Communities Smile at the Payoffs From Friendliness

Communities Smile at the Payoffs From Friendliness

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teens greet on streetPort Phillip in Australia is encouraging people to smile or say "G’day" — the standard Australian greeting — to both neighbors and strangers as they stroll down the street. "Smiling," the mayor says, "encourages people to feel more connected with each other and safer, so it reduces fear of crime — an important element in the quality of life of many neighborhoods." … "Very small positive experiences can make people not only feel better about themselves, but also be more helpful to others." (The Daily Star also mentions a study showing people who find money left in a phone booth are more likely to help others.)


  1. Coming from another Culture (Africa) to the United States I was surprised and sometimes offended by the glum faces and lack of response when I smiled or said “Hello” and my husband continually told me the neighbors will think I am weird if I spoke to them (We lived in NY City and now in Bethesda MD). Since my husband is American, born and raised in NY I believe him. Where I come from you say “Hello” if you meet someone’s eyes when walking along the street (and even if you don’t meet their eyes for that matter).

    Recently, I have decided to still smile and say “Hello” regardless because I don’t feel good when I look someone straight in the eye and walk by them. It’s just rude from an African perspective. So I do, some people respond and some don’t . That’s ok.

  2. Good for you Fuadat.
    One thing Id like to mention, your husband is right, in NYC and alot of NorthEastern cities, saying hello to strangers is not common.
    However, in many other parts of the country it is very common to say hello to strangers. Especially in the mid-west states in smaller towns.

    The whole country isnt rude, dont worry. :0)

    Take care and I appreciate you saying hello to me if we every cross paths.