Friday, 4 June 2010

When you're smiling

They say that a smile is contagious. It costs nothing but gives plenty back. A smile can make someone's day. It can bring sunshine where there is none. If nothing else, smile: it confuses people.

On sunny days, I enjoy going for walks along coastal areas. I join a number of other recreational walkers and beginner joggers in grabbing some sunshine and fresh air. Even on short walks (about half an hour), I've noticed that more people will smile on a sunny day than any other. (I'd imagine the reason for that is obvious.) However, there are people who will smile and say "good morning" (the ultimate oxymoron) in any weather and at any time of the day (or morning). At the very least, they will acknowledge your existence as your paths cross. I can usually pick these people from 100 metres away, no matter where I am walking. Conversely, there are those who will pretend to not see you, or just happen to be looking at something really important in the other direction at the exact same moment as their path crosses yours, ie they will avoid your glance at all costs. I can also pick them from 100 m away. Quite funny, really.

On my walk this morning, I devised a kind of traffic light system. I wondered who would be a green light - will always smile at you, who'd be an orange light - might sometimes smile at you, and who would always be a red light - no chance of a smile. Here's what I came up with:

green - will always smile
  • grandparents with children
  • older people walking slowly, alone or in pairs
orange - might sometimes smile
  • older people walking small dogs
  • middle-aged couples
  • anyone wearing denim
red - will never smile
  • parents with young children
  • older people walking large dogs
  • fit older people wearing caps
  • anyone younger than 35
  • power walking mums - they're pushing an expensive pram and wearing designer exercise clothing, complete with makeup and jewellery
  • anyone wearing matching, branded or co-ordinated exercise clothing
  • joggers
Have you noticed who smiles at you or not? I'm bound to have forgotten some, but will instantly remember them as I pass them on my next walk. Care to add any more groups of casual exercisers to my traffic light categories?


~JarieLyn~ said...

Great post. I tend to be the green light. I always smile at people when I cross their path. It annoys me when I say hello to a stranger and they pretend like they don't hear me.

Yes, I notice people who don't smile, however, I've never really fit them into categories like you have. Maybe I should take notice and see if it's the same where I live in comarison to where you live.

Smiles. :)

~JarieLyn~ said...

Oops! That should be comparison.

Random Thoughts said...

While out riding my bike I smile at those I pass, say hello when I can and give a way when passing in opposite directions. This is true unless I am on the recreation path on a busy day. When there are clusters of people in the way, people not obeying the rules of the path yielding to others and moving to the side when stopped, or riding single file when you see others coming at you, then I become a bit of an obnoxious grump. The other thing I have noticed is that road bike riders, those that are in full gear riding feather lite bikes training for some extensive race, they do not smile or wave to people unless they are also road bike riders.

Evelyn said...

Interesting post! A smile is definitely contagious. That said, it seems that alot of people these days have developed an immunity to smiles.

Sab said...

what about a mom pushing a stroller with an infant in it and a toddler running next to her wearing jeans?

I think I fit that fairly well most days, haha. I hope I smile at most people, but sometimes I'm a little preoccupied, haha

yes, smiles are contagious!