We often hear from foreigners that Russians rarely smile. We don't notice this, but compared to other Eastern and Western countries, we do less smiling. What does it mean?
1. The smile in Russian communication is not a sign of politeness.
Western smile when greeting someone mean pure politeness. The more a person smiles the more friendliness he/she wants to demonstrate to his partner.
Permanent polite smile is called in Russian ‘duty smile’ and is considered to be a bad sign of human manifestation of his insincerity, secrecy, unwillingness to discover true feelings.
Russian smile – is a sign of personal sympathy, not politeness.
2. Russians do not smile at strangers.
The smile in Russian communication is addressed mainly familiar. That's why saleswomen are not smiling to customers – they don't know them. If the buyer knows the clerk, he will smile!
3. Unusual for Russians to smile back.
If Russian sees smiling him/her a stranger, he will undoubtedly seek the cause of fun. Maybe something in his/her clothing or hairstyle made of this type so much fun.
4. To Russian smiled, it should be for this reason enough obvious to others. It gives person the right to smile – from the point of view of others. In the Russian language a unique saying, which is not in other languages: "Laughter for no reason – sign fool".
5. Unsmiling Russian man (it was the unsmiling, not darkness – Russian in his most cheerful, cheerful and witty) is supported and Russian folklore, where we find plenty of sayings and Proverbs "against" laughter and jokes. From the dictionary of Vladimir dal Proverbs of the Russian people:
— Joke to no good arguments.
And laughter leads to sin.
And laughter, and sin.
— Sometimes the laughter tears responds.
In truth there are no jokes.
— Joke to no good result.
6. The Russian decided not to smile in the performance of official duties, in the performance of any serious business.
For example, customs officers at airports never smile because doing serious work. It is a feature of Russian smile is unique.
7. Russian smile is intended to only be sincere, it is regarded as a sincere expression of good mood or location to the interlocutor.
So, if you smile a foreigner — it means nothing, he was taught to smile to everyone, and if Russian smiled — he did it because it really wanted to.