Smile and the World Smiles With You

4 Jul

When you are a teenager, you think that life is against you and that it’s your divine right to be rude to everyone. Everyone annoys you and you think that it is perfectly acceptable to tut and fuss and drive like a maniac and toot your horn at people who you see as inconsiderate drivers. You are a stroppy teenager, and if you are a girl, you are by far the rudest to your mother. It just goes with the territory. You think she has been put in your vision to drive you insane, and for that reason you must gun her down with cutting comments and pointless retorts. And you MUST ALWAYS have the last word. You stamp your feet and cry, and people secretly think that you are a horrible child, and hope for your mother that you come out of that phase as soon as possible. You make rude comments here there and everywhere, and you don’t worry about the consequences of how you make another person feel, whether it be a family member, a person in the street or someone that you don’t even know.

Or I did.

And then I grew up.

And now you know what? My biggest bugbear is people who are rude. I try to smile at people on the tube or say “have a good day” to the people on the till at the supermarket, and I can honestly say that it makes me feel better. I might not fall into that uber bitch category; skinny minnies covered in fake tan and giving withering glares to anyone who comes within ten feet of them, but I don’t feel horrible for glaring out some guy on the tube who accidentally stomped on my toe when the train stopped suddenly, because I just smiled and said “no worries”.

I think being mean gives you heart attacks. I have no solid clinical evidence to back this up, but being horrible to people for no reason has to have some sort of weird chemical reaction that makes your guts burn out and your organs ache. Or maybe it has the opposite effect. Maybe it hardens your heart, toughens your arteries and protects your organs, so that eventually you are old and alone with everyone you love having left you, and all you have to do all day is sit by yourself and think about how mean you were.

You can’t ever be happy if you are going around making other people unhappy, and for that reason I think it’s significant to be that one person who smiled on someone’s terrible day, the one girl who the checkout staff remember because you actually asked how they were, or the lady who you helped get their buggy off the bus because they looked like they were struggling. It might slow you down a bit, make your journey a little longer, but you know what, it will make you a better person.

And that’s my happy clappy thought today. Normal service will resume soon!

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18 Responses to “Smile and the World Smiles With You”

  1. goddessofglitter July 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    I have to agree with you. At work when someone is having a bad day and bitching about every little thing, if I allow myself to partake in the bitching, even for a moment, I quickly find myself in a very bad mood, no matter how good my mood had been to begin with. And when I find myself having a horrible day and feeling like everything is a conspiracy against me, and I am given the opportunity to do even something as minor as hold a door or tell a store clerk to have a nice day, it’s like I have gotten a mini endorphins boost and I am slowly able to start putting things back into perspective, calm down, and realize it isn’t all that bad after all.
    I think you are right about the chemical reaction, not sure how, but it just makes sense.
    Have a great day and I am sending you a smile from “across the pond”!

  2. Juliette July 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I totally agree. Unless I’m in my foul mood (i.e. I’m wound up over something which can turn me into a b!tch) then I am a gracious person! I love to be nice/personable and I think that everyone should do their random act of kindness, wherever! 🙂

  3. Roshni July 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    I love smiling at people I pass on the way, especially if they look sad, like they could do with a genuine smile. 🙂 Nice thought. And glad to see you back!

  4. prenin July 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    That’s the way I live my life Tinkerbubbles!!! 🙂

    Love ya loads my sweet wee friend!!! 🙂

    Prenin.

  5. Chris Biscuits July 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Nothing sweeter than ruining someone else’s bad mood 🙂

  6. Barneysday July 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Nicely done and so true.

  7. happydancecat July 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Yes, i’ve often thought heart attacks and being negative and mean could be linked. It’s defintely linked to stress, and mean people are usually stressed out as well. I love that quote about arguments due to tone of voice – so, so true.

    And trust me, I know for a fact that giving someone a small smile can definitely change their day if not their entire perspective on humanity itself. Seriously. So keep it up! 🙂

    Cat

  8. Sadie Petunia July 5, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    This is so true and like you I try spread kindness as much as I can!

  9. Victoria-writes July 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I swear being on the tube really shows you the worst of the human race! Here’s a smile back to you – 🙂

  10. Go Jules Go July 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    Oh, good to see you back, Tinkerbelle! I couldn’t agree more, and I LOVE the last quote, because that’s definitely the one element to ‘being nice’ that I’ve struggled with. I definitely think it is a sign of maturity, and that it is taking the high road. It’s often not the EASY choice, which helps convince me it’s the right one.

  11. Richard Wiseman July 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I always take these maxims as a way to behave; For work ‘Follow procedures and always think well of people.’ For being out and about these two ‘Be kind to strangers lest ye entertain angels unawares.’ and ‘If you don’t have something good to say say nothing.’ For communication ‘Never argue with drunks, idiots or teachers.’ and generally ‘The only reason to choose to make anyone unhappy is thwarting the attempts of miserable people to make you unhappy.’ Let’s face it the last one is fair, those miserable people won’t be happy for as long as they make you unhappy if you let them so it’s not a fair trade off. Just smile at them and say stuff like ‘I’m sorry.’ when you don’t mean it and ‘I expect you’re right’ when you know they are talking crap and it sticks in your craw to agree with them, but what’s the point of arguing; all big institutions are to be dealt with this way, along with call centre operators with whom you get stuck in a Kafkaesque loop of mismatched communication. I say ‘blessed are the peacemakers…’ As usual Tink a lovely, perky, amusing, community singalong of a blog entry, making me feel like the world isn’t full of grim faced muck raking money mad monkey people. You cheered me up as always.

  12. susielindau July 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    I’ve been out and about as you must be! Haven’t seen you in a while.
    I know what you mean about mean! I really avoid confrontation like the plague. I would never be mean.
    The funny thing is the more I know the less I have to prove it by opening up my mouth! How ironic!

  13. roastedkeyboard July 9, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    I love this! but then again, I offered an old lady help with her grocery bags and she told me and I quote verbatim, ‘FUCK OFF!’

    uh ok. =/

  14. Team Oyeniyi July 11, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I should print this out for my 14 y/o son who fits the opening lines SO WELL at the moment!!!

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