Having a beautiful, white smile can draw people in and make them want to talk to you. In fact, smiling is one of the biggest factors that make us attractive to others as FishbowlNY points out, “48 percent of adults think a smile is the most memorable feature after they meet someone for the first time.”
That’s all well and good, but how much smiling is normal for people? Is there a line between smiling too much and smiling the right amount? Luckily, studies have been done showing just how much most people smile. Read on to find out where you fall on the smiling scale!
How Much Do People Smile?
Smiles can tell you a lot about a person, and logically this means there are various factors that contribute to a person’s smile happening in the first place. An article on the Association for Psychological Science explains, “We know that variables (age, gender, culture, and social setting, among them) influence the frequency and character of a grin, and what purpose smiles play in the broader scheme of existence. In short, scientists have learned that one of humanity’s simplest expressions is beautifully complex.” Smiling is very unique to each individual and depends a lot on the factors listed above.
However, there are some generalizations that we can make about the frequency of smiles. The Daily Mail reports that the average person smiles 7 times each day, “The average adult manages just seven smiles a day – and at least one is probably false, according to a study.
It found even the most cheerful of us smile only 11 times a day, while the grumpiest produce just one. The poll of 2,000 adults found the 51 per cent of us who admit to a daily false smile reserve it for our bosses.” While it is not very surprising that grumpy people might only smile once a day, eleven smiles might seem a bit low for cheerful people. It also isn’t very shocking that not every smile is genuine.
Some good news on the subject came from a global Gallup poll taken a few years ago shows that a lot of the world has something to smile about, “Similarly, 72 percent of people report smiling or laughing ‘yesterday,’…”1 That’s good news – and shows that there is a feeling of positivity in most people’s days no matter where they live.
What are You Smiling About?
Is it tough to get someone you know to crack a smile? Maybe you’re just using the wrong tactics. According to the National Smile Month blog, “Yellow is the colour that makes us smile the most, whereas purple makes us smile the least. Chocolate is the food that makes us smile the most, followed then by Sunday roast, a curry and a fry-up!”2 Next time you need to brighten someone’s day, maybe try some yellow flowers or a surprise chocolate bar!
We don’t always smile when we are happy though. A study discussed on the LiveScience blog says people also smile when they are frustrated, “When asked to fake frustration 90 percent of subjects didn't smile. But when presented with a task that caused genuine frustration — filling out a detailed online form, only to then find the information deleted after pressing the "submit" button — 90 percent of them smiled.”3 Our emotions are extremely complex, and therefore a smile doesn’t originate from just one type of emotional trigger.
Is Smiling Fun?
A recent Dentistry Today survey showed that for a lot of people, smiling isn’t something they consider fun, “More than a quarter of people don’t like smiling because of their teeth, according to a new study. The information indicated that 28 percent of people don’t show their smile when taking pictures on social media because they assume their teeth are unattractive. Also, 81 percent of people state that they believe their teeth look unattractive in photographs.”4 That makes sense, if you don’t like your teeth you won’t want to show them off.
If you are not a fan of smiling, best way to fix this is to get to the root of the problem. That means you will need to start taking better care of your teeth. It is never too late to step up your oral hygiene game. If things are pretty grim, it might be best for you to see a dentist and ask for their advice. They will be able to make suggestions on ways you can improve your brushing routine, and also recommend any extra improvements that things like braces or whitening can make to your smile. Remember, feeling confident in your smile can impact your overall mood. Make sure you love your smile!