The Ripple Effect of a Smile

Author: Danielle Cearbaugh (Todd Smith’s daughter)

Did you know that a smile is contagious? It costs nothing to give, but reaps great rewards for both the receiver and the giver.

A Smile Spreads Good Cheer

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

It’s amazing that your simple smile can brighten someone’s day in a moment’s notice. Too often we underestimate the power of a smile.  Although it may be considered the smallest act of caring and it takes little or no effort on our part, it has the power to turn a life around—in fact more than one.  Like the ripple effect of a pebble tossed into a pond, your smile will spread far beyond the first person who receives it.  You never know how many people will benefit because you smiled first.

A Smile Benefits The Giver

Not only will you enhance someone’s day but you, too, will benefit.  When you make a conscience effort to smile throughout your day people will remember you in a positive way.

Just the other day I was over at my parent’s house having coffee with them. When my dad handed me my coffee, he said, “This cup is yours because each time you come over you are always smiling.” The cup that he gave me had a big yellow smiley face on it!

What took me by surprise was that even though I wasn’t aware that I was “always” smiling, my dad seemed to notice. My point is that even if people don’t always verbally acknowledge your smile, they will associate you with what stands out most in their minds.

Have you ever noticed someone who is always smiling? Take a moment and think about how they made you feel.  Did that person make a positive or negative first impression?  When you were at your last party, was there one person that comes to mind whose smile made him or her stand out?

People are always watching you, paying attention to how you react to any given situation. That’s why making sure you have a smile on your face throughout the day can make such a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.

Les Giblin—renowned lecturer and author of the well-known book Skill with People, said, “If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook.”

Simple Ways to Be Intentional about Smiling

  • When someone smiles at you, smile back. I always wonder why people don’t smile at me when I smile at them. The more you smile, the easier it gets.
  • Smile when you answer your phone. People can hear the difference in your voice, and it can produce positive results.
  • Smiling makes others feel welcome, special, and appreciated. So when you are with your friends, family, and coworkers be aware of your demeanor.
  • Think positively about yourself and others. Through that mind-set, smiling will come more naturally.
  • Smiling even reduces stress. Did you know that stress could actually appear on your face?
  • Be the first one to smile when you walk into a room.

A Few Facts to Remember

  • 55 % of all communication is nonverbal, and a large majority is in facial expressions, according to A. Barbour, author of Louder Than Words.
  • 72% of people think of those who smile frequently as being more confident and successful.
  • 86% of people say that they are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers if they are smiling.

Knowing that people will remember you, like you more, and be more comfortable with you in conversation, I challenge you to become intentional using your smile to positively impact the people around you. Make it your goal to become the person who is known for your smile.

The smile you pass on today will have the ripple effect that will spread beyond your family, your friends, and your community.  It will improve the outlook of others, and it will help you win the affection and friendship of others.

About the Author: Danielle Cearbaugh is the daughter of Todd Smith founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s daily lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are listed in America’s top 100 podcasts.)

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The Power of Showing Your Appreciation

10 Ways to Make a Positive Impression When Greeting People

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10 Simple Ways to Show Your Sincere Interest in Others

20 Tips for Positive Group Interactions

Sometimes Five Seconds Is All It Takes

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Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

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  • Hello Todd,
    This is a great lesson, kudos to you Danielle.

    When I was in Cleveland our guest speaker was the unique Andy Andrews. He suggested that we try to "Smile" while we are talking and to nod our head in an up and down movement at the same time. It is a little tricky to do, but the positive results are astounding.

    Keep On Smiling,
    Kevin J. Kilroy

  • daniellecearbaugh

    Thank you Kevin for your comment!

    Keep Smiling,

    Danielle Cearbaugh

  • Kelly Arnold

    Hi Danielle, I miss your beautiful smile at Leo's on Chocolate Salon and Spa.Your smile is contagious and I miss having your positive ,happy attitude at work.Right now Titus is your work and you are doing the most important job in the world.I loved your Ripple Effect of a smile.Very well written.I am so proud of you. Kelly Arnold

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