Sunday, November 20, 2011

Smile with Your Teeth!

When I was 12 I got braces. But I didn't just have braces, I had a mouth expander that put a gap between my two front teeth that was so large a pencil eraser could fit between it and oh
. . . I had a night brace. It was a long, painful experience, but I have relatively nice teeth now because of it. Some of you may not realize that, though, because I do not typically smile with my teeth.

I have some sort of aversion to this concept, although I cannot tell you what it is. For some reason if I do not know someone very well, I won't smile at them with my teeth showing. As a waitress I realize this can come off as somewhat unfriendly so I try to tell myself to show my teeth when greeting a table, only to find myself keeping my mouth closed when smiling.

One day I was working and a guy I'd never seen before came in. I went into the same routine as usual; asked how he was, what can I get him to drink, and said thank you and gave a close lipped smile. After he had his food and I went to check on another table, someone said something that made me laugh, with my teeth showing,  (GAH!! THE HORROR!!) and the gentleman I had never met before said to me, "You have a beautiful smile. . . you need to quit hiding it."
It blew me away. I was so flattered because this guy didn't know me, had never seen me  before and had just given me a very large compliment. My whole day changed after that.

It is always amazing to me what such little words can accomplish in someone's day. Telling someone their shirt is cute, telling someone you like their hair, telling someone to stop hiding their smile from the world. . . they really are just words, but the impact they can have on someone's day is invaluable.
So, why are people so quick to cut someone down versus lift them up? I am guilty of this on occasion, too, but why? If I could learn to give a compliment everytime I thought to say something negative, how much more positive would my soul be? How much happier would I feel? What could I do for someone else's day?

It was not long before starting this blog that I began to wonder if my writing ability had peaked and would not, in fact, change someone's life or help their day along. And then I did my first entry, then my second, and so on and all of you lit up my life! The response I have gotten has been both overwhelming and incredibly amazing.

Now here is my compliment to you: You are important. You matter to me. And in some way or another you have shaped me into who I am today, and if you haven't yet, you probably will.

 So next time you're out, give someone a compliment, bite your tongue if you want to say something negative, and smile. . . WITH YOUR TEETH!

-Stephi D.

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