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View Full Version : Is Not Smiling Very Often a Scottish Trait?



feisty goddess
Thursday, July 8th, 2010, 10:12 PM
My last name is of Scottish descent and my dad, I, and my brother don't smile very much. Also my grandfather hardly ever smiled who was Scottish and was always being accused of being pissed off or unhappy and he was totally not and it really bothered him that people thought that. My mom and sister smile more like most people. My dad claims that this is a Scottish trait, because he never sees Scots grinning really big or even smiling at all for that matter. When I went to the dentist to get a teeth cleaning, they accused me of having low self confidence because I never smile but I mean I've always been like that ever since I started to walk. I have a tiny tiny mouth and its a big effort to put on a huge grin like most people can so it feels really unnatural. I can't understand people who are always telling me I don't smile enough and that I look sad and I try to explain to them and they don't really believe me. Do any other of you Scots feel the same way I do?

Rassenhygieniker
Thursday, July 8th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Define not smiling very often, please.

We aren't extroverted if that is what you are asking, especially in the northernmost parts.

Cygnus
Thursday, July 8th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Peculiar. My mom's father and my dad's mother were half and some Scottish and they and their progeny didn't smile all that much.

One thing is certain: being Scottish is serious business.

feisty goddess
Thursday, July 8th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Define not smiling very often, please.

We aren't extroverted if that is what you are asking, especially in the northernmost parts.

It really has nothing with being extroverted. People just say I hardly ever smile and when I do its like barely a smile I don't grin. In other words, my mouth is almost always in kind of a tight position and when I'm talking to someone about something I just don't grin and smile a lot like most people do. I mean I do occasionaly but I just can't keep my mouth in a constant smile. I don't really know how to explain it haha. I think maybe it has something to do with the jawline of Scots, but maybe I'm wrong.

Rassenhygieniker
Thursday, July 8th, 2010, 11:06 PM
It really has nothing with being extroverted. People just say I hardly ever smile and when I do its like barely a smile I don't grin. In other words, my mouth is almost always in kind of a tight position and when I'm talking to someone about something I just don't grin and smile a lot like most people do. I mean I do occasionaly but I just can't keep my mouth in a constant smile. I don't really know how to explain it haha. I think maybe it has something to do with the jawline of Scots, but maybe I'm wrong.

If you are referring to a physiological problem that involves the inability to smile in a proper manner, than no we do not have such a problem as we can smile just fine. Though on the other hand, like most of the people of our surroundings we are reserved, so the overt exuberence and the over the top display of emotions is not something that is being forced upon us.


The Germans are disciplined, Brazilians are exuberant, Swedes are cold and reserved as the Americans are big children.



“All I can say is this: I hate above all exuberant people. Now all Southerners yell, have an accent that gives me the creeps, and above the market, they make gestures. No, between those people who have curly astrakhan fixated on the skull with fencing ebony cheeks and large quiet phlegmatic Germans, my choice is not doubtful.” - Joris-Karl Huysmans (1887)

Thorolf
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 01:27 AM
my mouth is small compared to some and i find smiling to be uncomfortable. i smile when i like stuff or think something is funny, but i dont just smile to smile like others do. It hurts my face to smile all the time. Maybe it has more to do with lip size or something.

Yaggdrassil
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 04:19 AM
my mouth is small compared to some and i find smiling to be uncomfortable. i smile when i like stuff or think something is funny, but i dont just smile to smile like others do. It hurts my face to smile all the time. Maybe it has more to do with lip size or something.

This sounds like a problem my sister has eating. She inherited very diffrent genes and body build from myself and can barelly take an adult sized bite.
She's under 5'5" and I'm 5' 11" lol. Our colors are different as well she is lighter and I am darker (not skin).

Irby
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 06:23 AM
I think it may be a cro magnon thing, (just a theory) although we don't have small mouths (or at least I don't) having a big jaw makes it difficult to smile. Also when we do smile, its more of a cheeky grin. We cromagon are fighters not lovers, go to Glasgow and you soon see what I mean!

Furthermore, Northern English and Scots are not big smiles, our accents are quite slow, low toned and not very excitable. And these regions have (i think) a greater hunter-gather (cromadnoid) population than other regions in Britain.

