Smiling like an idiot is beneficial.
The coolest unhappiest place on earth
So as some of you may know, I'm in Singapore right now. Which despite its beautiful architecture and flourishing economy, is well known for being one of the most emotionally stifling countries in the world.
However I reject this paradigm despite its obvervable truth; in GENERAL, Singaporeans have high IQ, but incredibly low EQ.
I'd like to up that EQ level (not just here, but around the world), and I believe that in order to facilitate change, you must be the change. Lead by example. Or in this case lead with a stupid smile.
The idiot smile
I go around with a silly smile on my face all day to see if people smile back.
Most of them don't, but the few that do always look so pleasantly surprised that somebody noticed them.
Even the people who are too emotionless to smile will have something to tell their friends about (that crazy guy who smiled at me on the train like he knew me or something).
The point is to make Singapore a slightly more emotionally open place. To cure the apparent zombie like demeanor of the average person here.
For most of us, going out of our way to say nice things to people is a step too far out of our way. So the simple solution is to bloody smile. It takes zero effort and you look like a happy person, which consequently makes you feel happier.
And by smiling I don't mean flashing an insane joker smile everywhere you go; that just makes you look like a mental patient as opposed to a happy person.
Just a friendly smile like the ones you give your friends when you see them.
Everyone's your friend
That's the secret actually! Just treat everyone like you've already been friends with them for a long time. The world will be a brighter place.
The treatment of others
Also I think it's important to treat the service staff or anyone for that matter with basic courtesy. It really has an effect on their mood and subsequent service towards you.
My initial misconception that Singapore service staff is terrible has been dissolved because I've seen the way most customers treat them. I completely understand why service is lacking here; the customers themselves typically lack basic etiquette like please and thank yous. Most of them are complete assholes to staff.
While I understand it's in the job description to be nice no matter what and that the customer is always right, it's still not easy to keep a facade up all day.
What's the big deal in being nice to others anyways? It's really not that much extra effort. Geez.
Wish your bus driver a good morning when you see them. Be a pleasant person. Say thanks and stuff.
Unless they're just assholes for no valid reason. Then ask to speak to their manager.
But I guess in hindsight the more altruistic thing to do would be to ask if they were ok. People have shitty days, it's nice for someone to show they care even a little. But if they continue being an ass... then it's manager time.