Ifat Glassman

A problem dealing with people who act nice

80 posts in this topic

A hello, a handshake, a conversation or opening a door are nothing at all like a smile. The natural state of a smile is one that comes spontaneously from emotions. It is a reflection of liking or enjoying the other person. Opening a door for your costumer is courtesy which reflects the required atmosphere for making business. Declaring to this person that you like him/her is not necessary. General approval is still not the same as enjoying someone. Enjoying the idea of earning more money from this person is still not enjoying or liking him/her. That's what makes the difference between a "greedy" smile and a smile of liking someone.

I think you are arguing from an incorrect premise here. Like with all expressions and body language context is extremely important. Saying that a smile is a reflection of liking or enjoying the other person is like saying that a frown is a reflection of disliking the person. Depending on the context though, a frown could mean that you are thinking very hard, or that you are skeptical or perhaps even curious to what the other person just said.

So we're suppose to do learn about what something is based on exceptional cases? What's the logic in that? Might as well say, that since sometime people smile when they're actually sad, one can never tell if a smile indicates a good mood or not. Which would be skepticism (in this area).

Just because it might be difficult to identify something correctly, does not mean one should be skeptic about the possibility of knowledge in that field.

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To make a point, I'd like to describe one approach that I think is completely flawed:

Thinking that a perfect person has a benevolent approach to people (supported by deduction from Objectivist principles), and because of that, a person is going to be nice to people.

Every time upon meeting a new person, reminding yourself "The perfect person is benevolent, so now think how wonderful it is to be benevolent (to be perfect), just like the perfect person is suppose to be, and if you smile you will actually be that perfect person". And then the person smiles and feels confidence as a result. What it is is nothing but cowardice and blind following. This is not self expression, nor selfishness. It is just like men who try to sleep with women to get self esteem, or like teenagers trying to immitate Roark's style to consider themselves good.

This is one example how focusing on intellectual analysis of being nice or not is actually (surprisingly) to avoid facing the problem - thinking that if you can explain why being nice is necessary intellectually, then there is no need to face any emotional conflicts involved.

Where, may I ask, have you observed this "perfect person" doing this through "dedcution from Objectivist principles?" Where did you read on this thread someone write "The perfect person is benevolent, so now think how wonderful it is to be benevolent...?" And unless you can point out the area where you read this, how can you claim that someone is thinking those things? Might I remind you, that you are the one that seems to be having a problem with all this "nice" stuff.

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This used to annoy me, too. Also, after having studied facial expression, it's extremely easy for me to pick up on disingenuousness.
It is extremely difficult for me to pick that up even after many years of dealing with people. Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say you studied it? Perhaps it would bother me more if I knew what to look for! (On another note, false laughter at something I say that I do not intend to be funny does bother me - genuine laughter I don't mind) I agree with the rest of what you wrote here.

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The point is there is nothing transparent about facial expressions; we take a smile to mean that someone is feeling good, but we don't know what they're feeling good about. And we don't know the motive behind a "faked" expression, or even know for sure if an expression is in fact faked.

Here is that skepticism I was talking about. "We can never know". We can know.

This is the same to how the term "psychologizing" is used to essentially cut out ANY attempt of psychological analysis. "Who are we to know? we can never know, so better not judge, but just answer the arguments".

I judge, I don't just answer the arguments, and I am certain I can reach correct conclusions about people's psychologies from reading their writing.

It has become almost a taboo to discuss any negative evaluation of someone's psychology, under the name of psychologizing. And I think this approach to so called "psychologizing" is at the core of skepticism in regard to human intentions, expressions and motivation. I am completely against it. Knowledge in that field IS attainable, and you don't have to be a "professional" for that.

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Where, may I ask, have you observed this "perfect person" doing this through "dedcution from Objectivist principles?" Where did you read on this thread someone write "The perfect person is benevolent, so now think how wonderful it is to be benevolent...?" And unless you can point out the area where you read this, how can you claim that someone is thinking those things? Might I remind you, that you are the one that seems to be having a problem with all this "nice" stuff.

Why do you care where I saw it? Why does it matter?

And I am certain all people have a problem with "nice stuff" - at leats as something they need to make a choice about at some point in their life. It's just that some people have more courage than others to admit their state of mind.

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The point is there is nothing transparent about facial expressions; we take a smile to mean that someone is feeling good, but we don't know what they're feeling good about. And we don't know the motive behind a "faked" expression, or even know for sure if an expression is in fact faked.

