Why do some strangers think it's okay to tell people to smile?

I mean you don't know the person, and they can't have a smile plastered on their 24/7 just to please you. Like, why aren't you thinking?

Updates:
Thank you for all of your answers, I had no idea the question would get featured 😋. So what I have concluded is just don't get upset when I get told to smile. Just keep it to myself. Because everyone has a different way of approaching things.

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  • I think most people say it to humor others to make them smile. They say it without thinking

    My nephew died a few months ago, and on the day of his funeral a stranger said to me " smile , it may never happen" He obviously didn't know i was grieving, but i just ignored him. I had no reason to smile at that moment

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What Guys Said 93

  • Smiling actually gives you a boost of dopamine and serotonin, so telling someone to smile is literally giving them the means to have a better day. It's the same reason you can make yourself sleepier by yawning, because it releases melanin.

    Even without the science if someone tells me to keep my chin up and or ''turn that frown upside down'' I'd have to be pretty bitter to take offense to that. They're obviously trying to help and spread a good mood, and it's a pretty dick move to think they're an asshole for that

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  • I agree. I had this issue in primary school. People pestered me to smile more. I mean, once there was this math text and everyone was focused on the task at hand, me included. And, for reasons I've yet to determine years later, the teacher asked specifically me to smile. Like, bitch, I'm fucking busy. LIKE EVERYONE. Dafuq do I need to smile for now?

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  • Because a smile has some awesome powers. It is contagious and boost your system to get you into a better mood. Nobody likes when we see others having a bad day, are worry, or have a problem. We want to help them, and because we are strangers one of the easiest way to do so without getting into non of your business is by said something like.
    "Hey are you ok?"
    "Yes"
    " Well then Get a smile on, cheer up a little." And say a joke or something.

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  • Because it's widely known that smiling subconsciously controls your own mood. So when people tell you this, they encourage you to be happy. It's not selfish. They just remind you that smiling is good for you.

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  • It's not usually to please them, it's to try and to get you to feel happy. Never experienced that moment when someone has told you to smile and you do, and it makes them smile, and you kinda smile genuinely in return? Sure it doesn't work every time, but I don't think these strangers are trying to be rude to you. I can understand it being frustrating at times, but I don't think you should be mad at them.

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    • True I shouldn't be mad at them, but at times I can get stressed out at work if it's very busy. So I'm making all these weird facial expressions.

    • Yeah, sometimes people should try to be more aware of the kind of stress/busyness you're under, but not everyone is that intuitive. Sometimes it takes letting them know.

  • They mean well but they could also be trivialising something serious. Over the years I've had various periods of deep depression and someone telling me to smile or "cheer up" would only make me feel worse.

    Their intent may be good but at the end of the day actions speak louder than words.

    If you see someone who seems down then don't just tell them to smile, actively try and make them smile. Sometimes just a short and friendly conversation can flip a person's mood.

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  • Because there is to much hate in the world. . something as simple as a smile.. Could change a person's whole day... all we need is love

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  • They just want to see you happy, but they don't know how else to put it. They don't realise that the slightest compliment will brighten someone's day and make them feel good. There's an art to getting someone's mind to switch from negative to positive, and unfortunately very few people know anything about it.

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    • The point isn't "don't get upset". The point is to understand that they care. Someone noticed that you're upset or depressed, and they're letting you know they want you to be happy, they just don't know how else to put it.

  • I've had that happen in public before. Depending on my mood, it can get interesting. It really depends on how it came about.

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  • I've been told to smile a number of times. Most of them were completely strangers that I simply walk pass. Those ones are mostly selfish, because apparently you have to smile for them to keep for ruining their day or something like that. Other ones are kind of wanted to cheer me up cause I looked angry. Those ones I don't really mind.

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  • I really don't see the issue. It's not exactly a big secret that people look more pleasant, when they smile. Gives off a better "aura".

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  • Never encountered this here in the UK , however smiles here are very rare... most people look pissed off & beaten down , also strangers rarely talk to each other , not the culture here , esp SE England & Greater London. I rarely smile myself , I admit that.

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  • Its an entitlement thing by men. I have seen this happened a few times and I usually tell the girl to ignore the guy.

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  • That's a good question. I was told years ago by my boss to smile more. I told him to see me @ 3:00pm at the employees entrance when I'm leaving. I've had people say that to me and I can say or do anything from, giving them the the smile they requested or say "FUCK OFF", it depends on how I feel. Lol.

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  • cuz if you are roaming streets with agent 47 face, Police will mistake you for a serial killer or psychopathy.

