Within the first three months of life an infant has it’s first smile as a result of social interaction ( How Smiles Develop ). Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, I am bombarded on a regular basis by the cutest little grins thanks to the procreating efforts of literally every single one of my friends (seriously, everyone). My social media feeds are quickly starting to look like a Babies’R’Us catalog and
I’m still shopping at Toys’R’Us. But it got me curious, when do little humans start smiling and what evolutionary purpose could there really be to smiling so early on in life?
The way I figure, we learn to smile so early on in life because nothing is as disarming as a smile. It is one of our greatest weapons in combating hate. Have you ever noticed that just by smiling at someone as you walk by them done the street it changes their entire demeanor? They can go from downright grumpy to uplifted within a second of you flashing them a sincere grin. At only three months old you can’t defend yourself or even run away but you can smile. And when you smile, the world can’t help but want to smile right along with you.
So even if your brain is swimming in negative sauce right now, I would encourage you go out and smile and whoever is out there. Even if you don’t encounter anyone on your walk, the act of smiling just to yourself, whether you’re happy or not, will make you feel better ( Why Faking a Smile is a Good Thing ). We’re born with the tools for our own happiness.