Joyce Majors, author of Smiling at the World, explains how she felt safe as a woman traveling alone and volunteering for numerous organizations around the globe. She accredits her smile. It’s the main reason, she cites, for feeling and remaining safe in her travels. She smiles a lot. Smiling kept her engaged with others especially when there was a language barrier. Smiling, like laughing, is disarming.
As the Dalai Lama said (in his broken English) when he came to Seattle to plant the Seeds of Compassion Conference: “Smiling is a reflection of no kind of barrier.” Smiling creates an immediate connection, a positive connection, even an intimacy between strangers. You feel safe with someone who smiles at you. You can immediately relax.