The most attractive type of smile

A study by Gladstone in 2002 found that, ‘A smile seems to have a favorable influence upon others and makes one more likable and more approachable.’ This may not be news to most people, as we have all experienced how it feels when a stranger smiles at you.

However, very few people consciously make the effort to smile at others. Instead we tend to have a default facial expression. For most people this expression falls somewhere between deep in thought and sleepy.

But, like most human behaviours, smiling can be made into a habit. The more you remind yourself to set your default expression to smile, the better you get at doing it subconsciously. Depending on which expert you follow, a habit takes between 21 and 90 days to cement (so you no longer have to think about it – you just do it). During this period it will feel weird to smile for no reason. But, if you trust that it’ll eventually be integrated into your default persona, and that you eventually won’t even notice yourself smiling, you may find it easier to put up with the weird feeling long enough to be successful.

But wait, here’s the really interesting part… there are many different types of smiles, each conveying different information and emotions. A study published by the American Psychology Association titled Happy Guys Finish Last, found that, ‘pride is the most attractive male expression.’ Thus, if you want to look as attractive as possible, walk around with a proud smile on your face.

Before you walk into a new social environment, try to think of your greatest achievement, then let your face show people how you feel about it.

Now, I do realize that this advice seems basic and obvious, but if you stop to be honest with yourself for a moment, how often do you implement any of it? The key with these bite size articles is for you to take one single idea and use it. As they say – a simple act is more powerful than a complex idea.

How can you build a deeper sense of pride? This is one of the focuses of our eBook – The 3 Simple Skills of Charisma. To help spread the HSL love, for a limited time, we’re giving you a free copy. All you have to do is tell us where to send it, below.

3 Comments. Leave new

Manizheh Martin
15th February 2015 8:45 pm

This was sooo me. but then again I don’t need to tell you (Garick) do I.
I can’t remember when I started the habit of smiling whenever I made eye contact.
Its ingrained in me. I love doing it and seeing a smile in return.
I do remember practicing my smile in the mirror (hey I’m a girl, its what we do) before I was a teenager.
If you look at old photos of me with my sisters, you will see the evidence of my practicing.
People have great smiles and will pretty much always smile back at you.

Looking forward to the next blog 🙂


Hey Manizheh,

I can picture you pulling all types of funny faces at yourself in the mirror, hilarious!

Thanks for the feedback. You’ll like the next post, it’s a cracker 😉


It makes sense that most of us have a default face because our muscles are relaxed, unless we are reacting to something. Even though most of us don’t smile all the time, we Americans still do it way more than other nations. Europeans can spot an American tourist, not just by the clothes, but also by the fact that he is smiling at a stranger. I would agree, however, that just like any other habit we build, smiling can become natural and habitual. Of course, it helps if you have a great smile to show off. A great smile doesn’t just look good, it says that you have good hygiene and you will be pleasant to be around.


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