Author Topic: Please don't tell me to smile.  (Read 47058 times)

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Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #105 on: November 25, 2011, 07:05:56 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?

They're trying to be friendly. That's it.  It's like someone else said about saying "hello" - you say it to be pleasant. Or asking a stranger how their day is going. You don't expect a detailed list of their ongoing family troubles and medical issues as most just reply with "fine, thanks".  It's an exchange of pleasantries and a bit of banal small talk. Frankly, it's rather disturbing to me that people actually think there's some nefarious plot behind it.

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Mental Magpie

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #106 on: November 25, 2011, 07:35:04 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?

They're trying to be friendly. That's it.  It's like someone else said about saying "hello" - you say it to be pleasant. Or asking a stranger how their day is going. You don't expect a detailed list of their ongoing family troubles and medical issues as most just reply with "fine, thanks".  It's an exchange of pleasantries and a bit of banal small talk. Frankly, it's rather disturbing to me that people actually think there's some nefarious plot behind it.

Telling a stranger what to do is not trying to be friendly.  I do not think there is a nefarious plot behind it, I think it is self-centeredness and carelessness, as in, "Of course I'm right that he needs to smile, it doesn't matter what's going on in his life, I'm not going to even consider it because I'm right he needs to smile". 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2011, 07:41:51 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?

They're trying to be friendly. That's it.  It's like someone else said about saying "hello" - you say it to be pleasant. Or asking a stranger how their day is going. You don't expect a detailed list of their ongoing family troubles and medical issues as most just reply with "fine, thanks".  It's an exchange of pleasantries and a bit of banal small talk. Frankly, it's rather disturbing to me that people actually think there's some nefarious plot behind it.

Telling a stranger what to do is not trying to be friendly.  I do not think there is a nefarious plot behind it, I think it is self-centeredness and carelessness, as in, "Of course I'm right that he needs to smile, it doesn't matter what's going on in his life, I'm not going to even consider it because I'm right he needs to smile".

And that disturbs me. It's the same as getting angry and judging someone for saying "have a wonderful day". It still just makes no sense to me.

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

Mental Magpie

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #108 on: November 25, 2011, 08:27:41 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?

They're trying to be friendly. That's it.  It's like someone else said about saying "hello" - you say it to be pleasant. Or asking a stranger how their day is going. You don't expect a detailed list of their ongoing family troubles and medical issues as most just reply with "fine, thanks".  It's an exchange of pleasantries and a bit of banal small talk. Frankly, it's rather disturbing to me that people actually think there's some nefarious plot behind it.

Telling a stranger what to do is not trying to be friendly.  I do not think there is a nefarious plot behind it, I think it is self-centeredness and carelessness, as in, "Of course I'm right that he needs to smile, it doesn't matter what's going on in his life, I'm not going to even consider it because I'm right he needs to smile".

And that disturbs me. It's the same as getting angry and judging someone for saying "have a wonderful day". It still just makes no sense to me.

Saying "Have a wonderful day" is not making assumptions about what the rest of your day was like.  The reason I may not be smiling is because my dog died; making the assumption that that's just not that bad is a) an interesting assumption, and b) voicing that assumption is rude, which is what saying, "Smile!" is doing.  Why should I smile if I'm unhappy?  "Have a wonderful day" is wishing someone goodwill.  Telling them to smile is not; I do not see how you're putting them in the same category when one is a command and the other is a wish.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Nibsey

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #109 on: November 25, 2011, 08:31:56 PM »
<snip the quote tree>
Telling a stranger what to do is not trying to be friendly.  I do not think there is a nefarious plot behind it, I think it is self-centeredness and carelessness, as in, "Of course I'm right that he needs to smile, it doesn't matter what's going on in his life, I'm not going to even consider it because I'm right he needs to smile".

And that disturbs me. It's the same as getting angry and judging someone for saying "have a wonderful day". It still just makes no sense to me.

I think the difference is that people smile when they are happy ergo if people are not smiling they generally have a reason. (Of course this isn't true for all people). So if I'm at work and for some reason I'm not smiling but also not frowning, not only does saying smile feel like an order as of course I'd be smiling if I was happy, but it could also get me in trouble with my manager if they overheard it, as I must have been frowning if a customer noticed.
Whereas 'have a wonderful day' doesn't have that effect firstly because I'm not giving you the visual cues that it's not possible for me to have a wonderful day (it's not as if you'd say it if I was bawling my eyes crying) and secondly because it's not a negative to my manager.  :) It's late here so I hope that makes sense.  :-[
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:34:21 PM by Nibsey »
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kareng57

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #110 on: November 25, 2011, 09:52:10 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?

