Most of us can catch fake emotions of people around us. How about some service executives giving you a fake smile with a fake warm welcoming tone? Of course, not everybody gives us a fake smile. We, as consumers, are also as good as those service executives. We return the smile with a fake “hello”- as if we are saying, “alright now, let’s get into the business, I have a problem here.” And when you are tough to them, demanding an ambitious solution, they would never throw back the harsh words (if any) that you meant for them. In fact, they are trained not to play a tit-for-tat game. Some are very good in controlling their body language even. Perhaps you can guess that some professionals’ facial construction has changed to a natural smile even without trying much (no pun intended), since he/she has been doing this for years! But once you (the customer) left, some of them would probably throw back all the bad feelings they had about you (silently) and swept it under the rug. This could be constructive, actually. People need to vent their anger anyway to bring them back to normalcy. This goes for both the parties— I mean for customers and service providers, with the exception that the latter cannot do it publicly.
Now imagine what would happen if we start giving fake smiles to everybody around us? Not everybody would be able to catch a fake smile, however, it would create annoyance if otherwise. The fact is, many social behaviors are contagious. If you live in a society of liars, you may tend to lie to survive. If you live in a society of thieves, you may feel the urge to outsmart others by stealing even more creatively. That being said, such contagiousness has an upside as well. When everybody in the society keeps smiling for smile’s sake, it would make many of us friendlier towards others. Once ignited with a fake smile, some people will actually reply with a sincere smile. This is where the change begins. Should we advise front desk people to stop smiling? No way.