Here is that skepticism I was talking about. "We can never know". We can know.

So you have ESP? This isn't about skepticism, it's about the kind of evidence needed to infer motive. Maybe after years of getting to know someone you can make reliable predictions about what's on their mind from their behavior. But you seem to be claiming here that you can determine a stranger's motivation just by reading the expression on their face. Poppycock.

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A hello, a handshake, a conversation or opening a door are nothing at all like a smile. The natural state of a smile is one that comes spontaneously from emotions. It is a reflection of liking or enjoying the other person. Opening a door for your costumer is courtesy which reflects the required atmosphere for making business. Declaring to this person that you like him/her is not necessary. General approval is still not the same as enjoying someone. Enjoying the idea of earning more money from this person is still not enjoying or liking him/her. That's what makes the difference between a "greedy" smile and a smile of liking someone.

I think you are arguing from an incorrect premise here. Like with all expressions and body language context is extremely important. Saying that a smile is a reflection of liking or enjoying the other person is like saying that a frown is a reflection of disliking the person. Depending on the context though, a frown could mean that you are thinking very hard, or that you are skeptical or perhaps even curious to what the other person just said.

So we're suppose to do learn about what something is based on exceptional cases? What's the logic in that? Might as well say, that since sometime people smile when they're actually sad, one can never tell if a smile indicates a good mood or not. Which would be skepticism (in this area).

Just because it might be difficult to identify something correctly, does not mean one should be skeptic about the possibility of knowledge in that field.

Not at all, and I don't think those cases are exceptional. I'm arguing that we can know, but to know we must look at the whole context(and in more difficult cases we may need to know more about the person too).

I can give you another example. The other day I was shopping for some new clothes and going into a store I was greeted with a little smile and a "hello" by the woman who owns the store. I went on with my shopping, got a little help from the woman and when I was done I was the only one left in the store. 20 minutes after closing time I was still talking to the woman, while she smiled and laughed quite frequently.

Do you see how the context is entierly different from when I walked in to the store and when I was still left there talking to her, even though it was after closing time? Would you agree that the later smiles meant something different than the first one? There's certainly no doubt in my mind.

This is not skepticism. I'm not arguing that we cannot be sure, but rather how we can and should judge in order to know.

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Thinking that a perfect person has a benevolent approach to people (supported by deduction from Objectivist principles), and because of that, a person is going to be nice to people.

How about another explanation. A person is just happy and thus treating others with kindness is for them a natural and fully genuine projection of a benevolent universe premise - a premise they held since childhood - way before they discovered Objectivism. Objectivism, like in many other cases, just provided them with an explicit understanding - with rational justification for their premise - something which before was only grasped by them on a implicit sense of life level.

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Thinking that a perfect person has a benevolent approach to people (supported by deduction from Objectivist principles), and because of that, a person is going to be nice to people.

How about another explanation. A person is just happy and thus treating others with kindness is for them a natural and fully genuine projection of a benevolent universe premise - a premise they held since childhood - way before they discovered Objectivism. Objectivism, like in many other cases, just provided them with an explicit understanding - with rational justification for their premise - something which before was only grasped by them on a implicit sense of life level.

Yes, exactly, and well stated, Sophia. That's how it is for me.

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----------------
Why is the only justification for a smile "enjoyment"?

Because enjoyment is the natural state that brings a smile to a person's face. Any opposite emotional state requires that one smiles in complete separation from his emotions, which makes it a fake expression. visual examples: this, this ,this.

----------------

As a few counter examples that there are other reasons to smile besides enjoyment, consider this.

He turned to go. He tossed his hand in a casual salute and said, "If it could be built, I'd wish good luck to the Rio Norte Line."

"It's going to be built. And it's going to be called the John Galt Line."

"What?!"

It was an actual scream; she chuckled derisively. 'The John Galt Line."

"Dagny, in heaven's name, why?"

"Don't you like it?"

"How did you happen to choose that?"

"It sounds better than Mr. Nemo or Mr. Zero, doesn't it?"

"Dagny, why that?"

"Because it frightens you."

"What do you think it stands for?"

"The impossible. The unattainable. And you're all afraid of my Line just as you're afraid of that name."

He started laughing. He laughed, not looking at her, and she felt strangely certain that he had forgotten her, that he was far away, that he was laughing—in furious gaiety and bitterness—at something in which she had no part.

When he turned to her, he said earnestly, "Dagny, I wouldn't, if I were you."

She shrugged. "Jim didn't like it, either."

"What do you like about it?"