They're trying to be friendly. That's it.  It's like someone else said about saying "hello" - you say it to be pleasant. Or asking a stranger how their day is going. You don't expect a detailed list of their ongoing family troubles and medical issues as most just reply with "fine, thanks".  It's an exchange of pleasantries and a bit of banal small talk. Frankly, it's rather disturbing to me that people actually think there's some nefarious plot behind it.

Telling a stranger what to do is not trying to be friendly.  I do not think there is a nefarious plot behind it, I think it is self-centeredness and carelessness, as in, "Of course I'm right that he needs to smile, it doesn't matter what's going on in his life, I'm not going to even consider it because I'm right he needs to smile".

And that disturbs me. It's the same as getting angry and judging someone for saying "have a wonderful day". It still just makes no sense to me.


Okay, I'll try.  Would you like being told "c'mon, smile!" if you were waiting for results of a biopsy?  If you'd just finished visiting your father in Palliative Care?  If you'd just found out that your car needed $3000 worth of repairs and you were figuring out where to find the money (and yes, you have no option but to drive)?  If the bank has just served you with a foreclosure notice?

For many of us who are going through a rough time, it's not an exchange of pleasantries at all.  It's a callous order from a stranger who has some odd need to be surrounded by smiling faces.

Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #111 on: November 25, 2011, 09:57:58 PM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.

“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 #112 on: November 25, 2011, 10:10:42 PM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.

Still, why *ask* someone to smile in the first place? Wish them a nice day, fine. that's a nice thought. But *ask* them to do something? I just. don't. get. it.
"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."

kareng57

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #113 on: November 25, 2011, 10:17:27 PM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.


If you want to be cheerful, go ahead and smile at them - I don't think anyone here would say that would be rude.  Leave out any comments about what they ought to be doing.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #114 on: November 26, 2011, 04:20:54 AM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.

You don't see telling someone to do something as a command?  Really?

No-one is saying it is rude to be cheerful - what we are saying is that it is rude to instruct others on the arrangement of their facial muscles.  If you won't see it that way, fine, but I think it very rude of you to tell other posters that something they find upsetting is not a big deal to you so it should not be a big deal to them.  We want to know how to deal with people who bark commands to smile at us, not whether or not we should be bothered by it.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 04:26:26 AM by RingTailedLemur »

EduardosGirl

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #115 on: November 26, 2011, 08:14:48 AM »
I don't think anyone believes that a "barked command" to smile is anything but rude. But someone saying "smile" or words to that effect =/= a barked command necessarily. Again, if there is aggression at any point, that's rude and inappropriate. But simply saying smile, while possibly annoying, is not rude.

I don't think it's entitled or patriarchal behaviour either: it can just be a bit annoying. No biggie.

Morticia

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #116 on: November 26, 2011, 09:12:08 AM »
According to Miss Manners, "The smile police are rude and should be ignored."   (Her column in the Lakeland Ledger, July 20. 1999)
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Bibliophile

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #117 on: November 26, 2011, 11:43:08 AM »
According to Miss Manners, "The smile police are rude and should be ignored."   (Her column in the Lakeland Ledger, July 20. 1999)

Oh, well, if Miss Manners says it's rude...

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wendelenn

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #118 on: November 26, 2011, 11:45:14 AM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.


If you want to be cheerful, go ahead and smile at them - I don't think anyone here would say that would be rude.  Leave out any comments about what they ought to be doing.

Kareng says it all so much more succinctly.
"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."

Auntie Mame

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Re: Please don't tell me to smile.
« Reply #119 on: November 26, 2011, 12:11:57 PM »
I'm not going to be convinced that it's at all rude. Nor do I see it as a command. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they even in any type of command position to where they must be obeyed. Trying to be cheerful when, unbeknownst to you, the other person is having a bad day still is not rude.

And I will never understand the attitude "Since I don't find it rude, everyone who does is silly and an ss".
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