YOUR CHALLENGE: Smile at three strangers today


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This is just a PS to The Greek Part Two. (So The Greek Part Three?)

Thank you so much to everybody who sent me such lovely messages yesterday, it really is the coolest thing to hear from you. It makes my day.

It seems that the line that resonated with most people was when the Greek told me that he approaches a girl if she smiles three times and me realising that I NEVER smile at men.

My conclusion: I’ve spent my life thinking the girls who get the guys do so because they’re prettier and skinnier – but maybe they’re just smiling more!’

But it’s hard.

Josie, a reader of the blog, wrote yesterday: ‘Being prepared to make that first smile, look people in the eyes & be approachable is scary. I can do it with men I’m not interested in but if I like them I get paralysed.’

Don’t we all?

Those tiny moments of smiling and looking is acknowledging that ‘I like you’ and that makes you vulnerable and open to rejection.

It’s horrible.

But, of course, if you don’t do the looking and the smiling there’s a good chance you’ll be alone anyway. You’re in effect rejecting yourself.

I suppose what we all have to work towards is liking ourselves enough that a rejection from one person doesn’t leave us lying on the floor. It hurts a bit but we dust ourselves off and move on to the next one. After all, the best pick up artists in the world (and business people, come to that) will tell you it’s a numbers game – with every ‘no’ you’re getting closer to a ‘yes’.

But the whole loving yourself business takes time and work. I read a great book on the subject this summer – LOVE YOURSELF LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT by Kamal Rayikant – and I recommend it. It’s a very quick easy read and made me think about how hard I am on myself.

Another reader, ZR, messaged me about the miraculous effects of just smiling at someone: ‘I’ve only recently started making a concerted effort at eye contact, and the first time I smiled at a dude in a bar, he came right up to me.’

So my challenge to you today is to SMILE AT THREE STRANGERS TODAY.

If they smile back, then hurrah… if not, then hurrah too – you’ve done your rejection therapy for the day. And you’re still lovely. I promise.


7 thoughts on “YOUR CHALLENGE: Smile at three strangers today

  1. londontownphotos

    I love reading your blog and I totally agree with smiling at strangers. With my blog I have to overcome that fear every time I photograph someone. I always look out for the people who catch my eye and give me the slightest hint of a smile, once I’ve got that I know there might be a chance they’ll let me take their portrait. But it has taught me that these people are the approachable ones. And I want to be an approachable person too….

    1. Marianne Power

      I’m following your blog – I love it. You’ve got such nice smiley faces on it. I get so fed up of fashion mags with model and celebs pouting. Nothing beats a nice smile. You must have to practice rejection therapy every time you go out and shoot – good for you for doing it. Yay! Thanks for reading – I’m now following your blog too. Is photography your day job? Or a hobby? You must get to chat to lovely, interesting people.

      1. londontownphotos

        There are plenty of people that say ‘no’ to me taking their photo and that is really hard, I have to give myself a good shake before I’m able to pluck up the courage to ask the next person. Which frustrates me about myself but rejection is never nice or easy to handle. The other tricky bit is getting people to say something interesting enough to quote. Some people just aren’t deep thinkers, some feel as if they’ve been put on the spot, at the end of the day it’s down to me to draw it out of them with the questions I ask.

        Thanks for the follow!! The facebook page has been open longer so the wordpress site is catching up by getting two or more a day released :).

        I am a professional photographer but this isn’t the sort of work that pays the bills but I’m hoping one day…. however, more importantly, I just want to capture interesting people and have fun with it.

  2. Lauren

    Hello! I love reading your blog! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! It’s so funny and encouraging! I feel I share a lot of your fears but its very inspiring to see you work through it. I hope I can be as brave as you someday, but in the meantime I will definitely try the smiling at a stranger 🙂 Many thanks!

  3. Zoe R

    It’s interesting about the “being approachable” thing – I’m not sure it’s only about fear of rejection. The reluctance for me is also this, “What does that say about me?” moment, like smiling at someone means I’m some desperate uncool person, and clearly men only come up to the “cool” women. Like being approachable is somehow needy or too forward, or some kind of action that’s not what we’re taught is attractive. I think it goes pretty deep into the men-should-chase-women paradigm from the 50s that somehow is still ingrained in what we think of as attractive female behavior. Or maybe I’m being too analytical 😉 The gist is that it goes beyond fear of rejection to – what does this smile say about *me* and who I am?


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