Author Topic: Please don't tell me to smile.  (Read 46973 times)

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Larrabee

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #75 on: November 22, 2011, 05:45:48 PM »
I do see it as rude, though, not just a pet peeve.  It is making an interesting assumption that the teller knows better than the person how she feels and that the teller should tell her what to do.  It's not a precautionary warning, it's not a greeting, it's a command (even if given in a jovial tone) and it says "It doesn't matter what you're feeling today, I think you should smile, so do it!"
I also extrapolate to it being a 'power' issue.  And a gendered one, at that.

I just don't see some random clerk sitting behind his counter plotting a power play going "I know, I'll tell her to smile!  That'll show her who's boss!"  To me this whole thing is one of those things where people see offense where none was intended.

That's the thing about gender, it affects us almost from birth.  Its not always about conscious choices like that, its about the fact that there are societal influences on the way you behave that you're probably not even aware of or actually choosing.

Yvaine

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2011, 05:47:48 PM »
I do see it as rude, though, not just a pet peeve.  It is making an interesting assumption that the teller knows better than the person how she feels and that the teller should tell her what to do.  It's not a precautionary warning, it's not a greeting, it's a command (even if given in a jovial tone) and it says "It doesn't matter what you're feeling today, I think you should smile, so do it!"
I also extrapolate to it being a 'power' issue.  And a gendered one, at that.

I just don't see some random clerk sitting behind his counter plotting a power play going "I know, I'll tell her to smile!  That'll show her who's boss!"  To me this whole thing is one of those things where people see offense where none was intended.

That's the thing about gender, it affects us almost from birth.  Its not always about conscious choices like that, its about the fact that there are societal influences on the way you behave that you're probably not even aware of or actually choosing.

Exactly. It won't necessarily take the form of a guy rubbing his hands together, cackling, and saying "How can I be sexist today?" It's more that he'll subconsciously be annoyed by a woman not smiling and make a comment, even if he doesn't know why it bothers him or isn't even all that aware that he's annoyed.

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #77 on: November 22, 2011, 05:50:57 PM »
I do see it as rude, though, not just a pet peeve.  It is making an interesting assumption that the teller knows better than the person how she feels and that the teller should tell her what to do.  It's not a precautionary warning, it's not a greeting, it's a command (even if given in a jovial tone) and it says "It doesn't matter what you're feeling today, I think you should smile, so do it!"
I also extrapolate to it being a 'power' issue.  And a gendered one, at that.

I just don't see some random clerk sitting behind his counter plotting a power play going "I know, I'll tell her to smile!  That'll show her who's boss!"  To me this whole thing is one of those things where people see offense where none was intended.

That's the thing about gender, it affects us almost from birth.  Its not always about conscious choices like that, its about the fact that there are societal influences on the way you behave that you're probably not even aware of or actually choosing.

Exactly. It won't necessarily take the form of a guy rubbing his hands together, cackling, and saying "How can I be sexist today?" It's more that he'll subconsciously be annoyed by a woman not smiling and make a comment, even if he doesn't know why it bothers him or isn't even all that aware that he's annoyed.

Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

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Yvaine

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2011, 05:55:42 PM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

VorFemme

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #79 on: November 22, 2011, 07:07:44 PM »
I'm sitting here remembering the scene from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she is singing "give me something to sing about" and realizing that replying to a random request with "give me something to smile about" isn't really THAT rude.  You could have had a flat tire on the way to work, your cat could have hacked up a hairball in your best shoes, your kid could have strep throat, or you could just have a bland facial expression due to heredity.............

But if someone tells you to "smile" - politely ask them to give you a reason to smile.............if you're heading to a funeral, you may need a much better reason to smile than someone who just has a naturally blank face.
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Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #80 on: November 23, 2011, 09:04:39 AM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?" 

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #81 on: November 23, 2011, 12:48:59 PM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?
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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #82 on: November 23, 2011, 02:10:15 PM »
I used to work for a large insurance agency, and they used a security guard at the front desk.  The morning guard was a chipper gent who would always say "Good morning!  How are you?!?!?!" to me and he would get angry at me if I didn't smile at him and say "Fine, how are you!!!"  Honestly, in the morning, after a hellish drive in traffic, all I want is to get to my desk and drink some coffee.  Some people are just not morning people!

I even started wearing earbuds when I walked in so that he wouldn't expect me to say anything to him.  I'd still give him a smile and nod but wouldn't verbally say "good morning" back.  One day he finally said, "I'M FINE, THANKS FOR ASKING!"  I whipped off my earbuds and said, "I wish you wouldn't do that!"  He responded with, "Well, you are really rude for not responding to me every morning!"

Bleh.

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #83 on: November 23, 2011, 02:23:28 PM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvanistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

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Larrabee

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #84 on: November 23, 2011, 02:26:26 PM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvanistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

You do realise you just called an awful lot of us special snowflakes?  :-\

If you can't see condescending or chauvinistic, or even subconsciously patriarchal, then how about entitled?  That fits.  These people feel a sense of entitlement over your facial expressions.  What they want you to look like is more important than how you feel.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 02:35:35 PM by Larrabee »

wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #85 on: November 23, 2011, 02:29:03 PM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvanistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

You do realise you just called an awful lot of special snowflakes?  :-\

If you can't see condescending or chauvinistic, or even subconsciously patriarchal, then how about entitled?  That fits.  These people feel a sense of entitlement over your facial expressions.  What they want you to look like is more important than how you feel.

