Why Some People Don’t Smile?

Smile with flowers
Nature smiles through flowers

Walking by my favorite creek, which is surrounded by thick green cover, sending vibes of peace, interrupted just by the soft sound of flowing water, I look at a squirrel that pauses by to smile at me and my thoughts jump faster than my furry friend, wondering…why are human smiles waning?

A smile sends vibes of positivity; it may not know any language but it lightens up the atmosphere; connects us and eliminates doubts that may surround us. It is said to “fit the lock of everybody’s heart.”

The natural smiles of a child convey that smiling has been in our DNA since time immemorial. Where do they go when we grow up?

Smiling is juvenile:

People who don’t smile connect a stern face with machoism. They keep emotions under wraps to accentuate their power and strength. Lack of smile shows their attitude, their emotional balance, style and social status. Incorporating sensitivity in the upbringing of boys is a recent development, which reveals the importance of emotions. But an expressionless face only reflects arrogance and a clamor for supremacy.

Smiling invites trouble:

If you have been raised in a conservative society, you know smiling at strangers could create problems for women. It could send a wrong signal to a guy who interprets your smile in his own way. He could follow you till your home, try to talk to you, make lewd gestures or may dream of dating you. The first advice that is given to girls in such societies: ‘Don’t smile.’ Later it becomes a habit.

Smiling can be misconstrued:

Workplaces are also hubs of hollow rumors. Your ingenuous smile at a colleague or boss could be misinterpreted by co-workers who quickly arrive at conclusions that you are seeking a favor or you are eager to please them. Wearing a smile like an attractive attire could prove to be detrimental for some while it may give a boost to the career of those who don’t care for gossip.

Smiling makes them vulnerable:

People who don’t want to communicate, who consider themselves to be superior but are actually weak and insecure, choose to wear a strong exterior in order to hide their true self. They wear a mask of toughness. They have probably faced too many snubs to appreciate the value of a smiling face. For them, smiling is superfluous and relationships immaterial.

Some people forget to smile due to storms of life that had knocked them down. The cauldron of circumstances mold them into hard nuts, fears convert them into indifferent individuals who find it hard to discern light within. Grief pushes them into an abyss of darkness, which seems natural to them. They have to make a special effort to smile and that too when they are told to.

Some people don’t smile because their profession doesn’t let them. How can you expect police officers and lawyers to smile warmly? Models are told to keep a straight face so that onlookers appreciate the ensemble they display rather than their looks.

A real smile stretches beyond the face; it touches your heart, diffusing warmth and friendship whereas a fake smile exposes itself effortlessly. I am sure nobody likes a fake smile yet some people carry them with confidence.

“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.” – Roy T. Bennett.

Do you smile to add beauty to your surroundings?
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.



58 thoughts on “Why Some People Don’t Smile?

  1. Oh, Balroop I used to be a very reserved person for many years. But over time, with conscious awareness I now smile more and always wonder why didn’t smile as much earlier. A smile is a beautiful accesory without which a person is never completely dressed. It helps brighten the darkness around. 😊💖

    1. I think I can say the same but by being reserve, I earned the title of “arrogant.” I had to deal with some grief too early in life, which sucked my smiles. (I have written about it in one of the earlier blog posts) I learnt to smile much later in life and am glad that I could. 🙂

      1. Very true Balroop. Family and friends always said I was very arrogant because of my reserved nature. But happy that you have learnt the beauty of smiling. Keep smiling and stay blessed 😊

  2. I honestly can’t imagine a day without smiling, Balroop. I’ve always thought the more smiles I put out there, eventually one will land in the eyes of someone who really needs one. I enjoyed this post! ❤

  3. A lot of people don’t smile because they are in a very tense environment or have a lot of stress. Generally, people who stay in this type of atmosphere for a long time tend to develop this situation. Excellent write-up. I like the fact that you write to make this world a better place.

    1. Your reason is absolutely apt Arv… all work places can’t be pleasant and modern competitive world makes it all the more stressful. We have to look within to create balance as life is not just about work and success. 🙂 Hope your workplace is comfortable.

      1. I agree that balance comes from within. And it’s not just about workplaces, it is even relevant for homes. Thanks for the insights.

  4. A sensitive and honest article. I believe we all grow up with different values implanted
    which affect us as young. Personally I can’t imagine a day without smiling. Going for a walk I smile and greet
    those I meet. O.k. , not possible on busy big city streets.
    It must be hard not to smile, almost a punishment.
    Fake smile is only baring of teeth, real ones light up the eyes.


    1. Thank you for your kind words Miriam, nice to hear that smiles occupy such a significant place in your life. I didn’t grow up with smiles but could pick up on the curve of learning.

      1. Oh Balroop, you can pick up on it. Just let the smiles rip and see the humour in the whole too.
        I could tell you some real life stories where my smiles / laughs caused concern in some circles.😊.
        That made me laugh more…..oh dear.


  5. A welcome article. I have thought, often, on the subject. Thank you Balroop. I was called ‘smiler ‘when young, BUT I had loving parents and no reason not to smile…So much is learned from our early nourishment and environment and by the treatment of parents/carers. If we have been fortunate, we should spread the good fortune around. Share it and smile, openly, with the people of the world. Smiles cost nothing and can mean a lot. x

    1. Nice to hear your second name though ‘Joy’ too instantly brings a good vibe! Parental love and environment in which we grow up definitely affects our outlook and personality. When we are surrounded by happy and positive people, we grow up to be one. All kids are not that fortunate and learn slowly as they grow up that smiles are like sunshine.
      Thank you for sharing your lovely words Joy, much appreciated.

