It was a sunny Thursday morning. I was interstate, travelling for work when I jumped into the hotel lift that I often frequent.

As I enter, I cheerily greet the one, lone lady in the lift “Good Morning!!” and give her a huge, big smile (Yes, yes I am that person).

I’ll never forget it, she merely looked at me, blank and gave me nothing in return!

Nothing but a RBF! 

You know the one - blank look, lips curled down and not a sparkle in either of her weary, brown eyes. 

My smile immediately disappeared, my face went blank, eyes went down & I quickly hopped out at the ground floor, scurrying off, feeling deflated & flat.

Us humans are social creatures. As such, simple interactions like this, can have a really negative ripple effect, even on the strangers around us.

On the flip side, it also means that we can potentially influence someone else’s mood in a wonderful way too. Why is this?

Have you ever wondered why when someone yawns around you, you yawn in response?

It turns out that our brains have what are called ‘Mirror Neurons’ (accidentally discovered in monkey’s in 1995 by Italian neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti).

These are a special class of brain cell that fires not only when that individual performs an action but when they observe someone else perform an action or movement (Monkey See - Monkey Do!).

Researchers have found that we have a subset of mirror neurons whose only job is to detect other people’s smiles and laughter. What happens? The mirror neurons light up & prompt us to smile and laugh in response. 

So next time you find someone giving you RBF, or maybe you are indulging it a bit of RBF yourself, I dare you to consciously SMILE

Now, granted, I know my lady in the lift didn’t SMILE back immediately to me...

But by me smiling at her, hopefully I triggered her mirror neurons and she just might of cracked a smile to the next lucky stranger who came her way that Thursday morning!

And the best part is, smiles are FREE

So go on, keep smiling, what have you got to lose?



BLYTHE ROWE & Her Life on Heels.

The founder & director of Human Incite, is widely recognised for her passion, energy and her ability to shake things up. Blythe is brilliant at revving-up productivity & performance in organisations. Her passion made her to be an advocate in creating sustainable behavioural changes & creating meaningful relationships both personally and professionally with her most recent Keynote 'Science of Connection'. Her enthusiasm simply is infectious.

Connect with Blythe