"I hate it! I hate the doom you're all waiting for, the giving up, and that senseless question that always sounds like a cry for help. I'm sick of hearing pleas for John Galt. I'm going to fight him."

He said quietly, "You are."

"I'm going to build a railroad line for him. Let him come and claim it!"

He smiled sadly and nodded: "He will."

(my bold)
"Kellogg, is there nothing I can offer you?" she asked.

"Nothing, Miss Taggart. Nothing on earth."

He turned to go. For the first time in her life, she felt helpless and beaten.

"Why?" she asked, not addressing him.

He stopped. He shrugged and smiled—he was alive for a moment and it was the strangest smile she had ever seen: it held secret amusement, and heartbreak, and an infinite bitterness. He answered:

"Who is John Galt?"

(my bold)

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Title: Replying to A problem dealing with people who act nice

I'm not sure this has actually been discussed yet, at least not much.

First I'd like to say that, while some people grew up with a perma-smile, Ifat and I both aren't that type. I don't think it is a moral argument to say one is better than the other at this point. However, that is not the question anyways; the question is how to deal with known 'nice' fakeness.

Since I recognized this problem too, I have been looking for conscious ways to deal with it. At first it was just wanting to be just to others as I did not want to give them more respect than I felt for them. But after I threw that rationalization aside, I was more focused on being honest with myself. Like Ifat, I believe being honest in one's facial and emotion reaction is a virtue.

Now if one genuinely smiles and laughs at just about everything in life, I think there is a problem there; however that is a different discussion.

I know from my experiences, meeting someone everyday at work doesn't warrant a huge teeth-bearing smile. Some people give me those however, and I still feel a certain emotional conflict within myself if I don't smile back. But nonetheless, if I am consciously thinking about it, I tell myself, "NO Greg! Be honest!" As Peikoff talked about in The Art of Thinking, sometimes it requires one's conscious volition to force focus away from the issue. So in other words, when this happens, I say to myself, "No, don't smile, you don't really care for them that much, and don't dwell on it afterward."

Now if I actually like the person, and they smile because they see me (usually a small one if its an everyday thing), and I care for them some, I'll return the small smile which I feel like giving. I know this one has a rational base.

Some examples of how honestly in facial expressions is important at work:

I don't like everyone at my work. Many, I don't like at all. One of them would smile and say hello to me, and I'd reply with a smile I didn't actually feel. I faked an enjoyment I didn't have. The result: she felt like she could gossip with me. The fix: not smile at her, and show her the bit of disgust in my face when I feel it.

My manager is not very funny, but he sure thinks he is! At first, I laughed at his jokes (I'm pretty good at faking laughter :wacko: ), even though they weren't funny. The result is he keeps telling them to me. Now I have stopped.. sort of. Because I have to deal with his emotionalism, I don't show the feeling of disgust I feel, but I don't laugh. I usually give a bored half-smile.

So it really depends on the context. I think honesty is important in this regard, and to fake this stuff leads to bad results. If I smiled at people who smile at me, they'll start thinking, "Yeah, he's one of us. We can gossip, complain, tell bad (stupid) jokes with him." And after you give the correct facial expression (one which shows what you consider to be your rational emotions), it is important to not dwell on the feeling of not doing the right thing. For me, it is just an old automatized bad judgment, and since I know this, its just a matter of using volition to disintegrate it from my subconscious.

----

How about another explanation. A person is just happy and thus treating others with kindness is for them a natural and fully genuine projection of a benevolent universe premise - a premise they held since childhood - way before they discovered Objectivism
There is nothing wrong with this, and I don't think it has much to do with the original subject. However, it is not wrong to have a mood that generally warrants a slight smile. As Ifat said earlier, it would only be bad if the smile was to somehow force real emotion. Just like how one shouldn't dress good to feel good, but instead, they should dress how they feel.
I'm arguing that we can know, but to know we must look at the whole context(and in more difficult cases we may need to know more about the person too).
Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

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Where, may I ask, have you observed this "perfect person" doing this through "dedcution from Objectivist principles?" Where did you read on this thread someone write "The perfect person is benevolent, so now think how wonderful it is to be benevolent...?" And unless you can point out the area where you read this, how can you claim that someone is thinking those things? Might I remind you, that you are the one that seems to be having a problem with all this "nice" stuff.

Why do you care where I saw it? Why does it matter?

And I am certain all people have a problem with "nice stuff" - at leats as something they need to make a choice about at some point in their life. It's just that some people have more courage than others to admit their state of mind.

