I have no idea why I capitalized all those words.
Anyway, when I was a little girl people used to just dump loads of crap life advice on my head.
Things like; If you’re not pretty the boys won’t like you, so brush your damn hair.
And; Take that hat off! How will the boys see your pretty face if you have that hat on!
And also; When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
- I don’t care if the boys like me (or the girls).
- What the hell? Is my worth seriously this caught up in how I look?
- I hate lemonade.
But I think the most harmful advice that was ever heaped on my wee tiny little shoulders was; “If you smile, the world will smile with you.”
No. No it won’t! In fact, most people will think you’re an idiot because you’re happy!
Here’s the other thing, some people think if you just smile hard enough and long enough that any bad feelings you’re struggling with will just magically disappear into a cloud of happy! I wish it was that easy!
Here’s the truth people.
Unhappy people do not like it when you rub your happy in their face. So sure, smile kindly and be nice to them but don’t blow rays of sunshine up their… noses. Seriously, it will make them more unhappy and then they’ll heap scorn on you. Happiness needs to have an acceptability level and your happiness needs to be under that bar to avoid not niceness.
The acceptability level changes depending on who you’re with. Another happy person will bring the acceptability up so high you both are basically drunk on happy and it won’t matter.
In short, it’s exhausting to know when to smile, how to smile and when not to. There is no one phrase that works.
So, I suggest we change this particular piece of advice to reflect a more level headed approach to the world.
“Smile appropriately and others will smile appropriately with you – also, don’t rub your rays of sunshine up an unhappy persons nose.”
And that is my word of advice for the day.