Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 201197

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 25. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

I have heard that one all my life--at everywhere from school to the grocery store. I am usually not in a bad mood when I am out and about and am very friendly and talkative with strangers, but I don't smile a lot when I'm just standing in line alone with my cart.

Once, when I was asked this a year ago, I responded, "Excuse me, but how do you know my mother didn't just die?"

The person apologized profusely, and I said, "My mother didn't die, but my decision to smile or not is none of your business!"

I wish I could find a witty retort for that one that wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings, but the nerve of people to tell you what can't be bad!

beardy

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by Tabitha on February 17, 2003, at 15:17:48

In reply to Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

Here's one I used to use on men whose lame flirting attempt consisted of telling me to smile... "I don't smile on command". (Must be said with the proper tone of voice to induce testicle shrinkage.) Maybe not so appropriate for the supermarket line. For that I'd use the Miss Manners approach, give them the purely social fake smile, moving only the corners of the mouth.

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by bozeman on February 17, 2003, at 19:40:24

In reply to Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

<sigh> The same problem, ad nauseum. I am so sick of being told to "smile" by people who don't know me and don't even really care, they are just being nosy and bossy, that sometimes I want to just puke, then look at them and say, "I'm sorry, was that your shoe? What were you saying?"

But Mama didn't raise me to act that way . . . :-)

So I just look at them, and say in my most syrupy voice: "Honey, when I smile, people drive their cars off the road, and run into each other from the glare, so the poor little ole' police officers warned me that if I didn't stop smilin' all the time, they'd have to start writin' me tickets!!!"

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by snowden on February 17, 2003, at 20:00:53

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by bozeman on February 17, 2003, at 19:40:24

Perhaps I didn't realize that the rest of the world was continuously grinning like an idiot...

I guess I must look pretty bad to have people make that remark, huh? Yet I don't see the general population smiling and being perfect...

Then again, maybe it's just me! :)

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! snowden

Posted by bozeman on February 17, 2003, at 20:43:43

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by snowden on February 17, 2003, at 20:00:53

Actually, the only remotely plausible explanation I can think if us they must be scared of us. Like they see on our faces a look of determination or "character" or some other blah blah blah that they only saw on their father's face before they got in trouble, or something. Wonder what the psychological implications of that are -- projecting authority figures on anyone whose facial expression reminds you of an authority figure from your own past? Bet they don't even realize they're doing it.

On the other hand, what's wrong with showing a little character, I wonder? Is it really better to, as you so accurately described it, "grin like an idiot" so no one feels *uncomfortable*? Has the world really come to that, that differences make people that uneasy?

Oh, I must shut up now, or I'll really get on a soapbox rant about people wanting everyone to fit in a nice little preformed preprogrammed psychological boxes.

Peace
bozeman

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 11:05:52

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! snowden, posted by bozeman on February 17, 2003, at 20:43:43

Some answers to "Smile! It can't be that bad!"

You could go for the far-fetched:

"for your information, I have a condition that causes paralysis of several of the muscles in my face that are required for smiling, and my doctors tell me that being reminded of it by strangers only makes it worse."

Or the ascerbic:

"you're right, it WASN'T that bad, but NOW it is."

Or the simple and direct:

"how would you know?"

Or the 'sure to make-em step away':

"Shh...don't distract me! It is taking all of my powers of concentration to supress the projectile vomiting I've been experiencing today."

Or the bitter:

"I am smiling. You should see me when I'm not."

Or the non-verbal:

Tilt your head, screw up your face, furrow your brow, lean in a little for a closer look, like the person is the most bizarre thing you have ever seen, and their comment is the strangest, most incomprehensible utterance you have ever heard emenating from someone's mouth, and then just say, "Huh??" and then walk away.

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! noa

Posted by beardedlady on February 18, 2003, at 11:53:20

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 11:05:52

These are all great! I can't decide which to use first. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I haven't heard that comment in a long time. (I think people are afraid to ask me now that shooting people is such a common response. Maybe they think I'm packin'.)

I have done the, "How would you know?" a number of times. The last time I added the mother dying part, and I immediately got this attack of superstition, as if I jinxed myself!

My favorite idea, though, is to have some of that tooth black stuff, so that when someone says that, I can smile a lovely, toothless smile. The reaction would be priceless!

beardy : )=>

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 15:55:11

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! noa, posted by beardedlady on February 18, 2003, at 11:53:20

LOL!! Or even better--some gunk to make yer teeth look really rotten!