Because you claim something with nothing in reality to back up your statments. You do not have a clue what is going through my mind nor others just by observing a smile, a frown or something in between, but you sure seem to think that you do. I know that people fake smiles, so what. I know that people fake a lot of different things, so what. What do you care what is their state of mind, did they ask you for help? What do you care if others have more courage as long as you are living according to your standards? If you have all the answers why even bring up a discussion?

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Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

I wasnt arguing that either, but I do disagree with you here. Why should it never warrant a large positive emotion, creating a large smile? What if the person simply just likes what he/she sees?

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Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

I wasnt arguing that either, but I do disagree with you here. Why should it never warrant a large positive emotion, creating a large smile? What if the person simply just likes what he/she sees?

Because people should be selective in their values. I work at a place where I get plenty of these big smiles. I've gone to places where a person gives a big smile to everyone, followed by a normal look when they leave. The fact that I see this is enough to say that something is wrong. It is enough to agree with the premise of the topic here, and move on to the meat of it. That is all I meant by "That is enough to address this topic."

Just as a person who claims to love everyone really loves no one, a person who gives an ecstatic smile to everyone, doesn't really feel the emotion to back that smile. I have seen sales people, HR directors, and just everyday day labor type people who smile like this; and it isn't just to me.

This isn't to say I'm not great to look at! :wacko:

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[...]the question is how to deal with known 'nice' fakeness.

[...] I believe being honest in one's facial and emotion reaction is a virtue.

[...] meeting someone everyday at work doesn't warrant a huge teeth-bearing smile.

[...] I say to myself, "No, don't smile, you don't really care for them that much, and don't dwell on it afterward."

[...] Now if I actually like the person, and they smile because they see me (usually a small one if its an everyday thing), and I care for them some, I'll return the small smile which I feel like giving. I know this one has a rational base.

If the issue is honest reactions to others, I suggest forgetting the "shoulds" and don't worry about what others may think. Just feel what you feel and let your feelings show on your face and in your body language.

That is what Ayn Rand did. She was one of the most transparent people I ever saw. What she was feeling showed clearly, openly, and spontaneously just as it does on the face of a little girl who has not yet learned how to suppress, hide, or fake her feelings.

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The thing I dislike about it is that it feels like a trap. It takes a lot from me to instantaneously identify if someone is smiling in a genuine way, or in a fake way, and yet it feels ungrateful or attacking in a way to return a flat face of indifference (or even a disliking face) for a smile.

If your honest reaction to someone is indifference, then that is the right facial expression to have. Let that person deal with your expression however they choose.

You mention that a person who "can keep his face 'pure' in this sense, and not to consider other people's emotions in this context has reached a tremendous psychological achievement." The answer, then, is obvious: let people see the indifference you feel, and "don't consider other people's emotions in this context." There's no real problem here -- you know what to do -- it's just a matter of knowing that it's right for you to display unconditional honesty in your face regardless of how other people feel about it. Incidentally, I find that not going along with fakery usually ends up with the other person feeling a little foolish and respecting you more for not playing the game.

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If the issue is honest reactions to others, I suggest forgetting the "shoulds" and don't worry about what others may think. Just feel what you feel and let your feelings show on your face and in your body language.

That is what Ayn Rand did. She was one of the most transparent people I ever saw. What she was feeling showed clearly, openly, and spontaneously just as it does on the face of a little girl who has not yet learned how to suppress, hide, or fake her feelings.

I agree with this most the time. But just as there are times to suppress certain emotions (like at work), I think there are times to suppress certain degrees of disgust and such I might feel.

My manager is a real emotionalist but right now I have to work with him to do my job. Do you think it is rational to show him the extent of my negative emotions towards him? (Usually its nothing bad, and he doesn't effect me. It's just those rare times he catches me off guard.)

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If the issue is honest reactions to others, I suggest forgetting the "shoulds" and don't worry about what others may think. Just feel what you feel and let your feelings show on your face and in your body language.

That is what Ayn Rand did. She was one of the most transparent people I ever saw. What she was feeling showed clearly, openly, and spontaneously just as it does on the face of a little girl who has not yet learned how to suppress, hide, or fake her feelings.

I agree with this most the time. But just as there are times to suppress certain emotions (like at work), I think there are times to suppress certain degrees of disgust and such I might feel.

My manager is a real emotionalist but right now I have to work with him to do my job. Do you think it is rational to show him the extent of my negative emotions towards him? (Usually its nothing bad, and he doesn't effect me. It's just those rare times he catches me off guard.)