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  • It's not to please the person. It's another way of telling some one not to worry and everything will be alright. So yes, it's okay.

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  • I used to tell cunts to fuck off when they said that to me. Walking along deep in thought about something and some fuckin Nigel with a spotty face and no neck squeaking at me 'cheer up it might never happen.' I end up growling up fuck off and it basically backs up the fuckers argument that I'm a miserable cunt lol. Only idiots walk about grinning all day. I dont trust people that smile too much

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  • Give them a slasher smile instead. Don't stop until they're sure you're going to kill them.

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  • I can see somebody walking down the street deep in thought looks like a very bad day and I will say smile it'll only get better if you wanted to

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  • I would tell them to fuck off, mind their own business, and that they don't know me or what shit I've got going on.

    It is just as rude as anything else and trying to claim it's an exception to normal social protocol because it's "happy" is just BS.

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  • Some of us guys are programmed to make you ladies happy, when your smiling it makes us happy, comfortable makes the world beauitful, when your sad we wonder how we can fix things and our primitive sign of happiness is when you ladies smile bc im sure you ladies smile a lot to people you like yes. I try hard to make my lady friends smile when there having a bad day even if i have to sing fking disney songs out loud lol but my grandpa thought me "happy women, happy life" and i believe him.

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  • I have no idea. I typically avoid the opposite sex like the black death foe two reasons when I'm in public. Reason 1, I'm married. Reason 2, in the current climate and with the war on men, the simple act of saying hello can be seen as harassment and possibly rape by some women, so they are best avoided.

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  • I think they are saying that to spread positivity which other people stated that smiling reduces stress and raises mood booster chemicals in the brain.

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  • One thing I absolutely despise, is when you buy something from a retail store - and the customer assistant is as grumpy as f***! Enough to spoil anyone's day! I often tell those people to brighten up cause they're looking scary...

    I use to work in retail (McDonalds ffs).. Where I was punched, shouted abuse at.. You name it! And yet, I still always tried to put on a smile for the next customer!

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  • Having been in depression before (and every now and then) I am respectful and never judge when someone is downcast or sad faced, if anything and if the opportunity comes I just ask "hi, how is it going?" sometimes people just need to vent. God sent plenty of people my way to be able to vent while I've been in the storm, you just don't know their walk. I kinda think of the people that say "smile" as manipulating over hyped fakes.

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  • It's often another way of saying "cheer up" to people who might look sad or upset. Someone suggesting that you smile, can sometimes cause someone to involuntarily smile and cheer up for a moment at least.

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    • Yes, I think that when people say that, they do so with good intent. They see someone who might look unhappy, and they go out of their way to approach that person and it is a way of trying to cheer up a person. Not something that should be taken as an offense. Sometimes it's just nice to smile and say thank you, for their attempt at a bit of good will.

  • You're right. I would maybe do that if the person looked really sad but even than I'd do it with some humour... not insisting and assuming the joke will bring the smile automatically :D

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  • I'll give them this look instead...

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  • well, I've learned to never even try to talk to a stranger women beyond "I'll get this with fries" because the moment you start to talk to them they turn into total bitches and avoid you the next time because they think you are going after them.

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  • well, once i was walking and saw this printing that has smiley face and next to it "smile" then i suddenly smiled and it was printed in my mind for couple of weeks.

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What Girls Said 42

  • i know i hate it too.. like tey have no idea how you day has been and they still ask you to smile... like wtf

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    • That's pretty bitter way to think. I have had some really sit days and then someone told me to smile guess what I did and it made me happier and better yet they got happy at seeing me happy

    • @Nightshades i don't think its better
      and to each their own opinion

  • I think they're trying to seem nice
    I say seem because it does come across as slightly patronising - no-one likes to be told what to do
    The best way to invoke a smile from someone would be to genuinely smile at them, leaving them to decide whether or not they want to smile back

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    • It's creepy to not say anything and smile at someone especially guy --> girl

    • @Nightshades I guess it depends on the way in which you smile and it's duration..
      I always smile back at guys the smile as the walk past me.. and if anything find it sweet

      Still think it would be creepier to actually tell some stranger to smile tho

    • **guys that smile as they...

  • Maaaan it infuriates me. When I was working in hospitality and men would tell me I need to smile or whatever I would seeeeeethe.

    The classics:
    "You're much more beautiful when you smile"
    "A smile wouldn't hurt"
    "Smile, its not that bad!"

