I have always said one of my favorite things to watch in people is if their smile travels up into their eyes. I don’t know if you have ever noticed this or not before, but there is quite a distinction between someone who gives you one of those picture perfect plastic smiles, versus someone who is genuinely smiling. The genuine smiles are the ones that even when you aren’t feeling good, make you want to smile anyway. They are able to touch something inside of you, and just leave you feeling positive.
The other day I took out an old photo album, and looked at my smile two years ago when I was going through one of the worst times in my life. I compared those pictures to more recent pictures of myself when I have that genuine smile of happiness. They say that smiling in an unconscious reaction. That certain muscles tense or don’t tense to give you a genuine smile. After looking at these pictures I couldn’t believe just how unhappy I was, and how I never noticed it. There I was, blinders on to my unhappiness, flashing a fake plastic smile in every photo. In every single picture my smile stopped short of my eyes, and the smile itself looked like it was through gritted teeth in comparison to more recent photos. I found the images and the difference so disturbing that I often find myself now obsessively checking my smile in pictures just to make sure that genuine happiness still lives there. . I noticed that when I was doing certain activities my smile seemed to look more genuine, and when I was with people who I later found out were not positive to have in my life the smile was far less genuine. It was as if in every picture I was able to look inside a crystal ball of myself and read what my true feelings were about what and who were around me.
Now more than ever I appreciate finding people who have truly genuine smiles. I guess I still remember how horrible it feels on the inside, to be that unhappy and to not even have a clue. The world of denial is a crazy place to be. If you are ever curious about whether you are genuinely happy or not, take a look at your smile. Look in a mirror, or in a recent picture of yourself. Notice how your smile looks around certain people, or doing certain activities, because that it how you will know the answer. I can easily tell you who gives me the biggest genuine smiles just by glancing in my facebook album. We may be able to live in a world of denial or with blinders on, but the genuine smile can never be faked. Our unconscious is always speaking to us, even we when aren’t listening.