This is life, not every job is going to have you teemed up with a Howard Roark type. I offer that you keep a long-term perspective and keep your cool if you have goals with this company. When or if the opportunity arose I told my superiors exactly what I thought of them, good or bad, in the most tactful way possible for me to do so.

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Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

I wasnt arguing that either, but I do disagree with you here. Why should it never warrant a large positive emotion, creating a large smile? What if the person simply just likes what he/she sees?

Because people should be selective in their values.

On what basis do you claim that they are not being selective in their values? What evidence do you have as to what is going on in their mind? Do you think that if you punched the HR director that the person would smile at you?

I work at a place where I get plenty of these big smiles. I've gone to places where a person gives a big smile to everyone, followed by a normal look when they leave. The fact that I see this is enough to say that something is wrong. It is enough to agree with the premise of the topic here, and move on to the meat of it. That is all I meant by "That is enough to address this topic."

Just as a person who claims to love everyone really loves no one, a person who gives an ecstatic smile to everyone, doesn't really feel the emotion to back that smile. I have seen sales people, HR directors, and just everyday day labor type people who smile like this; and it isn't just to me.

This isn't to say I'm not great to look at! :wacko:

If it is a value to sales people or HR directors to smile when greeting people, then your comments don't hold water. As I've said above in this thread, there are many reasons to smile, not just enjoyment. If you don't want to return the smile because you don't want to smile, then don't smile. What's the problem? Just present an interesting and pleasant facial expression.

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Because people should be selective in their values.

On what basis do you claim that they are not being selective in their values? What evidence do you have as to what is going on in their mind? Do you think that if you punched the HR director that the person would smile at you?

I work at a place where I get plenty of these big smiles. I've gone to places where a person gives a big smile to everyone, followed by a normal look when they leave. The fact that I see this is enough to say that something is wrong. It is enough to agree with the premise of the topic here, and move on to the meat of it. That is all I meant by "That is enough to address this topic."
When I say 'values' in this statement, I meant subconscious value judgments--emotions. I didn't mean, "well, I want money from this guy so I'm going to fake smile." The fact that people would expect that from the person seems like a cultural problem. (Again, this is talking about the people who put on big smiles, and leave with no smile afterward. The people who fake it.)
If it is a value to sales people or HR directors to smile when greeting people, then your comments don't hold water. As I've said above in this thread, there are many reasons to smile, not just enjoyment. If you don't want to return the smile because you don't want to smile, then don't smile. What's the problem? Just present an interesting and pleasant facial expression.
They weren't fake smiles though. Fransisco wasn't smiling despite the fact that he wanted to frown. In fact, I considered Fransisco as one of the most expressive of his true feelings. (Except for some moments where he purposely hid them from Rearden.)

Just because a person is a bank teller doesn't mean that they should have a fake smile for everyone. I'm not going to go morally condemn them, but rather, I'm going to take conscious effort to undo the old feelings I had towards this problem.

The essence of what I wanted to get across wasn't, "do people do this and is it wrong." It was, "I do this, it has lead to bad results, how to I fight this automatized behavior in myself." I do think it is wrong, but my focus isn't some justice any longer, but instead: wanting to be honest with my own feelings.

This is life, not every job is going to have you teemed up with a Howard Roark type. I offer that you keep a long-term perspective and keep your cool if you have goals with this company. When or if the opportunity arose I told my superiors exactly what I thought of them, good or bad, in the most tactful way possible for me to do so.
I don't know if I'd care enough to tell them when I leave. I have told my manager's boss about it, and he agrees. I think I agree with judging the long term value and acting accordingly in terms of hiding it or not.

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This is life, not every job is going to have you teemed up with a Howard Roark type. I offer that you keep a long-term perspective and keep your cool if you have goals with this company. When or if the opportunity arose I told my superiors exactly what I thought of them, good or bad, in the most tactful way possible for me to do so.
I don't know if I'd care enough to tell them when I leave. I have told my manager's boss about it, and he agrees. I think I agree with judging the long term value and acting accordingly in terms of hiding it or not.

I would not say that you are hiding anything as you have already told your manager's boss. At this point you act accordingly by either acting in a civil manner that allows you to do your job, with the manager still above you. Or, you decide that you cannot work under this manager any longer and leave the company. In the military there is no moving around just because you do not like someone, so military members have to deal with this type of situation quite often. Also, in the military one is required to give a person of superior rank the appropriate greeting everytime you see them. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening is given in accordance to the time of day. So, it is moral to say, "Good morning Captain Smith, what is on the agenda for today?" It is also moral to say, "Good morning John, what is on the agenda for today?" There is no hiding or lying going on here as the person is acting in a civil manner, whether in the military or in a civilian job.