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  • Yea some people are stupid to do this, they just don't understand how bad nor ignorant that comment is and think they are cheering you up or thinking they are helping but they wrong. If this happened to me, I might snap and say "you don't know me nor get to tell me what to do about my feelings. I'm dealing some crap so if i wanna show my scowl, i will. Better way to handle this is ask how I'm doing or be friendly to me. Gees louise I'm not Mona lisa. Thanks to you, my day got worse so i hope yours worse than mine. Bye." Lol yes I'm a mad, bitter woman, working on my issues. If i get better, i might answer, "excuse me, that was rude of you to tell me to smile. You don't know me, don't know what crap I'm going through, or what is going through my head nor know how my feelings are. Next time for next stranger you seeing who ain't smiling, ask if how are they and be kind. Well take care and bye". I rather correct them or tell them off so that hopefully the next person don't have a mental breakdown from it. It could happen lol i feel like anything could trigger me

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  • Just smile, you never know how much a smile can do for someone. I've been told I should smile plenty of times by strangers, and I always have always better day, because my mood changes to happy, and we all kinda need that in life.. some of y'all is bitter and gonna say "i'ma do whatever I wanna" or "let me be"... but seriously it puts others in better moods. It's just uplifting and beneficial :) 😊😊😊😊😊❤

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    • Exactly. Why do girls take umbrage to a goodwill gesture?

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    • BTW: the OP has admitted that she's wrong.

    • @Kauto_Star I wouldn't think of it the same way you do, tho... it's not that big of deal. Just depends on people

  • Ya my reply to them is a smug face. lol bitch, don't tell me what to do. :D or mind your own damn business

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  • it depends. is they're saying it in a "it'll all be fine life is great" way then I don't mind but if they say something like "hey babe give us a smile why don't ya ;)" then they're just being a twat

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  • I personally don't mind it unless the person acts snarky about it. I have had many people-usually senior citizens- tell me to smile. Honestly I don't think they mean anything negative so I just let it go.

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  • Seriously annoying.

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  • Random dudes on the street will tell me "smile, beautiful" as I pass by. I don't find it creepy. They're complimenting me but I smile on command for no one lol

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  • Maybe the person is not only not smiling, but looks like the sky will fall or something.

    On the contrary, it may not be the best approach, but why wouldn't it be okay to say so? Better than ignoring and pretending you didn't see, aka not caring at all.

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  • I do it all the time.

    How do I look? Let me ask the people here how I look, but let's not smile and not welcoming at all, sure that'll give some positive feedback.

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  • Never had this happen to me but then I see beauty in the smallest of things and everyday is a fresh start. I like walking and it gets rid of all my stress.

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  • People usually say that, cus they want you too feel better, not to please themselves. Especially friends and family.

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  • I don't mind it.
    I like it actually because it reminds me to smile.

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  • Because they are twats.

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  • I usually laugh it off... i think you would look like an escaped crazy person if you had a smile on your face all the time lol also I can imagine if people did that the muscles must start to hurt.

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  • They probably think they're being helpful, inspiring, and/or uplifting.

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  • It makes me want to punch people in the face when they say that. I was in a good mood until you tried telling me what I should feel errr

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  • My nana and mother ALWAYS would say. If you see someone without a smile give them yours its just being polite and nice in a way tht is not expected it just one. Of those things tht is just better like trying to get tht frown turned up side down turend where u become as beautiful on the out side as well as the inside and wht is on the inside counts just as much as the out side but wht is on the inside is stronger thn wht is on the outside male some one laugh tht is down can be very powerful inside and out

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  • A smile can change the day of a person. It can bring positivity and good vibes.

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  • Babe! You got featured. Proud xx

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  • I don't know. Maybe because "people look prettier when they smile". Fuck that, let my pessimistic ass BE.

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  • I don't know but it annoys the crap out of me honestly... some people just aren't good at faking a smile and i'm one of those people

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  • Nothing shits me more

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  • Smile if someone is having a bad days at something positive and then tell them to smile

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  • That does not really happen here in HK 🤷‍♀️

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  • Because they wish to be punched in the face.

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  • Why are people offended by the littlest, most inconsequential things?
    Someone tells you to smile and you don't wanna smile? You can do this amazing, simple thing called 'not smiling and moving on with the rest of your miserable existence.'

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  • Often men do this to women... I got it alil too often and annoys the crap out of me because I tend to have a Resting bitch face. However I try to think more positive and see it as compliment because they think you're pretty but would look nicer if you smile. (not that it's any of their damn business).. but you get what I mean. If you weren't attractive MOST LIKELY they wouldn't bother say anything in the first place. Hope this helped xx

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