Author Topic: Please don't tell me to smile.  (Read 47701 times)

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EduardosGirl

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2011, 10:18:10 AM »
I have to disagree that the act of telling someone "Smile!" is rude or chauvinistic or any of the other labels ascribed to it. The follow up shirtiness, not to mention the odious use of sweetie or baby coupled with the request, is what I would consider rude or entitled. Chauvinism and patriarchal motivations are best assessed on a case by case basis.

Now, I am a smiler. Almost chronically. I like to smile at people and, generally - even if they don't smile back - I get an acknowledgement back. Sometimes, though, I get a steaming plate of sourpuss grumpy face. I don't say anything but the urge to be even more cheerful in light of the po face is a bit hard to overcome. Would my relentlessly cheery smile be similarly construed as a verbal command to smile?

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2011, 11:02:26 AM »
I would say not, because what you're doing is nonverbally conveying, "I'm happy." it puts no onus on the other person.
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wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2011, 11:26:54 AM »
I have to disagree that the act of telling someone "Smile!" is rude or chauvinistic or any of the other labels ascribed to it. The follow up shirtiness, not to mention the odious use of sweetie or baby coupled with the request, is what I would consider rude or entitled. Chauvinism and patriarchal motivations are best assessed on a case by case basis.

Now, I am a smiler. Almost chronically. I like to smile at people and, generally - even if they don't smile back - I get an acknowledgement back. Sometimes, though, I get a steaming plate of sourpuss grumpy face. I don't say anything but the urge to be even more cheerful in light of the po face is a bit hard to overcome. Would my relentlessly cheery smile be similarly construed as a verbal command to smile?

Not at all.

But I still don't understand how saying "Smile!", which is literally dictating to someone what they should be doing with their own body and their own emotions, can possibly not be rude.
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2011, 11:28:37 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.

Nope, they are trying to force me to be cheerful. Can't you see the difference?
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #94 on: November 25, 2011, 11:37:06 AM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Darcy

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #95 on: November 25, 2011, 12:05:30 PM »
^ The difference is that "have a good day" is said as a wish, as in "hope you have a good day". "Smile" is an order and an admonishment, and the person will most likely stand there and wait for you to do it. They're not going to stand there and make sure you have a good day.

wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #96 on: November 25, 2011, 12:07:52 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

Morticia

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2011, 12:10:47 PM »
^ The difference is that "have a good day" is said as a wish, as in "hope you have a good day". "Smile" is an order and an admonishment, and the person will most likely stand there and wait for you to do it. They're not going to stand there and make sure you have a good day.

My apologies. I'm getting a mental image and it's very funny.
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Larrabee

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2011, 01:25:07 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Who's arguing?  :-\

Sorry bibliophile, but you're the only poster I see calling other members 'silly' and 'special snowflakes'.

wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #99 on: November 25, 2011, 01:50:16 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Who's arguing?  :-\

Sorry bibliophile, but you're the only poster I see calling other members 'silly' and 'special snowflakes'.

I have probably been a bit overly snarky, and I apologize.
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #100 on: November 25, 2011, 02:59:26 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?

That's where the disconnect is. I don't believe it's a forceful demand. It's meant as a cheerful comment, one is not required to respond with a smile. I believe that wondering that the speaker is trying to impose a power over your facial expressions and emotions is simply reading way too much into things.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Larrabee

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #101 on: November 25, 2011, 03:01:20 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?

That's where the disconnect is. I don't believe it's a forceful demand. It's meant as a cheerful comment, one is not required to respond with a smile. I believe that wondering that the speaker is trying to impose a power over your facial expressions and emotions is simply reading way too much into things.

Its definitely a disconnect then.

I don't understand your interpretation at all!  Why say 'smile' if you don't actually care or expect a smile in response?


Auntie Mame

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #102 on: November 25, 2011, 03:19:50 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?

That's where the disconnect is. I don't believe it's a forceful demand. It's meant as a cheerful comment, one is not required to respond with a smile. I believe that wondering that the speaker is trying to impose a power over your facial expressions and emotions is simply reading way too much into things.

So you believe that because you don't find it offensive anyone who does is silly and a special snowflake?
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Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #103 on: November 25, 2011, 03:37:26 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?

That's where the disconnect is. I don't believe it's a forceful demand. It's meant as a cheerful comment, one is not required to respond with a smile. I believe that wondering that the speaker is trying to impose a power over your facial expressions and emotions is simply reading way too much into things.

So you believe that because you don't find it offensive anyone who does is silly and a special snowflake?

I actually said that I found the argument to be rather silly, but as far as the special snowflake goes, we all have our own views - I don't always agree with every poster in the SS thread either - some of those aren't SS to me (99% are, but...).  But I would be the person behind the person getting upset with the clerk for saying "Smile" who makes sure to tell the manager that the previous customer was overreacting.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #104 on: November 25, 2011, 03:59:33 PM »
Saying that someone saying "Smile" is an attempt to force you to do something seems to me to be a huge overreaction. It's like saying that someone telling you to "Have a good day" is forcing you to have a good day and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You aren't obligated to smile. 

This is one of the silliest ehell topics that started an argument that I've seen.

Why do you think you should have any power over the facial muscles and emotions of others?

That's where the disconnect is. I don't believe it's a forceful demand. It's meant as a cheerful comment, one is not required to respond with a smile. I believe that wondering that the speaker is trying to impose a power over your facial expressions and emotions is simply reading way too much into things.

So you believe that because you don't find it offensive anyone who does is silly and a special snowflake?

I actually said that I found the argument to be rather silly, but as far as the special snowflake goes, we all have our own views - I don't always agree with every poster in the SS thread either - some of those aren't SS to me (99% are, but...).  But I would be the person behind the person getting upset with the clerk for saying "Smile" who makes sure to tell the manager that the previous customer was overreacting.

Clearly I don't understand--what exactly is the purpose of telling someone to smile, in your view? What do you expect to accomplish? If you're not asking or expecting them to do something, then what do you want? Why is it so important to you that a stranger smile for your amusement?
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."