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! noa

Posted by beardedlady on February 18, 2003, at 17:09:37

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 15:55:11

Oh, then I guess I don't have to do anything!

beardy : )>

 

OK you WIN!!! Made me gag out loud with that one! (nm) noa

Posted by bozeman on February 18, 2003, at 21:36:46

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 15:55:11

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by Daffy on February 19, 2003, at 0:10:27

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 11:05:52


> Or the non-verbal:
>
> Tilt your head, screw up your face, furrow your brow, lean in a little for a closer look, like the person is the most bizarre thing you have ever seen, and their comment is the strangest, most incomprehensible utterance you have ever heard emenating from someone's mouth, and then just say, "Huh??" and then walk away.
>
>

LMAO...I vote for this one :o)

 

What do you have to be depressed about?

Posted by sjb on February 21, 2003, at 10:02:41

In reply to Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

said with an incredulous look on one's face

 

Wait--it's What do YOU have to be depressed about? (nm) sjb

Posted by beardedlady on February 21, 2003, at 14:22:05

In reply to What do you have to be depressed about?, posted by sjb on February 21, 2003, at 10:02:41

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! noa

Posted by Dinah on February 22, 2003, at 6:06:50

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 18, 2003, at 11:05:52

I like those. :) I got those comments a lot while working with the public in a summer job. And I never felt unhappy when it was said to me, so it always stung a bit. Perhaps service people are expected to have perpetual smiles glued to their faces.

The times I get those remarks now, I glance at them with the vaguest expression I can muster (one that comes easily to me) and ignore the comment. I remember reading in a Star Trek book once a comment by Spock's father (this was a fiction book based on the series.) It went something like <when he said that he didn't understand, it was clear that it meant that he was too polite to understand a rude statement, and that he was giving the other person a chance to gracefully back out of it>. I liked that and use it a lot with stupid but not ill spirited remarks.

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by noa on February 22, 2003, at 10:53:04

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! noa, posted by Dinah on February 22, 2003, at 6:06:50

There are certain professions where that kind of perpetual smile personality seem to predominate. I went out of town recently on an airline where the flight attendants and gate attendants are so incredibly perky and friendly and smiley!! Sometimes it was nice, but other times it was a bit sickening, because they were trying too hard to be cutesy and funny. Some could pull it off more genuinely than others. Suffice it to say, I wouldn't pass the interview for that company!

 

Calling all perpetually perky folk noa

Posted by bozeman on February 22, 2003, at 11:45:04

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by noa on February 22, 2003, at 10:53:04

I can see it now:

WANTED: Perpetually perky, obniouxously outgoing, egocentrically energetic individuals for fast-paced job dealing with exhausted, time-pressured, dissappointed, lonely travelers. Insult-tolerance and witty humor a must. Minimum qualifications: must pass pre-employment screening by a room full of grumpy sleep-deprived travelers and successfully navigate screening without anyone in the room coming to bodily harm, or being personally or professionally insulted. Travel required, but you won't get to enjoy it yourself. Successful candidates will be provided with a supply of their favorite "go-juice" at the beginning of each work shift.
Serious inquiries only. If interested, submit resume to the address below. Crayon is acceptable.

Like you, I'd never make it. I could fake it through the first part, but that "no bodily harm or personal or professional insult" clause would trip me up, and I'd be so OUTTA THERE!!!!!

:-)

bozeman

 

Re: Calling all perpetually perky folk

Posted by noa on February 22, 2003, at 16:46:51

In reply to Calling all perpetually perky folk noa, posted by bozeman on February 22, 2003, at 11:45:04

LOL. I just wouldn't make it through the first test--being really sweet and chirpy! As for the screening--I couldn't work for the TSA because I'd feel like I was bothering people too much and just wave 'em through, then obsess about whether I just waved through a terrorist.

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! beardedlady

Posted by WorryGirl on February 26, 2003, at 17:01:56

In reply to Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

I get that alot, too. The ironic thing is that when I am actually smiling I'm not as happy in reality! I am pretending to be blissful so not as people will make those kind of comments.
When I am in a relaxed state, and quite content, I must to appear to others as sad or preoccupied because I am definitely not smiling.
:( :)

 

You wanna know what's worse???

Posted by Rach on March 1, 2003, at 7:02:57

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad! beardedlady, posted by WorryGirl on February 26, 2003, at 17:01:56

When you get the other side of the coin -

'What are you smiling about?'
'Why are you so happy?'

Damn! That's one sure fire way to drag down a person's confidence.

 

Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by fuzzymind on March 1, 2003, at 8:46:56

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by snowden on February 17, 2003, at 20:00:53

> Perhaps I didn't realize that the rest of the world was continuously grinning like an idiot...
>
> I guess I must look pretty bad to have people make that remark, huh? Yet I don't see the general population smiling and being perfect...
>
> Then again, maybe it's just me! :)

I haven't smiled since I was in grade school. Then the perpetual frown took over. Even depressed people smile, don't they? I don't rmemeber anyone els in high school not ever smiling. In college, I saw one other person who looked like walking doom and gloom...another Asian guy whose face was frozen in anxiety and depression like mine. Another time, a pizza delivery guy came to my door looked like that. Very rude also....now I know how I must look to others when I don't mean to.

