I am both a hugger and a smiler (as I’m sure you can tell based on my liberal use of smiley faces in my posts!) :-) So naturally, adapting to practices like social distancing and mask wearing due to COVID-19 has been a difficult adjustment in a lot of ways.
But I know that for now, it’s important that these health and safety measures supersede my need to hug random people and bestow them with a toothy grin. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still convey my pleasure at seeing someone—even with a mask covering most of my face!
Mastering The Art Of The “Smize”
This is where learning to “smize”—which is shorthand for “smiling with your eyes”—comes in. After all, our eyes are as much a part of our smiles as our lips. (Case in point: when babies smile at you when their mouth is covered by a pacifier, there’s no doubt they are happy to see you!) :-)
Experts trained in lie detection say we can learn a lot from what shows up in our eyes and eyebrows, and many say that genuine happiness shows up in the wrinkles on the sides of our eyes. (I’m chalking that up as a win for wrinkles!)
So the next time you want to shoot a friendly smile at someone at the grocery store or gas station, just bust out those crows’ feet and smile big! You will feel better, they will feel better, and these simple acts of kindness mean more than ever right now.
Being able to convey a genuine smile while wearing a mask is not the only way we can improve our social interactions while practicing responsible social distancing. Here are a few more helpful tips about social etiquette you can put to good use throughout this pandemic!
How To Improve Social Interactions While Social Distancing
4 Things You SHOULD Do:
- Smize! As I mentioned above, a genuine smile will shine through your eyes, even when your mouth is hidden by a mask.
- Utilize other body parts in greetings and conversations. A simple wave or nod can show acknowledgment.
- Buy (or make) an interesting mask to wear as a conversation starter.
- When others are talking to you, nod or tilt your head to the side to communicate that you are interested and listening.
3 Things You SHOULD NOT Do:
- Hug or kiss people outside of your household (even on the cheek!)
- Shake hands, give high fives, or do fist bumps.
- Bump elbows. Even bumping elbows should be avoided, both because it requires you to get within 6 feet of someone, and because we’re told to cough and sneeze into our elbows to avoid spreading germs. So keep those elbows to yourself!
What’s your best tip for navigating social interactions while social distancing?