Best Face Forward

Tips for looking and feeling genuinely friendly

There’s nothing like a warm natural smile and good eye contact to add to your in-person magnetism when connecting with others. Beyond good skincare and makeup, pleasant facial expressions have a positive effect on your interactions in social situations at work and at home.

It’s much easier to approach or converse with a friendly face than someone who seems stressed, uninterested or grumpy. Many people have a naturally happy face, while some of us are often criticized for, “looking tired”. Being aware of the face you’re wearing can have a big effect on your self-image. The key to making any changes in how you face the world is your mindset.
Find Your Smile
Researchers have counted more than 50 different types of smiles. The most genuine one involves smiling with your eyes and your mouth, also known as “smizing”. It’s a smile that originates from your happy place. To find your smize, look into a mirror and think about things that bring you joy and make you smile in response. When your eyes automatically light up and crinkle at the corners, you’ve found your natural smile. Use those same blissful thoughts to put a real smile on your face whenever you need one. Try smiling with your eyes in social or work situations where you want to be sure you look approachable.

Eye Contact
How, when and where we make eye contact is another key to making successful connections. It tells others that we see them and are listening to them. Eye contact makes us appear more confident and truthful, especially in a relaxed manner. Remember to make contact with your eyes as you speak and listen.

Clear Your Face
If you’re leaving a stressful situation to enter a room, the office, or meet a friend for lunch, shake the day off of your face first. Think positive thoughts about what you are about to experience as you wiggle your forehead, nose, mouth to relax tense facial muscles. The exercise may even make you laugh. What’s important here is to work up a pleasant expression.

Daina Hulet spent ten years as the west coast editor for Glamour magazine covering beauty, fashion and lifestyle. She has also written freelance articles for national publications and created content for corporate fashion and beauty websites.

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