How to Get People to Smile

Sometimes just seeing you smiling is enough to make other people want to smile, but sometimes they need a little help. You might not be able to fix a tough situation or get someone to overcome shyness that keeps them from being expressive in public, but there are many things you can try to elicit smiles from those around you.
  • Make jokes in situations where humor is appropriate. Even if they're a little on the cheesy side, people appreciate the chance to laugh. A good chuckle can keep people smiling and brighten up a dull or stressful day.
  • Offer encouragement when someone is dealing with a trial or problem.
  • Give complements to the people you encounter throughout the day. Tell your co-workers what a good job they're doing. Tell someone how nice their outfit looks. You never know who might need to hear a kind word.
  • Share funny memes, pictures and videos you find on the Internet. It might sound strange, but these silly little mood-boosters have a way of bringing a smile to people's faces no matter how bizarre the subject.
  • Be nice and polite to everyone you meet. Keep in mind that people with negative attitudes may be having a bad day and could use an emotional boost. Retail and food service workers, nurses and people who work with children or the elderly have especially demanding jobs and aren't always treated well. Your smile or complement could be just what they need to start smiling themselves.
  • Be appreciative of what others do for you. Say "thank you" for small gestures and don't forget to send notes or cards acknowledging gifts from friends and family.
  • Call someone to say hi. It doesn't matter when you last talked to them; it's always nice to hear from a person who cares about you. This is especially uplifting to elderly relatives and neighbors who live alone and may not get many phone calls or visitors.
  • Send an anonymous positive note to someone you know needs to smile more.
  • Offer to help someone out when you see that they could use a hand. Not everyone will ask for help when they need it, but many appreciate the thought. Simple gestures such as offering to carry part of a heavy load or giving your seat to someone who doesn't have one are great ways to make people smile.
  • Treat a friend, family member or co-worker to a spontaneous lunch out or pay the bill for a planned outing.
  • Offer your time to give others a chance to de-stress. Take an evening to watch a friend's kids so she and her spouse can enjoy a relaxing night out. Help a neighbor with some chores. Volunteer to clean your parents' house. Anything you can do to make someone's day easier will be appreciated.
  • Listen well when people talk to you. Modern life is so hectic that good listeners are hard to find. People appreciate a willing ear and will feel better once they've had a chance to get something off their chest.
  • Give a handmade or homemade gift. The time and effort you put into something special such as a batch of cookies or a decorative item for the home shows that you care about the recipient and is sure to make them smile.
  • Brighten someone's day by reminding them of something positive you remember about them. A story of how someone once helped you through a tough time or made your kids laugh when they were feeling blue makes them feel better about themselves and lifts them up no matter what's going on.
  • If you know someone well enough, offer a hug when you see they're feeling down. Hugs are great mood-boosters and can bring about a smile even on the hardest of days.

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