NEGATIVITY and OPTIMISM are both contagious. Which would you rather ‘catch’?

Real Estate Agent with The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group 209227


“One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” You’ve heard that phrase before, but have you ever thought about what it really means? Scientifically…it is true that the gases emitted from a ripening apple will cause other apples to ripen more rapidly. However, if an apple is too ripe…if it has begun to grow mold spores…the other healthy apples will soon be covered with mold spores, as well.



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.

~Elizabeth Nieves~



Job 29:24

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***

Comments (41)

Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

I went to a step class on Monday night and before class the instructor started talking about all the new layoffs, etc. in the news and we all had to deliberately say STOP! We are here to work out and feel good about ourselves! So we each started sharing our GOOD news...whether we were thankful for being gainfully employed, healthy and able to work out, and me...well I've lost 6 lbs! Yay! 

Jan 28, 2009 12:36 AM
Bonnie Johnson
Remax Realty 100 - Milw, WI

Great blog! I agree 100% sometimes I need to stay out of the office to brush off the negativity!


Jan 28, 2009 01:15 AM
Sharon Paxson
Sharon Paxson, Realtor® EQTY Forbes Global Properties - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Elizabeth - I love the idea of smiling at others to see if they will smile. It really is the most basic thing we can do, and you are right something that will be appreciated by others.

Jan 28, 2009 01:48 AM
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Eli - you have an infectious smile that would melt the ice of a glacier.  And you're right - if the rest of the room is smiling, it's very difficult to be scowling and miserable.

In certain situations in my life I have smiled when I really wanted to run like crazy.  And 99% of the time the smile defused the situation - mainly because the recipient wasn't expecting it.

Keep smiling, my precious friend.  It's catching, and there is no cure.  :))))))

Jan 28, 2009 02:00 AM
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

... I'm gonna make 10 people smile today, and I'm not going to bed without completing it !

Jan 28, 2009 02:11 AM
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Elizabeth - I too am part of the Polly Anna club - not that I don't take life seriously - I just choose to stay on the positive.  As Debe says I'm very grateful to be afflicted with this disease.  May I live with it for the rest of my life - with a huge smile on my face!!

Thanks for spreading your sunshine around  in the Rain!!!

Your Raliegh Realtors

Jan 28, 2009 04:04 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Elizabeth we are certainly on the same page. I am almost always upbeat and positive. it funny because when I have to be more serious or even deal with a combative situation, it's a lot more effective because it's such a contrast to my usual demeanor!

Jan 28, 2009 07:51 AM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Never heard of the ain't in my vocab:)

Jan 28, 2009 11:48 AM
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

Elizabeth, we had a roundtable meeting last week and several agents who had been in other offices that week all said the same thing- they were full of doom and gloom. That's not the attitude in our office. We are staying positive and I believe it's going to make the difference in our business.

Jan 28, 2009 02:00 PM
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Elizabeth, great post!  It is definately a choice!

Jan 28, 2009 05:41 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Elizabeth:  How true it is !  There is nothing quite as contagious as optimism.  What a great potion to cure the ills of any time or day that seems headed in the wrong direction.  And... your picture of the apples... so realistic... I almost took a bit out of my monitor screen.  Thanks for sharing... take care...

Jan 29, 2009 02:32 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Elizabeth, Every word you wrote is so true.  I always find it amazing that some of the things that have the biggest impact on others takes a second and costs nothing!

Jan 29, 2009 10:51 AM
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Elizabeth, you are always inspiring! Smiles are contagious.  It's great when you greet someone with a smile and they do likewise. Life is just too short to constantly be negative.

Jan 29, 2009 11:14 AM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Job is a great book but heavy reading!

Jan 29, 2009 02:20 PM
Bruce & Mary Smith
Savannah Lakes Homes - McCormick, SC
REALTORS, Savannah Lakes Village McCormick SC

Thanks Elizabeth for the uplifting post this morning.  I'm on my way to the local food pantry this morning.  That's always uplifting to me too because it's a way to help those in need and to be thankful that we can put food on the table without assistance.  Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

Jan 29, 2009 11:12 PM
Kelly Willey
Coco Plum Real Estate, Kelly Willey, FLORIDA KEYS - Marathon, FL
Florida Keys Luxury Sales, Marathon, Key Colony

Ah Job, he has so much to teach us all these years later. Great post as always....Kelly

Feb 01, 2009 03:41 AM
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

This is the answer to how I want to start my week.  Here is to healthy apples and their influence on others...

Feb 02, 2009 12:59 AM
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

I love your bright attitude. Smiles are contagious. Thanks for the reminder!  CHEEEEEEEESSE.  :) :) :)

Feb 02, 2009 03:21 AM
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Mortgage Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | First Federal Bank of Florida, Ocala, FL - The Villages, FL
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Elizabeth - You give us a great message in a challenging time. I could use a few "Pollyanna lessons", but will go refresh my memory by reading Job. :-)

Feb 14, 2009 08:58 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Elizabeth, a smile is better than a bunch of bad apples anyday.  It doesn't hurt anyone to smile a little more.

Feb 21, 2009 05:36 PM