What is the importance of smiling in communication? Smiling, allows people to perceive us as happy persons, whether is part of the verbal communication or of the non-verbal communication. Then, when approaching someone wearing a smile on our face, we tell to that person through our body language that we are friendly.
People want to be surrounded by happy people, by people who radiate positive energy. Then, no one wants to be harmed, obviously.
In relation to hitchhiking, the importance of smiling in communication is highly relevant. This is because hitchhiking in most of the cases is an interaction between people that have never met before and that is based on mutual trust. I trust the driver, and the driver trusts me.
In such interaction is fundamental for both driver and hitchhiker not to appear as threatening in any way. Because we don’t know each-other, when I approach a driver to ask for a ride, it’s mandatory for me to be perceived as friendly as possible. In no way I want to be perceived as a threat. Smiling, at this point, becomes an essential part of the message that I want to convey, which is, first of all, that I am a friendly person. It happened to me so many times to be told by drivers who picked me up “You had this big smile on your face and you looked so friendly – I couldn’t say no to you, and who could”.
Because people want to be surrounded by other people that have a positive energy, when they see You looking happy, unconsciously they know it’s very likely they will enjoy the time spent with You in their car. Since there is no second chance to make a good first impression, smiling is of great importance in the communication process.
Based on my own hitchhiking experience, the importance of smiling in communication is an aspect which always has to be taken into consideration, as smiling is often a parameter that makes the difference between being liked or not by someone we haven’t met before, which for a hitchhiker translates into getting a ride or not.
Written by Claudio Adrian Dobre; first in 2012, last updated in 2021. © 2012-2021