Essentially the big problem a cro-magonon faces in his daily struggle in the modern world, is trying not to fight, kill or smash things up, so that does not leave a lot of time for smiling.


But naturally, I have seen Scots smile a lot but usually after a bottle of Bukie!!!!

Resurgam
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 06:23 AM
The Scots are just shy.

Sigurd
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 11:56 AM
There's nothing wrong with not smiling much, and doesn't mean that you're not charismatic nor does it mean you're automatically introverted. I'm living proof of that maxim, I rarely every smile, and if I do it's reserved for very special people and for very special situations. Just is. :shrug

Now if it happened to be due to my spending several years in Scotland that wiped the smile from my face, that'd be an interesting hypothesis and certainly worth pursuing. :P

Rassenhygieniker
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 12:06 PM
There's nothing wrong with not smiling much, and doesn't mean that you're not charismatic nor does it mean you're automatically introverted.

Indeed there isn't, but in our present time influenced by Hollywood and the Magic Negro Formula and such, smiling is something that is forced upon European Germanics.

Wulfhere
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 12:26 PM
And if Gordon Brown's anything to go by, Scots should avoid smiling as much as possible.

Rassenhygieniker
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 12:28 PM
And if Gordon Brown's anything to go by, Scots should avoid smiling as much as possible.

Would you mind to elaborate?

Thorolf
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 12:31 PM
This sounds like a problem my sister has eating. She inherited very diffrent genes and body build from myself and can barelly take an adult sized bite.
She's under 5'5" and I'm 5' 11" lol. Our colors are different as well she is lighter and I am darker (not skin).

I dont have it that bad, I can eat a lot. I just have noticed with myself that because of the size or shape of my mouth its uncomfortable to smile for long amount of time. My mouth isn't tiny, but the lips i think are slightly less than average going across my face.

Wulfhere
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 12:33 PM
Would you mind to elaborate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vor03-uUeuM

feisty goddess
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 04:21 PM
I dont have it that bad, I can eat a lot. I just have noticed with myself that because of the size or shape of my mouth its uncomfortable to smile for long amount of time. My mouth isn't tiny, but the lips i think are slightly less than average going across my face.

I kind of have that problem, like its not hard to eat but I sometimes have trouble biting into a big hamburger. People laugh at me when I eat everything like that with a knife and fork (burritos, pizza etc.).


There's nothing wrong with not smiling much, and doesn't mean that you're not charismatic nor does it mean you're automatically introverted. I'm living proof of that maxim, I rarely every smile, and if I do it's reserved for very special people and for very special situations. Just is. :shrug

Now if it happened to be due to my spending several years in Scotland that wiped the smile from my face, that'd be an interesting hypothesis and certainly worth pursuing. :P

People that do smile just don't understand it, they think your mad or somethings wrong.

Cygnus
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 05:10 PM
People laugh at me when I eat everything like that with a knife and fork (burritos, pizza etc.).



Eating pizze and open faced sandwiches with a fork and knife is the proper way to do it. Those that laugh at you are wrong.

Thusnelda
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 05:10 PM
Most people who smile all the day show a fake smile. I think itīs just impossible to smile all around the clock. Sure, Iīm a quite humorous person but by no means I feel I could smile hour after hour. Sometimes I grin, sometimes I smile (especially to relatives and good friends) but I dislike the typical fake happiness and fake smile directed at random unknown persons. Last week I was buying some stuff in the town and the cashier smiled as if I was her long lost sister. :P It was exaggerated.

Maybe itīs not only a Scottish trait but a Germanic trait, feisty. ;) No reason to feel ashamed.

Sigurd
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 05:38 PM
Most people who smile all the day show a fake smile. I think itīs just impossible to smile all around the clock.

Yes, it is annoying because you never know whether people are smiling at you for real or not. I get told I have a nice smile by the few people that have seen it ... and most of the time I sport my "naughty inverse smile" instead, which means I'm in a cheeky mood. Almost all the smiles of mine that are captured on pictures though look absolutely idiotic because I'd pull that face on purpose. :D


Maybe itīs not only a Scottish trait but a Germanic trait, feisty. ;) No reason to feel ashamed.

