In this same manner, one person who is infected with negativity will quickly spread his ‘spores’ to every healthy person with whom he comes in contact. Negative people are rarely content to keep their ‘disease’ to themselves. On the contrary, they usually seek to make others as miserable as they are because “misery loves company!”
“Smile and the world smiles with you” is another well-known quote…suggesting that a smile (which is the outward evidence of inward joy and happiness) is also contagious. I once took part in an unofficial ‘smile study’ in which the participants were asked to genuinely smile at strangers, neighbors, co-workers, clients, cashiers, waiters/waitresses, the person in the car beside you, joggers you pass on the trail and everyone you meet for one full week. The goal of the study was to determine the impact of a simple, genuine smile on those around you.
Within a few hours of beginning my assignment, I had a new appreciation for the power of a smile. With the exception of a few weird guys who must have thought I wanted them to ask me out, the results were amazing. I watched as one person after another lit up with the biggest and brightest smile in reaction to my smile. In some cases, I would see them smile at someone else…causing that person to smile, as well.
According to the APP (American Academy of Periodontology), 50% of people claim that the smile is the first thing they notice about a person. The APP did not ask my opinion, but I completely agree with their results. A genuine smile lights up the whole face and draws people closer. It emanates self-assurance, warmth and authenticity. It inspires trust and confidence.
In these uncertain, economic times, it is difficult to shield yourself from the epidemic of negativity that seems to come from everywhere. There is no vaccine to protect you from this disease; however, you can choose to remain optimistic and positive…even when those around you are not. Your smile is the most powerful anti-venom against the poison of negativity.
Give a smile to someone today who has lost theirs.
It costs you nothing, but its value is immeasurable.
When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.
(Now...I challenge you to go read the full story of Job. IF ever a man had a reason to be bitter and angry, Job is THAT MAN. He was surrounded by 'bad apples', but he remained optimistic and faithful. I want to be like Job.)
***Photo courtesy of Freefoto.com***