Here’s a surefire tool that will get you off to a great start in any conversation about the ideas of liberty.
Start off with a
…better known as a SMILE! (Check out the first letters of that phrase.)
Yes, SMILE! You’re on Candid Camera! And in a way, you are — everyone is watching to see how well YOU represent all other libertarians as you share the message of liberty. (No pressure…)
Scientists have been studying the power and benefits of smiling since the 1800s. Today there’s a great deal of science arguing for the social and personal benefits of smiling.
A smile is one of the best shields against hostility and one of the best ways to assure that the other person is open to hearing what you have to say.
A smile is contagious! People respond to smiles. The other person will often smile back, making the conversation much more pleasant.
The act of smiling affects your body chemistry in ways science is still trying to understand. But scientists agree that, for whatever reasons, smiling makes you feel good. And when your audience responds with a smile, they, too, feel good. Indeed, MRI studies indicate that seeing a smile activates the part of the brain that processes rewards. Thus a smiling person may be perceived as more attractive.
“Simply using the same muscles as smiling will put you in a happier mood,” says Dr Michael Lewis, psychologist at Cardiff University. “That’s because use of those muscles is part of how the brain evaluates mood.” Your listeners, too, will pick up on this.
Smiling can actually reduce stress and help you feel better in stressful conditions — like, for example, public speaking.
It’s important that your smile be genuine, not fake. Happily, when you talk about liberty, you’ve got something to smile about. You’re sharing the good news of liberty — ideas that can change lives and change the world in the most wonderful ways. It may help you to take a moment before speaking to reflect on the positive and beneficial nature of what you’re about to speak on. This can help you to make your smile genuine.
Like many seemingly simple communication techniques, smiling doesn’t always come naturally. You need to practice at it, and remember to use it, especially in political discussions.
That’s why I created this acronym. Use it to remind yourself to start your political discussions with this potent weapon: the Simple Movement Into Libertarian Engagement. Aka the SMILE!