I knew a relative who smiled publically all the time; you'd think he was the nicest person you ever met but in private, he was mean. And other people snap sometimes and act grumpy (and people think, "what a horrible person") but the person is decent and good-hearted. Are you fooled by charm and a big smile? I've seen people taken in by superficial things. I am in awe of people who have the intelligence to look beyond the manipulators. In Sherlock Holmes, "The Three Gables", Sherlock sees behind the charm of the nasty Isadora Klein. She manipulated countless people but she couldn't fool Holmes. I remember reading a story about an FBI agent who turned his back on a man during a drug bust because the man smiled at him. He had written something like, "the man's smile was so disarming that I didn't see him as a threat and moved past him to the others". If it wasn't for the little voice in his head telling him to turn around he wouldn't have turned to see the smiling man pulling a gun from one of his big front pockets. Even an FBI agent was fooled by a charming smile.
I'm sure the Devil, himself, smiles a lot.
Sadly, people can be easily deceived by such charms. Hell, Ed Gein was a notorious serial killer that played a huge inspiration for horror films like "silence of the lambs", "texas chainsaw massacre", and "psycho." Yet if you watch the documentary about him, many of his neighbors that knew him always thought he was a nice guy. In fact, they even trusted him to babysit their kids on various occasions without noticing that the man was really a serial killer. It just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by it's cover.
Hi Stevennix2001, very true about not judging a book by the cover. While not every smile is a form of trickery obviously, a person can't assume that someone is nice just because they smile. A smile is just a facial expression and it can be faked so easily and from what I read, most people can distinguish a fake smile from a genuine smile.
Remember the old 70s song by the OJays:
What they do
They smile in your face
All the time they want to take your place
There is another 70s song on the same theme by The Undisputed Truth:
Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tells lies and I got proof
The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don't lie, amen
Very good point. I for one am a person who is easily charmed by a friendly smile and words from a politician, and I thought to myself around election time that because of my gullibility, I really have to research to find out more about the candidates in order to form a solid opinion based on more than just "oh, he seems really nice and he smiled at me."
On the other hand, I am kind of paranoid so I have sort of adopted the mentality of being wary of everyone you meet, smile or no smile. While many smiles are genuine, who knows?
That is a very good point Elizabeth Bowers, there is no one criteria that determines if someone is nasty (ie: eye contact, smile, whether they touch their nose or not, etc...) It can become quite ridiculous to judge someone based on a specific body language that may have absolutely nothing to do with their personality. It is smart to be wary. Some cons, for example, know that most cons use smiles for manipulation so they might try the opposite approach to hook someone in. Smiles of course can be genuine but it is very common for con artists to use smiles to create a false sense of connection; it is the con calling card because smiles do tend to put people at ease because smiles are nice and convey warmth (when sincere). It is best to do one's research. Often tricky people want you to ignore their words and just focus on their 'feel good' body language, "Oh, don't worry about the details, you can trust me", they say with a big smile.
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