It’s quite wonderful how we express so many good (and some not) emotions through something as seemingly simple as smiling. But it feels like it’s evident to everyone that we’re not all feeling the same, and not every occasion is something to smile about.

Well, according to one Reddit user, there are some who don’t find it so obvious. When u/dubious_unicorn accompanied her husband to the gastroenterologist, she had the “pleasure” of meeting a receptionist who never missed a chance to tell all the clinic’s visitors to smile, as if oblivious to why anyone would come there. Scroll down to read the full story!

More info: Reddit 

Being happy is wonderful, but not everyone is, and it’s not okay to try to force them to be

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo) 

A woman brought her husband to a clinic on a rainy, gloomy morning for an unpleasant checkup

Image credits: R O (not the actual photo) 

Despite the clinic being crammed with a grim crowd who had no wish to be there, the overexcited receptionist persistently demanded that everyone smile and be happy


Image credits: u/dubious_unicorn

The author was mildly infuriated by this behavior and concluded that it feels as if being tired or unhappy must be borderline illegal in America

It was a routine checkup for which the OP and her husband arrived at a gastroenterology clinic. The weather outside was unwelcoming, and even though it was 7:30 AM, the waiting room was crammed with people who would all rather be elsewhere.

But regardless of this grim picture, the Christmas music blasting through the clinic’s speakers seemed as if it had put rose-tinted glasses on the receptionist’s eyes because every time she would walk past that room, she just had to yell that it was a good day and demand that people smile.

This kind of behavior was met with awkward smiles and angry glances, but the receptionist saw no reason to stop. The OP determined that looking tired or unhappy in America must be borderline illegal because some people won’t take any excuse for not smiling like every single thing in your life is perfect.

Commenters all agreed with this OP’s point of view and joined in the action, ranting about people who just can’t deal with the fact that some might not be happy, instead assuming they’re rude. A few Redditors also shared their own stories, like getting told to smile while going to get their strong depression meds or simply telling how they confronted such a person, making this kind of behavior look even more absurd.


Image credits: Carmel Nsenga (not the actual photo) 

One of the best-known traits relevant to Americans is a wide, enthusiastic smile. But why is that so? Well, we did some additional research to uncover the answers to this question.

According to Daryanni Law Group, there is a good possibility that this characteristic might actually have something to do with the country’s immigrant past. The article quotes a study performed by a group of international researchers that examined the number of countries from which people have immigrated to the USA since the year 1500.

The authors of the study came to the conclusion that emotional expressiveness correlates with diversity, as the language barrier forces people to depend more on body language, and smiling is known to build friendship, trust, and cooperation. Since there are 83 so-called source countries connected to the US, the origins of this occurrence suddenly starts to make a lot more sense.

Moreover, Americans seem to value high-energy, happy feelings and emotions more than some people from other cultures. It can be very visible when comparing photos of government officials in their appearances, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that people in these countries are always happy. It might just be the case that this kind of outlook shown by the nation’s political leaders is more valued, and thus, because that’s what people want to see, this is what they show. 


Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

This is also a part of the problem as to why some American companies have difficulty expanding overseas, especially if those businesses want their employees to communicate with customers while exhibiting these characteristics. 

Some cultures that are not as used to smiling, making eye contact, and greeting people may find these things strange, and while workers can be taught, this may not work well with the clientele. In addition, where some of these friendly traits are not as common, things like smiling can be confused with flirting, which raises additional problems.

In the end, we all perceive the world differently. This kind of behavior might feel annoying to some, while others express that they actually love it and find it very charming. However, while there is no pleasing everyone, there are certain situations that you just have to learn to read and play by. No one will condemn you for feeling happy and showing it under most circumstances, but demanding that others do the same? Come on, lady.

What did you think about this story? Have you had any similar encounters yourself? How do you feel about this trait? The comments are down below, and we’re waiting for you to come and tell us everything!

Commenters wholeheartedly agreed with the poster’s point of view and shared similar stories, each worse than the one before