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The American fake smile...

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The American fake smile...

Postby Banano » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:30 pm

"Indeed, when the Russians smile, they show a sincere and an open smile. The American smile does not mean anything really. Many Russians take the American smile as strange and artificial. Russian well-known satirist Mikhail Zadornov described the American smile as "chronic." Another prominent satirist Mikhail Zhvanetsky wrote that the Americans smile all the time as if they are plugged in. Writer Maxim Gorky used to say that the Americans show teeth in the first place.

The American smile is automatic indeed, and it can be taken to absurdity at times. For example, Hillary Clinton was smiling to photographers during Princess Diana's funeral ceremony."

Read the whole article
http://english.pravda.ru/society/sex/22 ... n_smile-0/


Fake Smiles May Cause Depression
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/webl ... depression
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Postby NorthAmericanguy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:53 am

This topic is interesting to me. Through the nature of my work I meet more people then the average person; that said, I'm really not sure if I should smile or not when I meet people and I'm generally confused as to what I should do.

For example, when I walk into a business and smile as I greet a person, sometimes my smile is returned with a cold unemotional stare; at that point I feel angry because I felt like I have given something away for nothing and that I should have done a better job of protecting myself. This mostly happens in my encounters with European people.

On the other hand, sometimes I DON'T smile when I greet a person and they smile at me in return, and when that happens I feel guilty that they were nice to me and I was the one who was rude and unemotional.



Anyhow, who cares if a persons smile is genuine or not!!???

I think the bigger issue is that we all have to go into the market place to buy and sell goods and that smiling is one aspect of being POLITE and CORDIAL and that is the lubrication that is needed to keep millions of people doing transactions with each other from going into complete meltdown, unless of course, not smiling is BUILT INTO THE CULTURE such as in cold indifferent European cultures such as Russia.
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Postby have2fly » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:50 am

It feels like the quote from the original post belongs to me :) Or I would say the same thing. In Russia, no one smiles. It may seem rude, although customer service DOES SUCK over there, unless you go to expensive places - then customer service is even BETTER than it is in the U.S. But in general, fake smile is an American thing. Anyway, in Europe somehow they are able to provide good services without FAKE smile! I know, I've been there many times. Strange, but you don't get any rude sense, but rather sense of politeness and genuine assistance, maybe warm welcome? Russians smile A LOT when they are around friends, when I was in Ukraine meeting my friends, I was smiling all the time because we loved each other's company and that sense of warmness was always in the air. One has to feel that to understand.

In general, fake smiling is good for customer service, but in America it seems like customer service follows you everywhere. Genuineness seems hard to find.
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:25 am

have2fly wrote:
In general, fake smiling is good for customer service, but in America it seems like customer service follows you everywhere. Genuineness seems hard to find.

I've always felt that the more the culture smiles and puts on a fake air of friendliness the more nasty it is underneath. These cultural traits evolve based on confrontation and anal retentive social repression. If people are overly sensitive with little emotional control underneath and get offended by little things then society naturally evolves this defense mechanism to shield everyone's feelings from each other.

Japanese people are some of the most fake polite people on the planet but look at how they behave when all social restrictions are removed. I think Thai people are in a similar category. They smile and try to act placid/laid back all the time but they can be downright nasty, greedy, and venal on a whim.

I think real friendliness in society is different. There's no sense of them trying overly hard to compensate for their cold emotions underneath. For example I have met a lot of Canadians and I think they are generally pleasant and soft spoken to be around but they aren't constantly smiling and blowing smoke up asses like most Americans do either.
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NOT smiling in pictures

Postby Falcon » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:41 am

Many indigenous Amerindians in Latin America will try very hard not to smile in their photographic portraits. From their perspective, they don't want to look like grinning fools.

In Mexico, I've taken plenty of pictures of indigenous elderly people, or even the mestizos with mostly Amerindian descent. Even some young men will aim not to smile, though this is changing a lot now. They would all look calm, serious, and content in their pictures, which is what their personalities are actually like. To see for yourself, look through portraits of indigenous Mexicans and Guatemalans on Google images.

Most Americans probably won't understand this point of view.
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Postby Winston » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:30 am

This is an interesting topic.

Have you also noticed that virtually everyone who is down to earth and authentic claims to have trouble fitting in with American culture? That should speak volumes...
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Postby Renata » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:27 pm

I've never been to the US although I have a sister happily married there in FL. She tends to visit home yearly that's why.

What if I visited her in FL for 2-3 weeks & decided to smile at every guy I see & flirt, but subtle. Won't that be a great documentary! and a wonderful experiment. I'd sure enjoy my vacation too lol
that would work with me because I always blush if a guy looks at me or smiles at me, I really can't help it lol it just comes out.
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Postby Caoimhe » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:15 am

It was definitely an adjustment for me when I first moved here.

Now still, when I go to the store and pay for my groceries I get the feeling I'm not being "enthusiastic" enough lol. Because I am not smiling like crazy and not greeting the cashier in a high pitched voice..

I just can't do it! lol.. I try but it just doesn't happen..

I'm just too European I guess :p.

I guess it's just what you're used to. I was used to shopping and saying a genuine thank you in the end of my shopping after I paid and that was it.. no fake smiles or extremely high pitched "HI HOW ARE YOU DOING?!". A question to which no one even really expects an answer either..

..The smiling definitely was creepy in the beginning when I arrived here!

Maybe that's why Americans find other cultures to be a bit "cold" sometimes, because on the surface it might seem like we are, because we don't walk around with a smile plastered on our faces, but when we smile, it's a genuine smile..
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Postby leavingusa » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:46 am

That's interesting.

Some Russians have told me I could pass for a Russian until they hear my American accent.

Probably because I never fake smile with my teeth either. A Russian girlfriend once told me I looked Ukrainian. At the time I took it to mean I was weird looking until years later I saw the pictures on this site of Ukrainian guys.

I've been told that many times by strangers usually women to "smile" to which I answer "go f**k yourself".

That is always satisfying.
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Postby Winston » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:25 am

Image
Check out the latest posts in our blog The Happier Abroaders.

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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
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Postby ladislav » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:32 am

And Americans get on Japanese and Thai's, VNmese and other Oriental people's case for fake smiles, killer smiles, insincerity, etc.

Actually I don't mind American smiles. I no longer look at the mouth but at the eyes and this is where you see if a person is smiling or not.

The Filipinos and Jamaican's smiles are real, though because they seem to be high on life itself ( in case of Jamaican, local agriculture helps, too)
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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Re: The American fake smile...

Postby Jester » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:02 am

Banano wrote:"....The American smile is automatic indeed, and it can be taken to absurdity at times. For example, Hillary Clinton was smiling to photographers during Princess Diana's funeral ceremony."


The Evil Queen opened the box, and beheld what she she thought was the heart of Snow White. She smiled. "Well done", she told her huntsman.
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Postby Rayn » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:05 am

The people in my country smile a whole lot too. 99% of the time its fake as hell and gets on my nerves. Ugh, especially that employer I had for my college internship...

This is in contrast to my time in Russia a long time ago, where people rarely smile but I didn't mind one bit.
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Postby Hero » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Yes, it adds an incredible amount of pressure in the workplace when you have to smile and laugh all the time, even when the circumstances don't warrant it. One of the main reasons why my job exhausts me.
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Re: The American fake smile...

Postby jamesbond » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:55 pm

Banano wrote:The American smile is automatic indeed, and it can be taken to absurdity at times.


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