  6. Fabulous post Balroop! I always smile. But I’m almost smart enough to know when not to smile around suspicious people, lol. 😉

  7. Just yesterday my hubby asked me why I was frowning. I didn’t even realize I was! I think the stresses of every day living keep us from smiling as much as we did in younger years. How I’d love to be five again!! Wonderful post, Balroop 💕

  8. So many reasons why one may not choose to smile. You mentioned in your post some conservative societies don’t encourage smiling, and I was brought up to not smile st strangers. My Chinese family also said whenever I should smile at a family celebratoru gathering, it should be with lips closed, no teeth – that is, showing teeth is ugly. These days I’m reserved and not smiling often is part of my personality. But of course, some moments you can’t help but smile or laugh, such as when you’re with good company or you are just feeling happy 😊

    1. I know many such people who smile with their lips tightly compressed, even for a picture! I too was one of those till I discovered the joy of smiling openly. Family and friends do influence our ways of smiling and even laughter, which was snubbed by one of my aunts who always emphasized that girls don’t laugh loudly…I scoffed at her scoldings and could never control my laughter!

      1. Girls not laughing loudly…that is some outdated thought. Good on you for expressing yourself loudly or not when you are feeling the way you feel, Balroop 🙂

  9. Really good reasons. I get all of them. A story about smiling: When I left my last job, I couldn’t stop smiling at the joy if escaping. I grinned like a fool and couldn’t stop myself!

  10. An interesting reflection on smiling, Balroop. I must admit that I always smile and I always ask people how they are and about their children. It is natural for me as I find people very interesting. I believe people respond well to a smile and expression of interest in them.

  11. Great post on smiling, Balroop. I’m a ‘smiler’ and always have been. 🙂 I can’t imagine not smiling because hopefully, that one smile will brighten someone’s day. I feel the same about paying someone a compliment. I don’t hesitate if the timing is right. It’s nice to send uplifting vibes to another. 🙂

  12. Smiling is part of me. I remember my dad saying to me when I was a young woman “don’t smile or men will get the wrong information about what you want”. It took me by surprise and I did not know what to think of this. Of course I was not smiling to get any attention. It’s just who I am.
    A smile can make such a difference. It’s says so many things. And sending one is such as nice as receiving one.
    Thank you for this lovely post. Stay well.

    1. Young women have to guard themselves even in this so called developed world! I wish some mindsets too could develop. That is why natural smiles get a setback. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marie. Have a nice week.

  13. I’ve always been described as “smiley” by friends. It comes quite natural to me. The odd time it has been misconstrued but mostly it is warmly reciprocated. Another great topic, Balroop. It’s int to stop and think on it.

    1. Thanks Lisa, your smiling face has always conveyed that you are a natural smiler. But right now WordPress is not recognising it and didn’t approve your comment. 🙂

  14. I smile a lot. Some people (those who think smiles show vulnerability, or lack of power) would say I smile too much. But look how much more attractive a person looks when they smile! I’ve read that smiling on the outside helps your insides smile and be healthier also. I believe it. And I love this post you’ve written about smiles. It made me… SMILE. 🙂

  15. This is a wonderful post, Balroop. Some people do forget to smile as they grow older. I smile all the time – big and goofy at times – I don’t care. A smile never hurt anyone. There are people that rarely smile and on those few occasions that a smile escapes it looks alien on their faces. Some people smile like they don’t know what smiles are for. We all need to let our inner child take over sometimes otherwise life is sad and boring and not worth living. Thanks for reminding everyone to keep smiling. Your writing is so beautiful it always puts a smile on my face. Thank you! ❤ xx

    1. Vashti, I like your admiration of inner child, whom we snub the moment it tries to leap out. Slowly this child goes into hibernation! One of my friends is like that who keeps awakening the childhood fun, who smiles wide and laughs louder…she is missed whenever she is away. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your view.

  16. I learned the art of smiling back in the day when I waited tables. It helped a lot when teaching too. Eventually, I realized if I smiled when I was feeling cranky, the smile would start to stick in my head and brighten my mood.

    1. Nice point! Smiles do uplift the mood, I am glad you discovered it at work. A smile is the first connection we make with students to convey that we are together for a meaningful task, which can be done without any stress.

  17. A natural relaxed smile brings so much joy to the world, lifts our spirits and like a yawn, can become infectious! The effect is instantaneous. Oh, fake smiles give me goosebumps and I always imagine some sinister reason for them. Balroop, only you could write a fascinating article about smiles and this gave me pause for thought. I’d never considered times when a smile could be misconstrued or show vulnerability … may we all always smile and remind those who have forgotten what a boost this can be for each and every day. 😀🤗

    1. You are lucky that you haven’t seen such people who misinterpret a smile. This happens in closed, parochial societies where natural smiles of children are suppressed. Only when they grow up and learn to keep a straight face do they realise how much value is attached to a smile. 🙂

  18. I cannot relate to this, living in Hawaii where almost everyone smiles and hugs. It’s contagious! I spend so much time alone that, when I am ready to step outside the gates, I ‘force’ a smile upon my face, though once begun, it’s easly enough to continue. It really helps me get into a positive frame of mind, to see lightness and joy in my surroundings. And I know my own smile is contagious to others, as theirs are to me.

    Good post, Balroop. May it help others to brighten their own countenances! Aloha ❤

  19. Very interesting post, I was brought up in a small town where a smile and a nod of the head to both strangers and acquaintances were normal. And recently, I’ve lived in a culture where smiling was not normal, and I could tell my ease at smiling was initially met with suspicion until they understood how good it is to smile 🙂

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