Smile? FUCK you.

To every one…

I say this to my friends when I see something is wrong. It usually works. If it doesn’t work and they are too pissed they tell me to fuck off or tell me the situation. Either way it gets them in a better mood.

Damn, I see it’s quite widespread. It’s happened to me a few times. Last time I told the person to fuck off. Then I grinned when I saw his shocked expression. (I may have offended a tourist. Canadians, polite? Ha!)

And yeah, I’ll smile when I’ll feel like it. The fact that I’m not walking around with a goofy grin on my face doesn’t mean I’m in a shitty mood.

Also, any casual stranger who tells me to have a nice day gets this response : “Sorry, but I have other plans.”

I’ll start using some of the responses I’ve seen in this thread. Thanks!

Well, sometimes I’m feeling particularly evil. And the last thing I need to piss that up is some yutz telling me to smile. Do so, and I may just tell you to take a flying leap.


You, sir, may take a flying leap. As a matter of fact, I would cheerfully help you along if you were here before me. I’ve got an idea, if you don’t know the details of what you refer to as my “petty personal life”, then don’t take it upon yourself to comment on same, m’kay?

Oh! Don’t get me started on those people.

Flick Lives!

you know when i go to a store and the cashier tells me how much something costs, i get really pissed off because its my life and its none of her business how much i spend.
and when i open the door for somebody and they look back at me with that accusing stare as they say “thank you”, i become enraged at their assumption that i was doing it in exchange for their appreciation.
and there was that one time i locked my keys in the car and a stranger drove me to the dealer so i could get another key made. at the time, i thought it was an oddly generous gesture, but now i realize she was just trying to wedge herself into my personal life.
now that i think of it, i wish everybody would just mind their own business. interaction with other people is not only unwelcome and unwanted but it is damaging as well.
thank you everybody for helping me to realize how wrong i’ve been thinking.

I agree. Maybe you don’t have such a “darkheart” afterall. :smiley: Smilin in better than frownin anyday. Frownin gives you wrinkles you know. A little joke:

This kid in class was frowning and the teacher told the little boy that if he kept frowning his face would be stuck that way forever. So the little boy looked up and said “is that what happened to you?”

Never met you, but I’ll let that slide right now. You made the same point many of us are bringing up, * you say this to your friends, *in other words, persons that you would normally have conversation with.

craiger, the issue here isn’t necessarily the word smile, it’s the needless intrusion of strangers.

The reference to Office Space and the “case of the Mondays” was good, but incomplete, so I’ll take the liberty:

“Does anyone ever say ‘Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays’?”
“No. No man…hell no. I believe you’d get you ass kicked saying something like that.”

craiger, I’m guessing you wouldn’t just walk up to someone and say “I should fully fund your IRA every year.” or “Make sure to change your oil every 3000 miles and rotate your tires ever 5000.” so why the need to control/influence a persons outer appearance?

OK, craiger, look at it this way. Say I’m sitting on a bus, pissed off. If someone came up and honestly asked if he/she could help, i.e., if I wanted to talk, or vent, or something, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’d probably politely decline, but no offense taken.

On the other hand, walking up and demanding that I smile, regardless of why I’m frowning or whether that problem has been resolved, is just rude. It implies that the smile is for them, not me. And that’s selfish and presumptous.

For me, personally, it doesn’t inspire the same level of vitriol as it does for Drainy, but I can certainly understand.

Oh, and to Darkheart: I wholly appreciate it when a friend says it. But strangers? They can die screaming.

uh, that’s “you should fully fund…” btw

wanted to clear that up before some well-meaning poster caught it

craiger, you are comparing apples and oranges. Store clerks aren’t assuming anything about your personal life when they tell you how much something costs. People who do genuine favors for you aren’t trying to intrude on your personal life and aren’t making assumptions on anything to do with your personal life.

People who say “Smile!” are doing something that is just as rude as asking a stranger in a wheelchair why their legs are all crooked, or telling a stranger who is overweight that they know the perfect diet for them. People can say these things in the nicest way possible, but the fact is it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS why someone is in a wheelchair, why someone is overweight, or why someone isn’t smiling.

I would give a little leeway to a friend who notices my apparently sad expression and asks me what’s wrong. I would even say it’s okay if, for instance, I saw someone standing on the corner crying - I think a quick “are you okay? Do you need any help?” is not being rude, it’s being a concerned fellow human being. To go up to that same crying person and say “Smile! It can’t be that bad! Now tell me if you need help,” is a gross invasion of privacy.

If I were on the side of the road with an obviously broken-down car and a stranger stopped and asked what was wrong, that is not being presumptuous - it’s being neighborly. People who feel the need to tell other people to smile - to people who are just minding their own business in the first place - are RUDE.

If I feel pissy and someone tells me to smile . . . I either have pity on them and say I’m not feeling good and don’t want to talk about it (usually something on the order of “don’t worry about it”). Or I share with them why, specifically, I’m unhappy at that moment.

The people who are strong enough to hang around me I keep around, and I do tell them some of the shit that is floating around in my head.

But if I smile when I’m not happy, it makes me feel WORSE. Or I forget what I’m pissed about, which is much worse, when you’ve got lots of pissy, negative emotion floating around and you don’t know what the fuck is causing it.

So you can take that smilie, stick it on a red-hot poker, and make yourself a halloween sacrifice. I reserve smiles for when I am happy, not when I want to cover up the feeling that I’d like very much to be dead.


See, the only person who can get away with this is my Dad. He knows that it’s so unbelievably irritating that it will make me laugh through the tears. Sometimes it even heads the tears off at the pass.

