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Woman Comes Up With Perfect Lie To Teach “Smile More” Guy A Lesson
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Woman Comes Up With Perfect Lie To Teach “Smile More” Guy A Lesson

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Turn that frown upside down! We all know that it’s best to approach life with a positive attitude and to look on the bright side as often as possible. But it’s just not realistic to do that all the time. Life happens, and when you’re having a bad day, the last thing you want to hear is that you should be smiling.

One woman recently shared on Reddit that a visitor at the hospital where she works decided it would be a good idea to encourage her to smile more. So she immediately made him regret that suggestion. Below, you’ll find the full story that she posted, as well as some of the replies amused readers shared.

Trying to stay positive can be helpful in any situation

Image credits:  YuriArcursPeopleimages / envato (not the actual photo)

But when a stranger felt the need to tell this woman that she should smile more, she decided to teach him a lesson

Image credits: Liza Summer / pexels (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: escapetheparadise

Smiling often can be beneficial for our health

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Image credits: Joel Mott / unsplash (not the actual photo)

A big, bright smile can be contagious. If you see someone radiating joy, you might not be able to help yourself from grinning ear to ear as well. And smiling can actually provide us with some health benefits. According to Verywell Mind, smiling regularly can relieve stress, elevate our moods, boost our immune systems, lower our blood pressure, reduce pain, attract others to us, help us stay positive, and smiling is even associated with living a longer life.

There’s no question that we all enjoy smiling, and we can all benefit from it, but we shouldn’t be expected to do it all the time. Being expected to have a smile on your face constantly and ignore painful or uncomfortable emotions can be a slippery slope leading to toxic positivity. And human beings are incredibly complex creatures, we should be allowed to feel and experience a full range of emotions.

If you’re a woman, you’ve likely had at least one experience similar to the one described in this story. Thanks to misogyny, many men have got it in their heads that telling women to smile more, particularly strangers, is appropriate. Men aren’t expected to look chipper and joyful at all times, but because the world loves double standards, women are. 

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But telling women to smile more is rooted in misogyny

According to Inc, one survey found that a whopping 98% have been told to smile at work at some point in their lives, and 15% say that this happens at least once a week. Over a third of women say that they’re told to smile most frequently while working, and apparently, women in senior and executive-level positions are the most likely to be told to smile more. I wonder how often men in these powerful positions are told the same?

As far as why these remarks are commonly made towards women, writer and activist Bené Viera told HuffPost that society conditions men to believe women exist for the male gaze and their own pleasure. “Men are socialized to believe they have control over women’s bodies. This [is the] result in them giving unsolicited instructions on how we should look, think and act,” she explained. “Essentially what a man is saying when he tells a woman – one he doesn’t even know – to smile, is that his wants outweigh her own autonomy over how she exists in the world.”

Women are also often told that they have “RBF” if they’re not smiling frequently, something that men don’t have to worry about. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher also told USA Today that smiling is often seen by men as “subservient, weak and vulnerable,” so they might limit themselves from showing many facial expressions. Yet they still expect women to be cheerful all the time.

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Women have control over their bodies and can smile as much or as little as they want

Image credits: Joel Muniz / unsplash (not the actual photo)

While the pandemic was a terrible thing for the world, it did provide one unexpected benefit for some women. Wearing a mask meant that nobody was going to comment on whether you were smiling or not. The Washington Post published a piece in 2021 discussing how masks coming off meant that men would go back to telling women to “Smile!”

And although some men see these comments as harmless, Kimberly Fairchild, an associate professor of psychology at Manhattan College who researches street harassment, told the Washington Post that demanding a woman smile is actually on par with catcalling, unwelcome gestures and other forms of harassment. Though the delivery differs, they’re all ways for men to try to control women’s bodies.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this petty revenge in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever been told to “smile more” by a stranger? And do you think this woman responded in the perfect way? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing a similar situation, we recommend reading this piece next!

Readers shared their reactions to the petty revenge, as well as some similar stories of their own and suggestions of how to respond next time

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blue1steven avatar
Donkey boi
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Years ago my sister was in a motorcycle accident with her boyfriend. She didn't know that he was going to propose to her that night. She had just been told that she may never walk again and that her boyfriend died while being airlifted to the hospital. Just then an orderly came to wheel her down to surgery and said to my sobbing sister, 'Cheer-up darling, nothing's that bad!'. My mam corrected him that it was, in fact, THAT bad, and told him to f**k off before he needed surgery himself.

wallicktn avatar
Tracy Wallick
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I work on a military base where I have to show my ID in order to get in; the gate guard told me to smile. This was not very long after my mom had died (she passed the day after Christmas), and I was very much NOT okay, so I let him have it. "Maybe I don't feel like smiling?? I just buried my mom, is it OKAY WITH YOU that I'm not smiling??" Man could've won the gold medal for the 100m Backpedal, he let me through after I told him, very angrily, not to tell women to smile.

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish we didn't need to make this gendered. I (a male) have been told to "cheer up it can't be that bad" myself. It's not solely something that men say to women. It's something that people say to other people.

Load More Replies...
ms_22 avatar
M S
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My face looks sad too when I don't smile. I always have to make a smile so my face looks normal. But I can't do this the whole day so people often tell me to smile more. I sometimes think about a small surgery to change it but it is expensive and doesnt stay forever.

pass_nad avatar
Nadine Debard
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you agree to take an unsollicited internet stranger advice... Please don't change who you are and what you naturally look like just for other people's sake. Embrace your 'resting b* face'. Let people who ask you to smile more go have intercourse with a cactus. Multiple times. Kudos ❤️

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blue1steven avatar
Donkey boi
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Years ago my sister was in a motorcycle accident with her boyfriend. She didn't know that he was going to propose to her that night. She had just been told that she may never walk again and that her boyfriend died while being airlifted to the hospital. Just then an orderly came to wheel her down to surgery and said to my sobbing sister, 'Cheer-up darling, nothing's that bad!'. My mam corrected him that it was, in fact, THAT bad, and told him to f**k off before he needed surgery himself.

wallicktn avatar
Tracy Wallick
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I work on a military base where I have to show my ID in order to get in; the gate guard told me to smile. This was not very long after my mom had died (she passed the day after Christmas), and I was very much NOT okay, so I let him have it. "Maybe I don't feel like smiling?? I just buried my mom, is it OKAY WITH YOU that I'm not smiling??" Man could've won the gold medal for the 100m Backpedal, he let me through after I told him, very angrily, not to tell women to smile.

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish we didn't need to make this gendered. I (a male) have been told to "cheer up it can't be that bad" myself. It's not solely something that men say to women. It's something that people say to other people.

Load More Replies...
ms_22 avatar
M S
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My face looks sad too when I don't smile. I always have to make a smile so my face looks normal. But I can't do this the whole day so people often tell me to smile more. I sometimes think about a small surgery to change it but it is expensive and doesnt stay forever.

pass_nad avatar
Nadine Debard
Community Member
2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you agree to take an unsollicited internet stranger advice... Please don't change who you are and what you naturally look like just for other people's sake. Embrace your 'resting b* face'. Let people who ask you to smile more go have intercourse with a cactus. Multiple times. Kudos ❤️

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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