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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  • 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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    THIS IS NOT RELEVANT ANYMORE
    • Let's print out a random smile and tape it over our mouths. We'll look beautiful too ❤️

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    • Haha well done!

    • 😁👍🏼

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What Guys Said 93

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

  • a lot of girls complaining about. depends on how its said, & 99% of your life is how you react to things. Sometimes you can forget that you are being way too depressed. So someone says smile, shows that humanity are not all cunts cause someone took their time to care bout your wellbeing which they don't have to do. If you think someone telling you to smile is bad, then you just that part of humanity that's a cunt. Last I checked being a cunt is not a gd thing

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    • Exactly, anyone to takes exception to a stranger telling to smile is an ungrateful cunt.

    • Ey if you see it that way then that's you

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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What Girls Said 42

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • I think most of the time it's meant harmlessly, like they're trying to make the person feel better. But it really is not a good thing to say, because it comes off like you want the person to smile for YOU, which they clearly don't owe you.
    If you want to cheer someone up, just smile at them. Chances are they will smile back.

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  • Because they feel more comfortable. It's really all about them. They likely don't care how you're feeling.

    I generally have a neutral expression. Not angry or upset or anything. No emotion. It's just natural for me. I smile when the situation is right. Or if I'm thinking about something that makes me happy. Having a smile plastered on your face is just unnatural... you know who does that? CRAZY people that's who! Or people on drugs. Nobody is THAT happy all the time.

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    • I knew a girl in highschool who smiled all the time. And laughed at like everything. Sweet girl. But she was developmentally delayed and had the mental functioning of like a 6 year old.

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

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

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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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  • 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 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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