Indeed, if always-happy and always-humorous Bavarians like Thussy or myself can't even smile all the time, it's got to mean something. And no, C-Man --- it's not a freak Prussian gene responsible. :D

Ocko
Friday, July 9th, 2010, 05:57 PM
I am from OstFriesland. people hardly talk overthere, not to mention smile.

I have the impression that people are way more introverted and deep than extraverted and superficial americans.

I believe it is the habit in the USA to feel g r e a t and everything is fine and gorgeous. Whether it is or is not but always give the impression you are happy.

I noticed in the US that often people are afraid of me, because I don't have a pacifying smile and make people comfortable.

It is something of not being open for everybody. I close myself to have some privacy. It might be that americans keep their privacy behind a mask of feeling g r e a t.

Your facial expression has definetly an impact on the people around you. But I do feel forced if I have to smile. The manner for an Ostfrisian is to be more closed, not to be a peoples person. It seems to force a more mental attitude upon you than an emotional attitude.


I also noticed that americans often use strong terms for emotions or exaggerate (from my point of view). The greatest, most beautiful, the fastest, most expensive etc. Living in the superlative is the american ideal.

It seems to me that a more quite life is a more intense life as most happens inside not on your surface.

That's just my 2 pence.

feisty goddess
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 08:08 PM
Yes, it is annoying because you never know whether people are smiling at you for real or not. I get told I have a nice smile by the few people that have seen it ... and most of the time I sport my "naughty inverse smile" instead, which means I'm in a cheeky mood. Almost all the smiles of mine that are captured on pictures though look absolutely idiotic because I'd pull that face on purpose. :D



Indeed, if always-happy and always-humorous Bavarians like Thussy or myself can't even smile all the time, it's got to mean something. And no, C-Man --- it's not a freak Prussian gene responsible. :D

lol I do the same thing, when I am scheming or planning something I usually feel like smiling and laughing under my breath. In my senior picture people commented "it looks like your up to no good" and "what is up with that cheesy look on your face?" because when I am forced to smile like for a school pic it often comes out kind of cheeky haha.

Anselm
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 08:15 PM
I think folks of Scottish descent aren't good at "Faking a smile." I knew an Irish guy the same way. He had a great smile when he was really happy.

My wife says I look like Bender from Futarma when I fake one.
https://stange-chalkboard.wikispaces.com/file/view/lgfp1225%2Bbite-my-shiny-metal-ass-bender-futurama-poster.jpg/59771180/lgfp1225%2Bbite-my-shiny-metal-ass-bender-futurama-poster.jpg

Drottin
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 08:20 PM
I think it often shows inteligence, people smiling all day i often find less intelligent ore false.

Pictus
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 08:26 PM
I think it often shows inteligence, people smiling all day i often find less intelligent ore false.

Better we never meet then, because I smile a lot, but in the bad way (showing false regards and sneaky attitude).

Drottin
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 09:33 PM
Well then you confirm my experience with people smiling all day:)

Angus
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 09:39 PM
I think it often shows inteligence, people smiling all day i often find less intelligent ore false.

If thats the case, i must be a genius :D

Drottin
Saturday, July 10th, 2010, 11:00 PM
I forgot some of the people that have blood from chinese/mongolia/thailand, they smile 24/7. And some mongloids also smile all day. I know one girl that looks like she smiles all day but she is a real happy girl!

moromans
Sunday, July 11th, 2010, 02:49 AM
I am not 100% Scottish but do have a good bit in my background and I do not like to smile all that much. I do not think I smile well and my face does hurt if I smile a lot

lamhdeargabu
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010, 11:56 PM
I always smile and everyone i know smiles all the time,maybe it's because we are Rangers fans and our team is always winning :)

NorWest
Thursday, September 30th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Once again, Skadi helps me feel normal.
People always are telling me that I "walk around looking pissed off all the time, try a smile.." When my face is neutral I guess I look angry:|

Rhydderch
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010, 01:46 PM
I know what you mean feisty, although I'd say Americans are great ones for grinning, so many other nationalities would seem quite "smileless" in comparison.