Amen. I am not a puppet to be manipulated for your amusement.
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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2011, 04:02:15 PM »
I don't see it as chauvinistic, but I definitely find it entitled.  (All you's general).  Who are you to tell me that it can't be that bad?  How do you know what happened in my life?  Having a bad day IS that bad to me, and you being entitled and annoying is making it worse.  I'm not even having a bad day, I'm just deep in thought; how presumptuous of you to think you know what's going on in my mind.

Well wishes, such as "Have a good day!" are not presumptuous; that's comparing apples and oranges.
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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #87 on: November 25, 2011, 08:51:13 AM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvinistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

You do realise you just called an awful lot of us special snowflakes?  :-\

If you can't see condescending or chauvinistic, or even subconsciously patriarchal, then how about entitled?  That fits.  These people feel a sense of entitlement over your facial expressions.  What they want you to look like is more important than how you feel.

Nope.  Still don't see it as entitled.  They're trying to be cheerful.  There is no ulterior motive.  It's like wishing someone "Happy Holidays" - someone is going to get their feelings all twisted over that comment because "How dare they!  I celebrate Christmas!"  To assume someone is entitled, condescending, or a chauvinist based on ONE benign comment, is making a HUGE assumption and I just don't think that is in anyway proper etiquette - and it's, in fact, quite judgemental and rude, like I said.

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #88 on: November 25, 2011, 10:00:13 AM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvinistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

You do realise you just called an awful lot of us special snowflakes?  :-\

If you can't see condescending or chauvinistic, or even subconsciously patriarchal, then how about entitled?  That fits.  These people feel a sense of entitlement over your facial expressions.  What they want you to look like is more important than how you feel.

Nope.  Still don't see it as entitled.  They're trying to be cheerful.  There is no ulterior motive.  It's like wishing someone "Happy Holidays" - someone is going to get their feelings all twisted over that comment because "How dare they!  I celebrate Christmas!"  To assume someone is entitled, condescending, or a chauvinist based on ONE benign comment, is making a HUGE assumption and I just don't think that is in anyway proper etiquette - and it's, in fact, quite judgemental and rude, like I said.

Strawman.  Wishing someone a happy time is not the same as giving someone an instruction.  A closer parallel to "Smile!  It might never happen!" would be "You WILL have a happy holidays, there is nothing going on that will make them unhappy!" to a complete stranger.

No-one tells me what to do with my face.  No-one.

Larrabee

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2011, 10:06:28 AM »
Why are we assuming a guy has to be annoyed to say "Smile"?  That seems rather odd to me.  And I actually hear more older women than men saying stuff like this...  In the OP's case, yes, it's a guy saying it, but I think this whole thing is just very much overblown.

In my experience, usually it's a guy, and I don't know why anyone would say it if they weren't somehow irked. I mean, why even comment on a stranger's facial expression if it doesn't bother you? And why comment on a stranger's facial expression anyway, and why presume to give them orders about it?  ???

This may be my eHell hill to die on, but not once has anyone ever come across as being irked when I've heard it said.  It's usually done in a light, jovial manner - similar to saying "Hope you have a good day!"  Again, seeing offense when none is intended.  People like to see other people happy - some people try to put a smile on someone's face anyway they can - so someone's method may be a little trite, but who cares?  I'm sure most of the people who say it aren't doing it for offense or out of some unconsious-manly-overbearing-the-woman-must-do-as-I-say reason and would probably be rather shocked that someone takes it that way.  It's one of those things that if someone were to say to me that they were offended by the comment, then I would, of course, apologize, while thinking to myself, "You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?"

From my perspective, I am not here to amuse and entertain random strangers on the street.  You (general you) have no idea what is going in my life, or what may have happened to me today, or if I'm sick.  When I hear a condescending voice say "Why don't you smile for me baby" or "Let's have a smile girl" or "Smile, it can't be that bad".  Yes, I am offended.  I am not a pet dog here to dance and entertain.  Furthermore, what difference does it make if I smile or not?  Is it really going to ruin someone else's day if I don't constantly walk around grinning from ear to ear whether i want to or not?

I don't get why it's condescending.  Someone is trying to be jokey and cheery.  I don't see the big deal.  If someone is going to take offense to something like that, well, I can't help that, but I'm certainly not going to make the assumption that the person saying it is trying to be condescending or chauvinistic - that assumption to me is extremely rude and judgemental.  It's one of those items on my SS list.

You do realise you just called an awful lot of us special snowflakes?  :-\

If you can't see condescending or chauvinistic, or even subconsciously patriarchal, then how about entitled?  That fits.  These people feel a sense of entitlement over your facial expressions.  What they want you to look like is more important than how you feel.

Nope.  Still don't see it as entitled.  They're trying to be cheerful.  There is no ulterior motive.  It's like wishing someone "Happy Holidays" - someone is going to get their feelings all twisted over that comment because "How dare they!  I celebrate Christmas!"  To assume someone is entitled, condescending, or a chauvinist based on ONE benign comment, is making a HUGE assumption and I just don't think that is in anyway proper etiquette - and it's, in fact, quite judgemental and rude, like I said.

Strawman.  Wishing someone a happy time is not the same as giving someone an instruction.  A closer parallel to "Smile!  It might never happen!" would be "You WILL have a happy holidays, there is nothing going on that will make them unhappy!" to a complete stranger.

No-one tells me what to do with my face.  No-one.

POD

Also, if you want to feel more cheerful, smile yourself.

Nobody is saying that being a 'Smile!' commander make you an entitled, chauvinistic or rude person overall, but that the particular action is.