**Craiger, you sodden urinal cake **, it’s obvious that you think that we’re all being overly sensitive. And perhaps we are. But they guy who tells me to “smile” is the creepy one who has been staring at my boobs for the last 20 minutes on the eL, the one I’ve been deliberately avoiding eye contact with. The guy who calls me “Jenny” or “Missy” or “Honey” after I’ve introduced myself as Jennifer. The one who sits at the lunch counter drinking 1,000 cups of coffee, spouting off on his moronic views on things for 3 hours, and leaves a thirty-seven cent tip. When a stranger (ALWAYS male and older than me) tells me to “smile”, he’s telling me a couple different things. “Hi, I’m really annoying, and I’m going to see if I can get some kind of reaction out of you” or “Hi, I’m under the impression that I can tell you what to do with your face” or “Hi, I’m a creep and I’m seeing if I can engage you in some way” - particulary common in the big bad city. “Smile” NEVER evokes a good reaction from me.

I’m so glad to find that others suffer the way that I do as well.

I have a stoic expression most of the time. That’s just the way I am… I tend not to wear my emotions on my face… pretty much everything is internalized. This in no way means that I’m not feeling anything or that I’m unemotional… I just don’t show it.

So… when you say “Smile” or “Why don’t you smile every now and then, it might be good for you” you are insinuating that something is wrong with me.

I agree w/previous posters that since it’s rude to demand that someone make changes to their body, clothes, moles, hairstyle or whatever… it’s just as rude to suggest that I smile.

Not only is it none of their business, it’s intrusive, insulting and is a veiled personal attack.


I said that I stared at these jackasses until they went away. Sometimes that takes a direct stare-them-down-until-they-have-to-blink eye contact of nearly a minute. Imagine that? These people are being contolling. They are nothing more than bullies demanding attention and conformity. I don’t like it, and I will not be jollied into meeting their expectations.

If I pass someone that I know and they aren’t smiling I may catch their eye and smile at them. Often they will smile in return. If they don’t, i may give them an inquiring look or even frown in sympathy. This may elicit a verbal repsonse, but not usually. The interaction is brief, non-verbal, and mutal. If they don’t smile I certainly don’t try to force them to. If i don’t catch their eye easily and I don’t need to interact with them I certainly don’t make verbal demands that they interact with me and smile.

Often as not when these smile police catch me not smiling, I am deep in thought. I am not smiling because I am puzzling something out. I don’t like them breaking my concentration for no reason. If someone has a legitimate interaction, like they want to know something or tell me something or wanted help, i will interact with them usually giving them a smile to let them know I don’t mind. If all they want is to enforce smileds then they can drop dead.

I would never tell a stranger to smile. But I will suggest to you guys that if you will make yourself smile, you will soon find yourself smiling for real. Or at least looking pleasant and pleasant looking people are much nicer to be around. But I am an optimist, and I don’t believe in inflicting my bad nature on others, so don’t listen to me.

urinal cake?
but not merely a urinal cake
a “sodden urinal cake”
it’s so disheartening knowing that there are people out there who think i’m a urinal cake.
i’ll never be able to smile again

LouisB, good advice! I don’t think anyone in this thread is against the smile, or any other facial expression. I’m naturally pretty smiley, but not when I’m being bullied into it. In the Big Bad City, I’ve sometimes gotta tone it down for all the reasons Reservoir Dog stated.


This used to happen to me a fair bit. Even at my most cheerful (and I’m no ray of sunshine trying to light up a gloomy world), I look pretty dour. Often someone would drag out the old chestnut about it taking 47 muscles to frown and only 9 to smile. At which point I’d look at them deadpan and say “I need the exercise.”.

LouisB, I understand your sentiments. I have a serious-looking face, no matter how happy I might be. I can’t make myself smile if I’m not doing something smile-inducing. I am envious of people who smile often and easily at a time that normally calls for smiling. But people who walk around with a big-ass grin on their face all the time - ALL the time - just look like they’re insane. That’s what bugs me so much - I’m sitting on the train reading or waiting in line somewhere or just walking down the road and some goddamn busybody stranger butts in.

No, I’m not an advocate of total isolation. I don’t mind strangers (let’s just assume they are just normal people, not weirdos or creepy men) who make pleasant small talk on the bus or in line. But I would be offended and insulted if a stranger walked up to me and said, even in the most pleasant manner, “Hey, that eyeshadow isn’t the best color for you - why not try x,” or “Why don’t you wear longer skirts; you would look a lot better.” Saying “smile” is just as offensive and insulting.

Don’t slouch
Comb your hair
If you keep picking at that…

Oh no - I’m having a prepubescent flashback!!

PET PEEEVE!!! Oh man this one gets me so bad.

I have a webcam, and people come and go and watch me all day. I even leave it on when I sleep. I get a lot of strange comments, friendly comments, and a lot of fucknuts telling me to smile, or asking me why I’m not smiling. Like they assume that because I have a camera pointed at me, my whole day must be spent just sitting there posing for the camera and waiting for them to talk to me. The truth is that I rarely even think about the camera, and I spend my day working at the computer like millions of other people. I have a relaxed or concentrated look on my face. I don’t sit around grinning like some showbiz chimpanzee while I am working, and I’m sure they don’t either.

It’s gotten so bad that I have a script that runs on my server. I have a button that I can push that overwrites my cam image (the live picture of me) with this image:

30 seconds later, when the cam uploads a new image, it goes back to normal, but it gets the message across.