What makes you smile? You’ve got a choice!

I know this picture has been used by others, but it fits my position today. Really expressive; clearly a choice.

Just try standing in front of a mirror and doing the above facial exercise – smile really big and then frown excessively. At least two things will happen:

  1. Your smile will help you feel better about yourself and your day, or
  2. Your frown will show you how bad you look when you do this and, hopefully, cause you to decide not to do this.

Even a silly grin is better than a depressing frown. You just LOOK better! All of us want to look good. Frowns (facial expressions of dissatisfied feelings) are not in your best interest to display. Who wants to be near unhappy people? (Maybe another unhappy person, after all, “misery loves company”).

But staying happy is work. Work is a four-letter word and we don’t use four-letter words in polite company. It’s sometimes hard to find ‘polite company’, if you know what I mean.

Just know the effort used to smile is still less than that used to frown (you use 4 more muscles to frown than smile!).

So, back to the question: What makes YOU smile? [feel free to leave your ideas in the reply section below]


Here’s a short list:

  • flash smile (slight amusement, but passes quickly)
  • grimace (sort of a lopsided smile)
  • tenuous smile (uncertain)
  • slow smile (sort of grows as you consider what you’re seeing)
  • forced smile (know we should, but don’t really feel it)
  • warm smile (shows pleasure at the experience)
  • grin (really tickled at the experience)
  • broad smile (full expression of a delightful exposure to a happy involvement)
  • smile connected with laughter (overflow of true joy)

Just thought I show you a grimace.

Not really the kind of ‘smile’ to “make your day”.


Let’s take a closer look at these smiles.

  1. Flash smile – a quick response to a slightly amusing encounter or verbal comment. This is a very temporary smile. Almost not worth mentioning, but it is still a smile. When you are hoping to be happy, it is a start.
  2. Grimace – this ‘smile’ has almost a pained expression. This could be the response to a ‘bad’ joke, for example. Or a grudging return to an almost funny happening.
  3. Tenuous smile – very weak or slight movement of the lips, similar to the flash smile, but weaker or the grimace, but not as expressive.
  4. Slow smile – as the humor of the moment gradually is understood, the smile spreads from tenuous to a genuine smile.
  5. Forced smile – just as it looks, this smile is either not real or seems to be necessary in the situation. Not necessarily genuine.
  6. Warm smile – this is a REAL smile and brings pleasure to one’s whole self. (More, please!)
  7. Grin – as I said above, really tickled at the experience. Real enjoyment in the encounter. (More, please!)
  8. Broad smile – full engagement in the experience. Just can’t help but smile. Natural response to a pleasurable involvement. (Much more, please!)
  9. Smile connected with laughter – the BEST smile yet! This is the ‘real smeal’! Most everyone enjoys a good laugh and you can’t laugh without smiling! (I suppose there are those who would frown at this, because they are so negative this makes them frown and, sometimes, even growl. Too bad. We are going to enjoy the moment anyway! (So there, grumps!)

I just couldn’t resist this little fella’s smile/grin/laugh. He is clearly enjoying this moment.

Hope this lightened your day and way!


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