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But just as there are times to suppress certain emotions (like at work), I think there are times to suppress certain degrees of disgust and such I might feel.

That's where etiquette comes in. I once heard Ayn Rand say (and I can't find it in her written works) that "Good manners is rationality applied to human relationships." There are certain courtesies we owe people we "trade" with -- bosses, employees, servants, family, etc. -- and that is as it should be.

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Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

I wasnt arguing that either, but I do disagree with you here. Why should it never warrant a large positive emotion, creating a large smile? What if the person simply just likes what he/she sees?

Because people should be selective in their values.

On what basis do you claim that they are not being selective in their values? What evidence do you have as to what is going on in their mind?

This is a rather heavy skeptical suggestion.

Are you saying that unless you have a direct evidence from somebody's mind, you cannot decide that they are not being selective about their values?

Or is this an even larger claim? Something like "since none of us has a direct view into another person's mind, we can never claim that they were thinking of"?

In other words, I can never decide that another person is being agnostic towards his values, and just smiles at everybody without any regards to their value to him?

If so, then we get into serious issues with making any moral claims about other people. :wacko:

How did you ever came to conclusion that people have different values IF you never had direct evidence for that?

Or (taking from RayK) how did you ever learn that people fake stuff IF you never had direct evidence for that?

How did you learn that other people are conscious IF you never had direct evidence for that?

I know that people fake smiles, so what. I know that people fake a lot of different things, so what.
How do you know that? How can you ever know that other people do that if you never had direct experience of another person's mind? This is an example of a fallacy of using a "stolen concept," or perhaps a whole new fallacy of "stolen knowledge". :D

What I'm wondering now is what inductive evidence and inductive chain of thought you used to make any judgements and conclusion about people IF you are implying that nothing less that direct evidence will do? And since direct evidence is impossible, then aren't you setting up an impossible standard by which to judge if somebody made a correct call another person? :P

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Just because a person is a bank teller doesn't mean that they should have a fake smile for everyone.

How do you know it is fake? The teller may really enjoy his work, like his customers, be glad they are there to make his job possible, and want to communicate how much he values them.

It is a mistake -- an epistemological error -- to jump to conclusions about a stranger's motivation based on nothing more than a few seconds' observation.

I'm not going to go morally condemn them, but rather, I'm going to take conscious effort to undo the old feelings I had towards this problem.

There's nothing wrong with feelings of any kind. Morality only applies to the chosen and emotions are automatic, not chosen. We shouldn't try to "undo" them or correct them. Instead, we should work to understand the premises causing the emotions we don't understand and to evaluate whether the premises are true or false.

In the case of the bank teller, I would question whether the premise that a certain kind of smile is always fake and that, if it is fake, that it threatens my own values. If I discover it is not necessarily fake and that, even if it is, someone else's neurotic needs are his problem, it will not affect me negatively at all.

The essence of what I wanted to get across wasn't, "do people do this and is it wrong." It was, "I do this, it has lead to bad results, how to I fight this automatized behavior in myself." I do think it is wrong, but my focus isn't some justice any longer, but instead: wanting to be honest with my own feelings.

Identifying the underlying premises and their truth is the way to do it.

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Greeting someone I don't know should never rationally warrant a large positive emotion creating a large smile. It is done often, and regularly by people (at least from my experience). That is enough to address this topic.

I wasnt arguing that either, but I do disagree with you here. Why should it never warrant a large positive emotion, creating a large smile? What if the person simply just likes what he/she sees?

Because people should be selective in their values.

On what basis do you claim that they are not being selective in their values? What evidence do you have as to what is going on in their mind?

This is a rather heavy skeptical suggestion.

Are you saying that unless you have a direct evidence from somebody's mind, you cannot decide that they are not being selective about their values?

Or is this an even larger claim? Something like "since none of us has a direct view into another person's mind, we can never claim that they were thinking of"?

In other words, I can never decide that another person is being agnostic towards his values, and just smiles at everybody without any regards to their value to him?

I will not attempt to answer for Paul. But it seems that you ran all the way around the bush at an attempt to avoid answering Paul's question. All that Paul asked for was evidence, that you should have gathered, in support of your conclusion, that other people are not being selective in their values.

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