• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Do you hate it when random strangers tell you to ''cheer up''?

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
One time I arrived at a bus station, and wondering if I had missed my bus and feeling anxious, I was looking at the screen that showed which buses were due and was concentrating on working out the times, etc, when a random older women stared at me and said ''cheer up!'' Agh! Why do random strangers think they can say this to a total stranger? They don't know what's going on in your head or your life, and I've never said that to a stranger because A, it's not my business, as they're a stranger and I'll probably never see them again, and B, it would feel insensitive to. I mean, what if I had just lost a loved one that week and was grieving, and someone saying that to me might trigger me? Then they'd probably wish they had minded their own business.
Why do people you aren't going to interact with expect you to have a smile when you're on your own and probably too distracted by your own thoughts to smile? Who would I be smiling to? I wasn't even looking at them, I was looking at the screen and didn't even notice the people already waiting there, so it wasn't like I was looking at them with a negative expression. If they don't like that I'm not smiling, then they do have the option of looking the other way, maybe at someone else who has a big grin across their face.

I knew they weren't implying that I should cheer up because my bus hadn't arrived yet, because there was a lot of buses due around that time and they didn't get on my bus anyway, so they wouldn't really know what bus I was waiting for.

How do you deal with people you don't even know telling you to smile, cheer up, it might never happen, etc? I think it's intrusive, annoying and insensitive - especially when they say it in a patronising tone like this woman did. I mean, you wouldn't use that tone to someone who was crying, so for all she knew I could have been crying on the inside. Or maybe she never heard of what might be called the neutral face.
 

Bolletje

Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
Honestly I don’t like it when anyone tells me to cheer up. But yeah, strangers especially need to mind their business.
 

Dagan

Well-Known Member
I have had similar situations where it may as well be the ending scene of Monty Python's Life of Brian. That's analogy enough for how I felt in those times.
 

LadyS

One eye permanently raised it seems...
V.I.P Member
Yep. "Oops sorry let me just flip on my "cheer" switch and we're all good" :rolleyes:

To be fair, it's just an old gen expression which seems to be on the way out anyway..
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
I had a perpetual pout as a teenager, everybody, and l mean everyone would tell me to smile. But l just watched a tutorial on how to put two lines of liner on your face for a smile look. Got my mask, all l needed was lip liner. Who knew?
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
I sort of have the opposite problem, my default facial expression is a bemused half smile. People keep asking me why I'm always so happy and a few people I've worked with started calling me Mr Bean.

There's a lot of situations in life where smiling is considered inappropriate, life is never easy.
 

Masked Man

Active Member
I can certainly sympathize because that is intrusive and annoying. For all anyone knows, maybe you were having a bad day! What if your pet had died? Or your family member was ill?

Personally I think that some people think they are "helping" when they say something like that. I also think that those types of people are the ones who are not as comfortable sometimes sitting with their feelings, especially if they are having a bad time. So they assume others don't either.

There are also people who are very free to tell people, mostly women, to smile, because they think women should exist to only be attractive and pretty. But since this was an older woman who said this to you, I don't think she falls into that camp.

I also think there are people who say things like this just to have something to say, although it's a terrible conversation starter and they should know better than that.
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
I would have preferred a friendly "hello", then I probably would have smiled at her and greeted her back.
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don't mind it. It normally comes from a good place. Besides, sometimes it actually works.
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
I'm not sure if I've ever had a strange say that to me. I can't even specifically remember anyone ever saying that. Maybe, "It'll get better," which is usually when I say, "and then it'll get worse again, what's your point"
 

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Yeah, people need to mind their own business. But people sometimes act on impulse and don't think things through.
 

Bolletje

Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
I sort of have the opposite problem, my default facial expression is a bemused half smile. People keep asking me why I'm always so happy and a few people I've worked with started calling me Mr Bean.

There's a lot of situations in life where smiling is considered inappropriate, life is never easy.
Yeah I’ve also had people tell me “you need to stop smiling so much, it makes you seem fake”.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I've never had a stranger say that to me.
A few people I know have and I don't like it.

The worst is when someone that knows what I am going through, like a serious illness or grief over the loss of someone or a pet, just keeps telling me it's going to be alright or it's not all that bad and things are fine.

I don't know if they think remarks like that are actually helpful or are they just so dense they don't understand the seriousness of the situation.
It only makes me feel angry to hear such shallow comments.

I don't want pity, but I don't want such unrealistic comments either.
 

MNAus

Well-Known Member
On the OPs original question, it's not something that bothers me. As someone else said it usually comes from a good place. I'm also usually pretty distracted so I'll usually only realise they said it later on as I try to work out what random thing I said in reply. Most icebreakers in small talk are pretty inane, I wouldn't read too much into it TBH.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Judge an action by where its intent comes from, not how you feel about it. Better yet, don't judge them at all. Let your anger go. This person took time out of their life to try to help you feel better. That is a good and human thing.
 

autism-and-autotune

A musical mind with recent revelations
Having worked retail, yes; I hate it when people tell me what to do with my emotions. "Calm down!" "Just breathe and think of a happy place!" "Hey, you look sad--why don't you smile?" I don't think these people want me to be happy for me; they want me to look happy for themselves.
 

autism-and-autotune

A musical mind with recent revelations
Judge an action by where its intent comes from, not how you feel about it. Better yet, don't judge them at all. Let your anger go. This person took time out of their life to try to help you feel better. That is a good and human thing.
I'm going to politely disagree with you here. While yes it may be about intent, it's also about execution. In my experience, one shouldn't tell someone what to do with their emotions because, well, why bother? Just let people have a bad day in peace. Maybe some folks just can't handle the negative and real emotions from other people.

Sorry. I guess I'm getting more heated than is necessary.
 

autism-and-autotune

A musical mind with recent revelations
I've never had a stranger say that to me.
A few people I know have and I don't like it.

The worst is when someone that knows what I am going through, like a serious illness or grief over the loss of someone or a pet, just keeps telling me it's going to be alright or it's not all that bad and things are fine.

I don't know if they think remarks like that are actually helpful or are they just so dense they don't understand the seriousness of the situation.
It only makes me feel angry to hear such shallow comments.

I don't want pity, but I don't want such unrealistic comments either.
I understand where you're coming from. Your final sentence nails what I've been thinking all the time. I can only be comforted once realistic needs are met.
 

autism-and-autotune

A musical mind with recent revelations
I can certainly sympathize because that is intrusive and annoying. For all anyone knows, maybe you were having a bad day! What if your pet had died? Or your family member was ill?

Personally I think that some people think they are "helping" when they say something like that. I also think that those types of people are the ones who are not as comfortable sometimes sitting with their feelings, especially if they are having a bad time. So they assume others don't either.

There are also people who are very free to tell people, mostly women, to smile, because they think women should exist to only be attractive and pretty. But since this was an older woman who said this to you, I don't think she falls into that camp.

I also think there are people who say things like this just to have something to say, although it's a terrible conversation starter and they should know better than that.
I agree 100%
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
I'm going to politely disagree with you here. While yes it may be about intent, it's also about execution. In my experience, one shouldn't tell someone what to do with their emotions because, well, why bother? Just let people have a bad day in peace. Maybe some folks just can't handle the negative and real emotions from other people.

Sorry. I guess I'm getting more heated than is necessary.
I agree with you. Sometimes people telling me to cheer up sounds like a criticism or even snark.
 

New Threads

Top Bottom