As the economy shakes, rattles, and rolls through the current turmoil, we are all looking for deals, freebies, and inexpensive sources of fun. The 4th of July weekend was no exception. My cheap fun involved trying to get strangers to smile at me.
While sitting outside a Cafe with a dear friend, we decided to play the smile game. The object of the game is to see how many strangers will smile at us if we smile at them first. I tidied my hair, freshened my face, and put on my best smile. Most people I smiled at seemed a bit surprised. The surprised strangers quickly looked away and then looked back at me (but did not smile). Some people smiled. Others turned their head and pretended that they didn’t see me. One passerby smiled and nodded his head like a southern gentleman. Another guy just stared at me as he walked by. It was quite amusing really.
After playing the smile game for 20 minutes, I decided to change my game plan. Instead of smiling, I made eye contact and raised my eyebrows. To my surprise, the raised eyebrows technique received more smiles than the original smile technique.
Why were people more likely to smile at me when I raised my eyebrows?