Studies have shown that showing those pearly whites can improve mood and convey trustworthiness and kindness. But it turns out, most of us can tell the difference between real and fake smiles. While fakers smile only with their mouths, real smilers typically move the entire face and eyes, too.

In social situations, the real deal may be more effective — subjects in one study preferred playing a game against a genuine smiler. But it’s not just others who will catch on to our fake smiles. While some studies show you can fake it ‘til you make it, others have found forced smiles can actually make us feel worse.

The Takeaway: If you’re not feeling it, don’t feel like you have to fake a smile — it could get you down. Instead, let those real smiles shine through when you’ve got ‘em.

Dress for Success

You’re never fully dressed without a smile — but having a great outfit can make your day, too.


If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.— Andy Rooney