I nhigh school , a principal once asked why I looked so gloomy. I made a dumbass reply that I was trying to match the weather. He smirked a bit, but never followed up. No other teacher ever talked to me about my mood. Mother fruckers.

I also find smiling traumatic. In college, my redneck football player roomate got a package from his mom, and I smiled. THen this redneck psycho starts screaming at me saying " What's the matter, doesn't your mom give you love and attention by sending you packages!!!" Well she gave me tons of packages, but that eruption has always bothered me becasue I never said anything back...I think imay have even agreed with him while I was in shock. His basketball player friend was also in the room, and he gave me weird looks. I still don't know what I did wrong. But this happeend one other time with this redneck psycho, when he received a letter from his mom, and he did the same thing when I smiled. I smiled both times becsue I was glad for him, but he mistook it for mockery. I wish I could have told him off and told him he was jealous becasue he didn't have real parents and his mother didn't love him enough to tell him who his father was, and his drunken loser stepfather didn't think of him as a real son, and that is why he was a jealous drunken racist psycho. These insults still haunt me. SOmetimes I will spend the entire day reliving those moments over and over again. All because of a smile . Damned if you do, damned if you don't


Empathising...seeing things in the other person's eyes...a CBT technique, hasn't worked for me. I know why people do the things they do, but the trauma doesn't go away. My dumb bitch former shrink wondered why it didn't work. Well I don't know...it just doesn't. Control freak I guess. I can't let any slights go unpunished, even 15 plus years after the fact. Reminds me of how powerless I was. What a waste of 125 dollars an hour. Aren't shrinks supposed to give you some self- talk techniques or life changing words of wisdom to help you break out of this madness?

SMile? DOubt I will ever again

 

sex

Posted by ivy on March 1, 2003, at 12:28:39

In reply to Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by beardedlady on February 17, 2003, at 14:45:51

How many women out there have negative ideas concerning intercourse? not that intercourse is terrible or anything, but isn't clitorial stimulation more important? i am on lexipro and have no libido what-so-ever, what are others doing about this, women's answers prefered.

 

Re: Sex ivy

Posted by Dinah on March 1, 2003, at 15:50:40

In reply to sex, posted by ivy on March 1, 2003, at 12:28:39

SSRI's are dreadful for libido, Ivy. I went four years without an orgasm on Luvox. Boy, did I enjoy withdrawal.

As far as general attitudes go, I'm not a great one to comment. I have some real phobia/aversion/panic about physical contact of the sexual sort that I have to consciously override.

Perhaps others have some ideas.

 

Re: blocked for week fuzzymind

Posted by Dr. Bob on March 1, 2003, at 16:14:22

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by fuzzymind on March 1, 2003, at 8:46:56

> THen this redneck psycho starts screaming at me

Please be sensitive to the feelings of others and don't use language that could offend them. I've asked you to be civil before, so now I'm going to block you from posting for a week.

Bob

PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies, and complaints about posts, should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration; otherwise, they may be deleted.

 

Redirected: Smile! It can't be that bad!

Posted by Dr. Bob on August 7, 2004, at 9:21:43

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by Daffy on February 19, 2003, at 0:10:27

Posted by jcisco on August 7, 2004, at 4:46:09

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by Daffy on February 19, 2003, at 0:10:27

i can't smile without a really good reason, why? because when i was a kid, my mother got with this mad man who abused us kids, one thing he did was if he saw us smile he would demand to know why and then punch us in the face, so we learned not to smile, if something was funny we had to hold it in,this and other horrible things were done to us for over 6 years, so to this day, i have no smile, and i am sick of people telling me to smile it can't be that bad, i feel like slapping them and saying oh yeah? well what if this happened to you?!

--

Posted by crazychickuk on August 7, 2004, at 5:38:26

In reply to Re: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by jcisco on August 7, 2004, at 4:46:09

Aww i am sorry to hear that, what a nasty man, i completely understand, remember this, what comes round goes around, have you got a good relationship with your mum?

 

For jcisco

Posted by Susan47 on August 7, 2004, at 10:41:39

In reply to Redirected: Smile! It can't be that bad!, posted by Dr. Bob on August 7, 2004, at 9:21:43

If I read everything right, you posted that your male step-unit punched you every time you smiled?
That's terrible, and I can't imagine you trusting him or your mother. I really hope you can get competent help with this issue; it shouldn't have to ruin your potential relationships because you have to be on guard.


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