I will not be a person who instructs another to smile. What even is that? To me, that feels unwholesome— unsafe. I prefer an authentically non-plussed person over a curated smile-wearer or a tone policing controller, directing people on how to arrange their faces. That behavior is not unlike insisting a person wear a jacket when they are not cold. It is aggressive and inappropriate, not happy and not mellow-chill, at all. Also, I do not trust a person who is always wearing a smile. That is not normal, honest, or sane…. says the rarely smiling person who makes no claims to being normal or sane, only to healing and unlearning…practicing Letting Go.
AND—a) Forced or pasted on smiles are not proof of happiness or goodness. b) Happiness isn’t a requirement in honest healthy places. Happiness IS certainly preferred to the alternative but, like all feelings, it comes and it goes. Mine—- IT literally vaporizes in the presence of those who demand it. Poof! Gone in under a second. Just let people be how and who they are. Right?
“You would be so pretty if you smiled more“… Really, because you would be so pretty if you STFU and back off. HAAAAAATE IT. And it’s typically not “suggested” in the gentle, caring way.
When someone says “smile” because it is what they need , it’s ok if you just can’t. Not all of us aspire to excel at performing happiness. Some of us just need to feel our feelings.
A little Mythological Enrichment for those whom have read this far (You’re welcome):
According to Greek legend, Procrustes had an iron bed on which he compelled his victims to lie. Here, if a victim was shorter than the bed, he stretched him by hammering or racking the body to fit. Alternatively, if the victim was longer than the bed, he cut off the legs to make the body fit the bed’s length. In either event the victim died.
The “bed of Procrustes,” or “Procrustean bed,” has become proverbial for arbitrarily—and perhaps ruthlessly—forcing someone or something to fit into an unnatural scheme or pattern.
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