I think many Scots are fairly reserved/shy (with strangers anyway) and maybe self-conscious, and feel uncomfortable showing emotion publically, but do have quite strong emotions nonetheless.

My grandfather (whose background was entirely Scottish) was typical of this type. He had quite a serious and measured demeanor but was not cold in temperament.

Blaph
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, 01:48 PM
I've been getting this a lot over the years myself - but the thing is, I do smile quite a bit, I crack a lot of jokes, but it's apparently in isolated circumstances. When people who know me see me walking down the street, or doing my job, or listening to someone tell a story, or whatever, I apparently have the appearance of a stone-faced golem. (Yes, that was a redundancy.)

I don't know how to account for this - every second of the day that passes doesn't require a smile to be plastered on my face, and I usually end up distrusting the people who comport themselves in such a fashion.

Judging by the replies thus far, it just might BE a Scottish trait. Who knows?

Dollfie
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010, 01:08 PM
Scots do seem to have a reputation for dourness, though I'm not sure how true this is. Of all the Scots I've known (scores of them) I have never met one, not even one, who wasn't likeable and darkly humorous a lot of the time, with an amused grin for every situation. Some of them could turn into grim faced, fiery demons when "Scottish Pride" or their football club's reputation was at stake, but that's an admirable quality I think!

Astrid Runa
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 05:04 PM
I only smile when I'm happy or I like something or someone, or if someone's made a compliment about a feature of mine. Or if I find something funny.
But that's about it. I'm not smiling now, but does that mean that I'm sad or pissed off? No.
I just don't feel like smiling a lot of the time because it hurts my cheeks if I do.
But when I do smile, people often compliment it.

flâneur
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 05:10 PM
My last name is of Scottish descent and my dad, I, and my brother don't smile very much.

Its genetic,a long ancestoral memory of actually losing halfpence some generations ago in the mud actually has been proven in scientific studies (by Englishmen in pubs) that scots never smile from the memory of the collective loss.

Sigurd
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 05:53 PM
Its genetic,a long ancestoral memory of actually losing halfpence some generations ago in the mud actually has been proven in scientific studies (by Englishmen in pubs) that scots never smile from the memory of the collective loss.

Here you have to dangerous things: Englishmen in pubs, and scientific studies conducted by the English. Much as I love you folks, that's some alarming stuff right there. :D

Caledonian
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 03:02 PM
I'm not sure..............;)

I don't smile myself very often either in that I always have a very stern disposition on my face.

Sort of comical to entertain although.

Northern Paladin
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 03:21 PM
I've never heard this before. I smile only when I'm genuinely happy, and it varies from day to day. Sometimes I may smile a lot, and other times not at all... it's something I don't really pay attention to anyway.

nostrand
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 09:55 PM
Hmm, I don't know. I'm not Scottish but I don't smile much, and neither does my dad. I think, that because I sit around with a stern expression, the people I know are scared of me.

Cuchulainn
Sunday, April 24th, 2011, 02:42 AM
One thing is certain: being Scottish is serious business.

haha I'm in total agreement, but I won't give you a smile for it.
Seriously though, you won't see me smiling much when I'm just out doing my own thing. Around friends is obvously a different matter:D.

Leofric_Of_Mercia
Saturday, October 8th, 2011, 12:33 AM
Once again, Skadi helps me feel normal.
People always are telling me that I "walk around looking pissed off all the time, try a smile.." When my face is neutral I guess I look angry:|

I get told that by everyone, my family most often say it, or customers I serve in work. When I am in fact just looking normal.

I find it very hard to smile, and when I have to force one it turns into that "cheeky" one mentioned earlier, and I don't really like smiling either.

Plus my Gran was Scottish, and I have lived in Scotland since 94. Perhaps it's the weather? Haha.

OutlawsnUnderdogs
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011, 05:29 PM
I have bell palsey quite noticeably on the right side, so my smile does not look like much and gets worse when I try to smile. I suppose I smile more with my eyes, everyone can always tell that I am happy simply by looking at my eyes.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul.....