chapter  8
Smiling
Pages 5

Smiles are easily spotted Smiling is one of the most important aspects of your X-Factor to develop. Smiling is good for you and for those around you. Politicians are constantly being told by their image consultants to smile. One amusing example of this concerns the British politician, Gordon Brown and the creation of the ‘Gordon Brown smile’ in 2007. Unfortunately for Mr Brown, he seemed to overdo it, and while in parliament in November 2007, Vince Cable the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats remarked: ‘The house has noticed the prime minister’s remarkable transformation from Stalin to Mr Bean’ (Borg, 2008, 75). On the other hand, if we think of former US president, Bill Clinton, then his ‘brave smile’ immediately comes to mind. This smile is not a pure expression of happiness. Knapp and Hall (2006) argue that when producing this smile, Bill Clinton was conveying a mixture of pride, determination, modesty and concern. This was achieved by the paradoxical combination of the downturned mouth, the set chin and the ‘smile wrinkles’ around the eyes. So we must be careful about when and how we use smiles. One of the key reasons for this is that humans are particularly adept at spotting smiles. Smiles are the most recognisable form of nonverbal communication. We can see them more clearly than any other type. Believe it or not, a smile can be perceived from a distance of 300 ft; the length of a football field (Blum, 1998, 34). Smiles are one of the key indicators of happiness and we all like to recognise happiness. We have heard of people with ‘lovely smiles’, ‘a smile that lit up her face’ and of course the expression ‘a smile from ear to ear’. Smiles are very important to the human race.