The "Productive"

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Okay, No One's Forcing You to Smile

The next time you catch yourself forcing your cheek bones to produce a haphazard smile, just please ask yourself this one question: Was the person on the receiving end of this interaction going to spontaneously combust if you didn’t smile?

This topic has been a particular interest of mine ever since I’ve stepped foot in America, so please keep in mind that I’m not trying to be an asshole as I will be giving the PC police the bird throughout this post. I’m humbly trying to give my two cents regarding the bullshits, as I see it, I’ve had to become accustomed to and accept. (At this time, all those with an I Get Offended By Nearly Everything Syndrome can politely close this tab)

So what instigated this post?

A co-worker who walks past my desk everyday and seriously makes me question his sanity/motives due to the combination of his permagrin and his thousand-yard stare.

Please tell me that that’s just not normal. Only in the states would you be able to witness such a phenomena.

Oh you’re telling me he’s just a really happy guy. Yes, happiness is an emotional state, but laughing or smiling requires a strong stimulus and unless he’s peaking on molly or just really high every time he passes by my desk, I honestly can’t wrap my head around how a mortal being could behave so deliriously.

While I understand that this is an extreme case, I want to now focus my attention on the general population and point out that there are a lot of bad actors out there. Let’s face it, we’ve all witnessed both genuine smiles and fake smiles and whenever I see the latter, I just can’t help but ask myself:


Now I’m not talking about bad smiles that arise during first impressions. I’m strictly referring to those that occur during mid-conversations, the ones that are forcibly slipped in and consequently give off an “awkward” vibe. The reason I say “awkward” with quotations is because that word did not mean anything to me for 10 years because there’s literally no formal definition/ cultural understanding of the word in Persian. Whenever a conversation does not go in the direction the participants intended for it to go, rather than perceiving the situation as “awkward” and freak out about it, most foreign people dismiss it and remain apathetic towards it.

So what’s the reasoning behind these cultural differences?

I have no idea. All I do know is that this has led me to a stereotype:

People from the states are generally soft people (Especially now more than ever with the emergence of the diseased ridden PC culture)

Please note that I’m not saying everyone is this way, I’m just stating my opinion in the form of a stereotype to help with my generalization.
There have been too many times where I’ve attempted to engage in more real conversations by bringing controversial topics to the table only to be misunderstood and dismissed as being insensitive and causing offence. My biggest sympathy goes to South Park’s last aired episode (S9 e03) and its take on PC culture. I must warn you, however, that this episode is one of the dullest episodes ever aired and I hope you can discern the message they’re trying to convey. It’s truly ironic how censored we’re becoming in a nation that was founded on the foundation of free speech.
This is one of the reasons why I love travelling back to my motherland every once in a while. It gives me a good sense of all the imperfections that exists in both cultures and is honestly a good detox and change of atmosphere.
Anyone observing the general American population for the first time immediately sees how fragile some people’s emotions are and it’s kind of adorable at first to be honest.
I’ve witnessed too many people easily lose their footing mid-conversation over the most insignificant things. I’m not saying that I don’t recognize/create awkward situations. I do; however, I just handle it like how I was programmed to handle it growing up: dismiss it and move on.

I hope this gives you all a little bit of my perspective and understanding of some of the things I see “wrong” with our current generation especially in the last couple of months. I would really appreciate hearing the viewpoints of all you readers out there and so I’ll conclude with a few final questions:

How Politically Correct are you in your day-to-day life?

Why do people stress "awkward" feelings here more than any other nation?

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