This Might Have Happened to You

Let’s see how the exercises went. If everything came off rather as expected, then you will surely recognize the following points…


1. Smiling at yourself in the mirror didn’t take that much effort, did it?  No matter how unsure you normally feel in social situations, it is fun and feels nice to smile at yourself. When you smile at yourself, you look good. You should have clearly seen the difference between the ungenuine and the genuine smile.


2. Having to do the practical exercises may have caused you some consternation. You were probably afraid that you would look ridiculous or that others would figure out your intentions. You might have been afraid that other people would take you less seriously. It took a lot to persuade yourself to get started in the first place, but in the final analysis, it didn’t turn out to be as difficult as you had expected. You found it rather easy to do the exercise. Others didn’t judge your behaviour as being strange, but responded positively.


3. Most people answered your greeting smile with a smile. This didn’t abate after you smiled at the same person again and again each time you met them. Even in these cases, you kept on receiving cordial smiles in return. 


4. Most meetings went more smoothly than usual. You noticed more spontaneity in others, and that in turn gave you a good feeling. Because of this, it will become easier to get on the same wavelength with others and improve your business relations.


5. Some people, particularly the people with whom you haven’t had such a good relationship, might have been surprised by your new approach, but not necessarily unpleasantly surprised. Perhaps some of them were even a little bit suspicious and thought to themselves ‘what’s behind all of this?” But mostly you got positive reactions. You will have noticed that your own attitude towards others improved and became more and more positive. You might even have found that you could more easily reconcile yourself with differing opinions. 


6.The duration of your meetings with others was usually longer than usual. People have a tendency to let pleasant moments last longer and to shorten unpleasant moments. Sociability doesn’t watch the clock! However, it doesn’t mean that you have wasted your time.


7. Young people tend to react more spontaneously than older people, and women let you know sooner than men regarding how enthusiastic they are about your jovial greeting. In general, your subordinates and co-workers probably reacted more openly than your superiors, but your positive approach did not go unnoticed by them either. If you keep it up, it will have a positive effect in the long run. The people you don’t directly work with should have responded to your smile more openly than your immediate co-workers. That doesn’t mean that they do not value your spontaneous greeting. They just need to get used to it.

About the author:
Frank van Marwijk is a sociotherapist and the director of Bodycom (Bodily Communication), a body language consultancy in the Netherlands. He is considered to be the best known Body Language specialist of the Netherlands. He has written several books about this matter.
Frank is the creator of a Dutch website about body language: A partly translated version of which can be found at:

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