Have you ever noticed that when you smile at someone, they generally smile back? It can diffuse a tense situation or make a new friend. Just turn up the corners of your mouth and let someone know you care.
I bring this up because recently child #3, my special needs girl, was having a small meltdown in public. Now, it wasn’t huge, but it was definitely noticeable. A couple of pre-teen girls happened to be around at the time and they just stared at her like they couldn’t believe that someone who looked adult-ish (she’s 15 and tall for our family) could act in such a way. Child #3 didn’t notice, but I did.
What would have happened if the girls’ mother had instructed them not to stare at people who are different, but instead to smile? This lets the person know that you aren’t a threat (unless you have a really creepy smile!!!) I think it would help me and child #3 on many occasions when we are out and about if people were kind enough to smile.
I know, when I am in public, I love it when someone smiles at me. It gives me a chance to share my smile, not that I always wait! Sometimes I smile first. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes people don’t smile back, but most of the time, they do. I feel like it’s a good connection, even if I never see them again. They will carry my smile with them, if only for a little while.