Where when you smile at them, they give you a strange look to make you feel like you're crazy. But it's nice that you've made a few friends by just smiling at strangers. Thanks and have a great day too!
• United States
1 Oct 10
It was not, at first, a part of my personality to be this way. However, I have been working retail for over three years, and that is a part of your training. Even though I don't usually say hello to people I do not know outside of work-- it makes me feel a little weird or intrusive, I do try to smile at everyone I see. It's not just the smile, it is making eye contact and then showing a pleasant face to that person. It is a habit, but it is a very good habit. It makes ME feel like a more upbeat person, and I know that when other people make the effort with me, the day always feels a bit better. It's amazing how little things can make such a difference.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
8 Oct 10
Hello Interlude. It's great to know that even though your personality is not like this, you can still be trained to do it, because of work. I know it's cliche, but you never know that sometimes, you help somebody change their mood for the better. Thanks.
@Jagokonte (123)
• Greece
1 Oct 10
:) Smiling is one of the best ways to express happiness and the same time stimulate your mood. It is interesting that when you actually smile to people and they respond back to you with smile then you feel better. I do it all the time and it is a healthy way to live a social life. Humans are social beings and smiling used to be a way to communicate before we even words. In my experience I feel more secure to socialize with people that are smiling back to me. Smiling is also a way to flirt so I guess there is a chance the woman in the grocery was flirting you. Smiling especially the moment you first see someone is the most important, if you don't believe me try it yourself and you will see major differences in the way people talk back to you, try it with friends first just don't over do it. If you often get negative responses from people who you have just met then there is a chance it is because you don't smile!
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
7 Oct 10
I would be really flattered if the only reason that lady was smiling at me was just to flirt. And come to think of it, it still served the purpose of changing my mood for the better. Hopefully, I could find a lot more ladies just like her. Thanks.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
30 Sep 10
I do this all the time, bounce, because I figure that it might not only make the recipient of my greeting feel good, but also myself. When I'm out and about I often see people who look so grumpy and angry and that's a shame. If we would just take the time to smile and greet others in a cheerful way everyone could benefit from it.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
6 Oct 10
It's nice to know that there are really people out there who set out thinking like this. That view smiling and being friendly as not only a benefit to the recipient, but also for themselves. I hope that I find more people like you worldwise1 everyday!
@CJscott (4184)
• Canada
30 Sep 10
Yes I do, and almost always have and even more so since I read the following poem on day...this is from memory mind. A smile is infectious, you catch it like the flu. Some smiled at me today, I started smiling to. I passed around the corner, someone saw my grin. When he smiled, I realized I passed it on to him. I thought about that smile, and I realized its worth. Why a single smile just like mine, could travel around the earth. So if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected. Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected. And of course, the basic, you can't smile and have a negative thought at the same time, aspect of the Law of Attraction. Sincerely and With Appreciation.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
6 Oct 10
Hello CJscott. What a great poem! I like it too. It's definitely one worth memorizing. But I like the Law of Attraction much better. I've never heard it before, but I agree that the smile does take away any negative thoughts. Thanks.
• United States
30 Sep 10
I have to say that I am often in my own little world and often deep in thought, so I rarely notice other people. People think I'm standoffish and angry, but I'm mostly not paying attention. I don't like to socialize a whole lot. However, since I was laid off of a public service job, I have been noticing that I do smile and say hello more than I used to. I think I was just overwhelmed at my job which required me to deal with a lot of jerks, sometimes, that I didn't want to deal with anyone outside of work.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
6 Oct 10
I guess that does help contribute to the attitude of people towards other people, or strangers. When you've been in an environment were rudeness is the norm. Innocent things like smiles or friendly hellos are misconstrued. It's great that you've found your real self, and have been smiling, and saying hello more often.
@cerebellum (3871)
• United States
30 Sep 10
I always respond with a smile, but I don't usually do it first. I am disabled and a lot of strangers ask if they can help me. Sometimes strangers talk to me, and ask what is wrong, or say something about someone they know that is disabled. I always respond in kind and smile at them. Whenever someone offers to help me, it always makes me feel better, even if I say "no". Smiling makes you feel better also. I think it is strange when a stranger asks how I am though.To me that indicates that you know the person and I never know how to respond. I am usually good for me, but that would be bad for a normal person. Whenever I go shopping or anything I usually feel good about humanity. Every time I go out there are at least two people that offer to help me. That in itself can make me smile.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
5 Oct 10
It is great that you can be a witness of how good 'humanity' can be just by doing your every things. Sometimes people have become so jaded that even a smile or a 'hello' could be misconstrued as something else. That's why some are reluctant to smile back, specially at strangers. Thanks!
@derek_a (10902)
30 Sep 10
As a therapist, I used to run group workshops and a very good exercise was to instruct all the members to start smiling. This excercise would last for around 10 minutes, with people just sitting there looking around smiling, without speaking. Every person in those exercises experienced an uplifting in their mood and some said they were in a positively bad mood earlier on, there were usually about 20 people. As human beings, I believe that we can create whatever we want, if we are willing to face the barriers to such creation, and that includes our moods. If we change our focus, our mood will eventually change. _Derek
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
5 Oct 10
Hello derek_a. It is interesting that your exercise takes 10 minutes, while my experience only took a moment. I guess when there are no barriers, or if these barriers are broken through, we could change our mood for the better if we wanted to. Thanks for the very informative response.
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Sep 10
hi bounce no not all the time but sometimes here I will meet Jessie who is one of those out going people who really does like to help others and he smiles and asks how I am and sometimes like yesterday when I had come downstairs to get away from the heat he says are you alright and calls me by my first name..I guess I looked as if I was ill, which I really was but it was just from the heat.`107 outside and 100 inside in our room.Here I do smile more As I meet people some w hom I know and most whom I do not.I have lived here a year and a half but really do not know most of the hundred p eople here.I am shy and an introvert and we are not the too happy happy joy joy type people.but I can warm up to a smile and a hello from a stranger. I miss my husband as he waS the extravert in our family all smiles and sun shine although I have been a widow for many years.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
5 Oct 10
It is rare to find people like your Jessie. I'm sure he has a difficult job already, yet he finds time to really care for people. I wish I could be like that. But I know myself too well, so I'll just be content to reciprocate smiles and hellos, for now. Thanks Hatley.
@shaggin (37317)
• United States
29 Sep 10
I remember when I was young I would say hello to a lot more people. Then I got shy and stopped doing it. The world is a different place then when I was young its getting worse and I am leary about saying hello and smiling at just anyone. Sometimes if you say hello to someone or smile at someone they will say something rude. I hate rude people. If someone is kind to me I always am kind to them. Its refreshing when someone is nice to you especially if they are total strangers and have no intentions beyond just being nice. Sometimes I will see a beautiful child and tell the parent how cute their child is. I know as a parent how nice it is to hear compliments about our children. If I see a mother having a bad day I try to say something to let her know shes not the only one and that I know just how shes feeling. Taking kids out in public can be a lot of work.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
You are so right about children in public! Especially our own children. When they are not in the mood, it could sometimes drive you nuts. If I were in that same situation, I would appreciate a kind word or two. Maybe a reassurance that it's not that embarassing as their kids do the same.
@doormouse (4619)
29 Sep 10
i don't really go anywhere where there are strangers,apart from once a week i when i go to tesco to do my shopping,i try not to speak to strangers if i can help it,i mean why would i want to,i don't know them
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
4 Oct 10
That's what I thought! And that was my way of thinking. Until I found this lady, or should I say this lady found me. And took the time to smile and say hello. Which changed my other wise foul mood. Thanks.