Some thoughts about a smile…

I like your smile! I hear it a lot, and I like that compliment. Let me put this disclaimer here: I like to smile, laugh, be goofy, and make jokes that I laugh at myself. I do that plenty. Interestingly, I’ve never heard a compliment such as “I like your serious face” or anything like that. Smiling is generally equated to happiness. Frequently when I’m just being serious or contemplative, people ask why I don’t smile.

Like many beautiful, deep, and fulfilling states that don’t go along with a smile, many shallow or fake things come with it. I’m not talking about a genuine smile, a sign of joy, honest laughter, or an expression of being glad to see someone. I’m talking about that “having to smile in response to a smile,” “smile to look pretty,” or “smile to convince people that you are happy or fun.” Hell, I don’t need to convince anyone of anything.

I experience many things that make my life fulfilling and rich. With these experiences come feelings of beauty, awe, triumph, tenderness, perseverance, and determination. The pleasant detachment and freezing in time. The sense of beauty, whether it’s the one you get from looking at a person, solving an intellectual puzzle, or admiring nature. The feeling of admiration when I discover new knowledge on how our body works and the beautiful contemplation when I am creating my next scientific experiment. The feeling of existence, when you sink into a fantastic sense of life in the moment. I can continue forever, and as I have been practicing creating a web of those sensations as I go through my life, I can honestly tell you this:

1) I rarely have a big smile on my face when I experience the existence or tenderness. Rather the present and soft expression, looking eye to eye.
2) People don’t have big smiles on their faces on the last leg of a physical challenge, pushing themselves to take yet another step, while experiencing the depths of their own perseverance. You would rather see the face of someone determined, very focused. I definitely felt this finishing a 15-hour race in the Himalayas and loved the experience.

3) You will likely not see a big smile on my face when I solve chess puzzles and admire the game’s beauty. I would look wholly concentrated and slightly awed with sparkly eyes.
4) The smile will not be on my face when digging deeper into the mystery behind the how our cells produce energy. I will likely look fascinated, serious, and highly engaged.

The smile doesn’t have to be a constant reminder or a sign of happiness. When I watch the sunset, enjoying the feeling of existence, why do I need a big smile to convince anyone that I love every minute of it?

I connect best with someone through unusual and unexpected serious and deep conversation rather than smiling and sharing what kind of food we like. Food conversation is good at its time, but it feels shallow and lacking without dimensionality of deeper discussion. I want it to be a part of something more intense and not the only thing we can actually discuss. I will take your admitting that you don’t love your parents or are scared over not having an erection over sharing that you once have been to the UK or something similar. We can have both, but the depth and the sincerity make life a million times richer, and conversations about food, when those are the only ones, really don’t.

I will smile when I feel like smiling, and people who know me know I do it often. But I also appreciate looking into the eyes and discussing deeper, more serious things. For me a smile doesn’t necessarily make people prettier. It depends on the smile, state of mind, and what’s happening. Similarly, a serious face doesn’t automatically mean we are gloomy or stuck up. A calm, serious look that shows that there are many things behind it I find beautiful. So, I’m open to a new type of compliment: I like your serious/concentrated/focused/fascinated face. It makes you look amazing. Or “I like seeing your intensity”. I was complimented on being very present before, reacting to every subtle thing that was going on between the two people, and I loved it.

As I have mentioned before, I don’t feel like trying to convince anyone of anything. I don’t need to say that I’m happy or that my life is rich and fulfilled. If I have it and someone can relate in the way they perceive happiness or other pleasant states, it will be obvious. Suppose you get a picture of a miserable person who doesn’t have life from my presence online and everything I share. In that case, we are not a good match because our definitions of happiness and entire life are drastically different, and not seeing one another is a win-win.

To wrap it up, I like smiling, but it shouldn’t be put on a pillar above other emotional expressions. Instead, I feel it good to step back and understand its place and role in our life, which is drastically multifaceted and layered. Let’s smile when it’s sincere and comes out itself and enjoy other states that don’t involve smiling without being judged for that.

Let’s complement each other on all beautiful facial expressions.