Do you know someone who, no matter what the topic of conversation, can’t quit smiling when talking?
This doesn’t refer to the smiling between two good friends who haven’t seen each other for awhile or someone telling a funny story.
This article refers to two kinds of “smile while talking” people:
#1 Someone who has a continuous smile on their face while talking to you, and this person may be someone you hardly see or frequently see, and you’ve noticed they’re like this with anyone they talk to.
So it has nothing to do with how likeable you are.
#2 Then there’s the news anchorman or anchorwoman, or some guest on a CNN or Fox News segment about the latest story.
Or, the “smile while talking” person may be an attorney, juror, reporter or someone somehow connected to a murder case and is giving some information.
But what’s there to smile about?
The striking thing is that the topic of what they’re speaking about is neither funny, amusing nor delightful.
Ever see a TV show called “Snapped” on the Oxygen network? These are documentaries of women who’ve committed murder.
Each episode features key people such as a detective, a juror, the killer’s mother, a friend of the deceased, etc.
Every so often, one of them has a continuous smile on their face as they’re talking about a MURDER.
One man, in law enforcement, was describing details about a decapitation — and all the while, had a smirk on his face!
There are guests on CNN or an ID Channel show who, while talking about some disastrous incident, such as a plane crash, mass shooting or serial rapes, is wearing an ongoing grin while explaining things and answering questions.
What is UP with this?
Look at the smiling woman below, taken from a crime docudrama called “Fear Thy Roomate.” What do you think she’s talking about?
The picture was taken as this woman, Tiffany, was describing how her mother Darlene’s roommate Angela would remove the shared home’s lightbulbs — to make the place dark — and hide her glasses.
Tiffany states that this made “my mother stumble around in the house and hurt herself.” Why is she grinning as she says this?
Eventually, Angela assaulted Darlene; Darlene called the police. Angela convinced the cops that she was the victim.
Darlene was taken away by the police. Below is how Tiffany looked as she said, “She got three days in jail.”
It gets worse. Tiffany is then talking about the time that Angela struck Darlene in the head with a hammer and then threatened her with a knife. Below is the image right as she’s describing this.
This is absolutely appalling. Not long after the incident, her terrified mother stabbed Angela to death after Angela began attacking her.
This is serious stuff, yet Tiffany is grinning all throughout.
And then there are the reporters who have a constant smile while talking about less tragic events.
But at the same time, these events are not the least bit funny, amusing or delightful, such as a traffic jam or local flooding.
Why do these people smirk?
One time on CNN was a guest who was commenting on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The entire time she was talking, she was smiling — from ear to ear. It really looked ridiculous.
She had a very pretty face. Perhaps while growing up, she was always being told to smile — because of her attractive features, a la “You should smile more often; you have such a pretty face!”
Hearing this instruction often enough, she developed the habit of breaking into a fixed, ear-to-ear smile whenever she was talking about ANYTHING.
It just looked so scripted. And yes, it was ear to ear and very inappropriate for the topic of talk.
I’ve seen many reporters on TV wearing an ongoing smile (which is often more like a grin or smirk) while relaying a story about something that is nothing to smile about, such as a forest fire, tornado, street crimes, a segment on identity theft, etc.
Check out the image below of CNN anchor Abby Phillip.
The three other people have a serious, concerned facial expression, while Abby maintains a goofball smirk.
It wasn’t momentary; it was ongoing throughout the discussion; very inappropriate.
Woman Smiles Through Discussion of Sexual Misconduct Allegation
Below is an image of a panel discussion on Democrats staying silent about sexual misconduct allegations against Governor Mario Cuomo by a former aide.
Why is the woman on the bottom left smiling? Look at the other panelists. This was not a fluke second of time. This woman was grinning the entire time.
It’s easy to believe that someone in these individuals’ past kept harping on them to “wear a smile all the time.”
Perhaps as children they got punished for not smiling on command.
And it isn’t just women who do this. I’ve seen plenty of men with a continuous smile plastered on their face while part of a serious discussion or debate.
Smiling while talking of a heartwarming story is one thing, such as a child whose lemonade stand near a construction site made a killing.
But as mentioned, this refers to people who can’t stop smiling while talking about murders, violent crimes, racism, ISIS, the latest controversial subjects, bad weather, political scandals – you name it.
I have an adult nephew who did this last time I saw him — but the conversation wasn’t about anything amusing; rather, just run-of-the-mill catch-up stuff, as I hadn’t seen him for a few years.
The nonstop grinning was annoying, I’m sorry to say. He was doing this with everybody, so it wasn’t an issue of him being ecstatic to chat with me (I’m not THAT special!).
The Problem with Smile Talkers
This habit can put listeners, in a face-to-face situation, ill at ease.
If a person is shy, introverted or otherwise socially awkward, they may feel pressured to smile back or maintain a perpetual smile themselves while the talking person keeps smiling away.
This is very unnatural and awkward to such a listener who’s already self-conscious enough as it is in social situations.
If this describes you, you’ll feel liberated if you wear your natural face.
Do not let someone else’s relentless habit dictate how to move the muscles of your face.
If something’s funny, then by golly, crack a smile. If nothing is funny, do not feel pressured to be untrue to yourself.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.