Looking for smiles

I'm sure this has been thoroughly discussed on some psychology blog or website. But I didn't find it, so...

Speculation: we have an instinctive drive to see faces, and in particular to see smiles, and in particular to see genuine smiles. This is not something we learn but something we are born with. On the other side, we are born with an instinct to genuinely smile when we are genuinely happy, and we cannot produce a genuine smile otherwise.

These trivial-looking instincts have far-reaching consequences.

Our drive to see faces causes us to seek out company. Our drive to see genuine smiles causes us to seek out genuine smiles in others. We can't force others to produce genuine smiles. Coercion makes a genuine smile next to impossible for the victim to produce. We are driven, then, by this simple-looking instinct, to avoid coercing others, and more generally to avoid pissing them off, and furthermore to supply others liberally and unendingly with genuine pleasure, so as to produce genuine smiles. A simple way to do this is to smile at them (for real, of course). Once the smiles get started, they may never stop.

If you don't smile a lot in company, people will not seek your company.

Television, by cheaply satisfying our desire to see faces, may substantially replace our social life.

Anyway, the libertarian tie-in is that this provides a simple, if soft, mechanism to enforce non-aggression.

 

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