The Ripple Effect of a Smile

Posted by Todd Smith

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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 at 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 conscious 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 co-workers, be aware of your demeanor.
  • Think positively about yourself and others. Through that mindset, 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 in 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 a 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.


About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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