Over Tex Mex with my friend, Kirk, we got on the subject of what makes a girl approachable. He explained how smiling at a guy is not only disarming, but it also is inviting. I don’t know about you, but that sounds too simple. A smile? I would be inclined to take this a step further and say the smile has to be genuine because everyone, whether they realize it or not, can recognize the difference between a smile that comes from the heart and one that’s forced. If you don’t know what I mean, smile at yourself in the mirror and really force it. After doing that, think of something that makes you so happy and see the difference. Once you get in touch with your genuine smile, add eye contact. I’m not talking about intense, bulging, stalker-type eye contact. I mean just looking someone in the eyes gently, for lack of a better term. It could be described as a gentle gaze. Most of the time, what naturally follows is the word, “Hi!” either by you or the other person – the quintessential conversation starter. Take a look around and you’ll notice how so many people walk around everywhere with the worries of the day showing all over their faces. Imagine how you’ll set yourself apart any where you go if you just smile.
Here’s a real-life example. As I was walking through Whole Foods on 5th Street, I was recalling a really, happy memory. So caught up in reliving every detail of that event – the outfit I was wearing, the shoes on my feet, the way the wind was blowing, the shadows of the trees on the ground and the black dog beside me – I took a deep breath and smiled as if I were standing in that moment all over again. In fact, I’m smiling right now as I write this. Walking through the wine section to get myself a barbecue sandwich in the back of the store, my thoughts were interrupted when a random guy hollered at the barbecue workers that he was buying my lunch. Meanwhile, I was still making my way past the wine shelves. I was going to the back of the store to get lunch for sure, but I wasn’t even in line yet. Before I could clearly comprehend what had just happened, there I was sitting at the barbecue bar with my pulled pork sandwich and lemonade that this guy bought for me. Crazy.
If it seems far-fetched, it could possibly be because it’s so simple. Try it for a week if you don’t believe me. I’m not saying that men will holler across Whole Foods to buy your lunch, necessarily. What I am saying is that it will likely open doors you never expected. Of course, the opposite is true. If you’d prefer to be closed off from others, don’t smile. Both work equally well. I advocate practicing your smile.