Friday, June 25, 2010


“How could you do this to me? Why don’t you love me? ” I thought to myself. The maitre d’ was taking us to our table, but the man I was with slowed down. He was staring across the room at a woman sitting alone at a table.

I wanted to tell him how humiliated I felt, but I decided not to start an argument. We were in our favorite upscale restaurant and I had hoped for a pleasant evening. But I was so angry that my body was shaking and I could feel tears filling my eyes.

I had been told by friends to learn to accept him because I was not going to change him, but I refused to accept and forgive the roving eyes of the man I was with. My ego wouldn’t let me. I felt I should be the only one in his life, the only one he cared for and the only one he looked at, and this is exactly what I expected, when I was with him.


He knew I was upset and he grabbed my hand. He assured me that all he wanted was for me to see her smile. He told me that it would be nice being around someone who smiled a lot and gave my hand a tight squeeze.

I gathered courage and looked at the woman. I saw a woman who looked happy. When I looked at her, I did see a smile, a nice friendly smile. People walking in the room looked at her. It triggered in me the fact that not only was I unhappy, but it showed on my face.


I was wallowing in self-pity and it wasn’t a pretty picture. It was time to change.

I would catch myself with an angry or sad thought and could feel my lips set tightly in anger, a frown covering my face. I forced myself to smile. I forced myself to relax the muscles in my face. I smiled at nothing and may have looked foolish, but I didn’t care. I discovered that I felt better when I relaxed and smiled, and I wanted to keep that feeling.

I smiled for no reason other than to portray an aura of confidence and happiness. I hadn’t realized the effect a smile can make on one’s face. When someone is smiling everyone else smiles and it lightens everything and everyone around. I practiced. I smiled even when I was alone.

I decided that this is the way I wanted to be perceived. I knew it would take a degree of acting. I knew I would have to smile even though I felt the man I was with wanted to be with someone else.

It took practice because I had been feeling sorry for myself and by appearing sad and dejected others would feel sorry for me. I had made myself a victim. I wanted to be saved. Therefore, I had no power. Now was the time to regain my power and this was the way to do it.


Did this change the way my man felt about me? Did this change his desire to lust for other women? No.

I can change me, but I cannot change anyone else. This lesson has not come easy, though. I continually tried to change the man I was with. And the man I was with continually tried to change me.

There is something liberating when you feel dynamic, powerful, and have a smile on your face. You feel more alive, centered and self-confident.

  •  Are you aware of the way your thoughts affect your feelings and your facial expression?
  • Can you see how changing this would make a difference?
  • Do you try to change others?
  • Do others try to change you?



  1. JoAnna. This is excellent. I was trying to figure out how I missed it and realized that I didn't have you on my blogroll. Geez, I thought I'd done that! Anyway, a smile is one of the best weapons we've got. But a good weapon. It not only changes instantly the way others look at us, it changes the way we feel about ourselves. On a bad day, smile at yourself in the mirror ....until you believe it. That works for me most every time!

  2. I was lucky my smile did change my mans behavior toward me.

    Being single for 6 years after my first marriage I had plenty of time to lick my wounds and learn from my mistakes. I was too nice. He did go with another woman.

    When I married my currant husband of 25 years I was not going to repeat that too nice thing. I didn't want to be mean but I knew it was not good to let a man walk all over you.

    I would speak my mind with my currant husband and at first he got angry. I learned to keep a smile on my face even when he would not talk to me. It took his the power of his anger away. I learned to let him own his anger.

    I was scared under that smile for a long time. I acted as if. Finally he saw that I could not be manipulated with anger and he gave it up. I was not mean when I spoke my mind. I just wouldn't allow myself to be walked over.

    Unfortunately many women let men mistreat them or actually like to have men mistreat them. The "I love a bad boy" syndrome. It can create monsters.

    A smile can slay dragons. It is so powerful.

    My first husband was a mean man. My currant husband is a good man that can be mean. There is a difference. My husband is now nice a lot more than mean which I earned and love.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I so agree smiling is powerful.

  3. What a lovely, thoughtful post. Our expressions certainly don't always reflect our real state, but we should always remember to smile more - good for us and others too..:)

    Pichetsin Paris

  4. This post really makes you think. I started reading it thinking it was going to be a completely different story. Thanks for posting.

  5. Smiling is a powerful tool!

  6. As an African American Woman, I have to be conscious of adhering to the "angry black woman" stereotype. As a result, I have learned the need to smile over things as well. Sometimes, being nice truly is better than being right. By smiling, you can keep a peaceful atmosphere and invite company. For those of us to want to keep a man, this is ever more important.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed. I appreciate the kind words. Thank you.