Smiling is Contagious

When I conduct hospitality seminars, I will typically pair people up and give them the simple instruction, “Stare at each other.” The odd result is that within a millisecond, the stare spreads into a smile within seconds, the smiles turn into giggles and, for some people, a full-on belly laugh.

At this point, I ask the group “How is it that a simple instruction of ‘stare at each other’ turns into smiles and laughter?” I’ll ask the group, “Is smiling contagious?” to which I always receive an enthusiastic YES!

I tell my audience that, if you smile at someone, one of two things will happen.

  • They’re going to smile back at you
  • They’re going to turn away

There’s never been an instance when you smile at someone that they just stare back at you, because if that happens, you might want to walk away quickly—they’re probably not balanced!

All kidding aside, it’s amazing how a smile can break down barriers and add warmth to a perfect stranger.

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