You read it right, sister.  And you thought you were in good with the boss when he gives you his/her big pearly whites.  Nope.  Be warned

According to, if your boss is smiling at you, it may actually be done in a "I'm superior to you" kind of way.  They are actually copying the smile of someone "farther down the food chain" than them.  And conversely, they won't mimic the smile of somebody above them.

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That's kind of interesting.  Think about the Biden/Ryan debate for a second.  There was Biden smiling away, and what was the running comment from everyone?  That he was being smug and condescending.  He certainly wasn't smiling because he was enjoying Ryan's answers.  Come to think of it maybe he was even using the smile as a strategy to make Ryan feel inferior.

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So does this really mean you are in trouble on your job?  Do you feel that you are on thin ice where you work?  And if so, does your boss grin a lot at you?  So maybe you should frown more then?  Weird study, for sure, and don't blame me - I'm just the messenger.

It's actually from a Neuroscience conference in New Orleans.  (I think they spent too much time smiling on Bourbon Street, but that's for a different reason.