I think smiles indicate happiness, pleasure, and kindness.  But, as others have pointed out, and as I recognize after thinking about it, smiles can show other feelings and moods as well.  Those other feelings and moods include: guilt, mischief, and shyness among others.   

So, what are some of these other “smiles”?  What do they look like, and what do they mean? 

Different Types of Smiles

6. Guilty smile

The guilty smile shows no remorse, no concept of right and wrong or at least the lack of a conscience.  Here, Mr. McClellon is smiling while pleading guilty to shooting another man in the head.  McClellon is twenty years old in this photo.[1052]  While the smile might indicate happiness, it more likely shows a disturbed past or chemical imbalance. 

Guilty SmileCredit: http://www.state-journal.com/news/article/4457845

5. Shy smile

This smile conveys modesty.  Maybe someone is praising you, and, while you’re proud of your accomplishment, you’re uncomfortable with the accolades. 

This smile may also convey a crush.  Perhaps someone called you out on your secret love interest.  They realized you’re sweet on a friend or co-worker, while you want to hide your true feelings, your shy smile can’t be repressed. 

Shy Smile(70210)Credit: http://sapientology.com/body-language/smiles/

4. Uncomfortable smile

You just got caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing - while not illegal or immoral - you may have been caught singing when you didn’t realize anyone was listening.  Maybe you are at work and your boss catches you shopping on-line.  The uncomfortable smile emerges when you’re caught tongue-tied and in a position you would prefer not to be in.

Uncomfortable SmileCredit: http://postgazette.com/pg/11019/1118914-61.stm

3. Devious smile

If you know something someone else doesn’t, this is the smile for you.  But, on the flip-side, this is the smile that lets us know you have inside information!

Devious SmileCredit: http://www.examiner.com/independent-in-chicago/emanuel-rta-target-corporate-tax-dodgers

2. The salesman smile

Just sign here, what could possibly go wrong?!  

Salesman SmileCredit: http://www.wslc.org/reports/2010/May/27.htm

We all encounter this fake, “too many teeth” smile everyday or at least anytime we enter a store (buying a car anyone?).  Or, perhaps, someone comes to our home or business to sell you something.  This type of smile lets the astute observer know that the salesman doesn’t even believe the crap he is saying, and has never tried (or will never try again) the product he is peddling.  

Beware of this smile folks - something is lurking in the background, and you won’t find out what it is until the peddler is long gone.

1. Baby’s smile

This is the best and most honest smile of all.  There is no deception, no lies, no false promises, and no hidden meaning in a baby’s smile.  It simply means “I love you and I am happy to see you.”  And the smile you give back is just as beautiful.

A Baby's SmileCredit: My photo

In the end, I believe most people smile because they are happy, kind, and are in a pleasant mood.  But, it never hurts to be aware of other possible meanings behind the smile.