by Ginger Philbrick
You are worth getting to know. Never forget that. You are valuable to many people and as your social life expands so will the number of people who care about you. Share your personality and your experiences with others, and broaden your life by letting others in to make yours more interesting.
Often the good things of life begin with a “smile”…yours to be exact.
Even though you may feel self-conscious about your smile, there is not a more attractive order that you can give your mouth than to “smile!” Braces? Crooked teeth? Teeth that don’t sparkle like pearls? None of that cancels out the positive effect of a sincere smile.
Look in the mirror and practice your smile. Let it extend to your eyes. If others can tell you are smiling even when you are wearing a mask, you get extra credit.
Smiles come in all designs—big, little, lips curved up or down. I have a friend who can smile without moving his lips either up or down—try it! But no matter what form your smile takes, if it is sincere it can work something like magic.
• Show you are approachable.
• Ease a tense situation.
• Warmly say, “I am glad to meet you!”
As a teen, you are going through a period of great changes in your body (including your brain, of course) and sometimes you just plain don’t feel like smiling, especially at home where you often only want to be yourself and left alone. Scowling may have become your best defense for keeping family members at bay. But think about it; you are clothed, fed, sheltered and, even though at times your family may feel it’s best to tiptoe around you, I’d bet that you are loved.
Why not show that you appreciate those things by giving the gift of your sincere smiles—fake ones absolutely do not count—when your paths cross with a sibling, parent or other house resident? At first, this may arouse suspicion, but keep at it and everyone will reap the benefits.
The coolest thing about a smile is that most times when you give one, you get one in return. Who doesn’t like that?
Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at email@example.com.