Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Something to Ponder

In a study to measure our ability to send emotion and to be contagious, Howard Friedman, a psychologist at the University of California at Riverside developed the Affective Communication Test. In short, here was an interesting outcome:

From Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell:

"If a charismatic person started out depressed, and the inexpressive person started out happy, by the end of the two minutes the inexpressive person was depressed as well. But it didn't work the other way - only the charismatic person could infect the other people in the room with his or her emotions."

Whether you are a charismatic person and can influence people in a positive way, or a quieter, more low-key person, we need to accept the fact that we all have an impact with those we come in contact, at least to some extent. We can infect those around us by being positive, happy, uplifting, or we can have the opposite effect.

If you pay attention, you can become aware of your impact on others, whether you are interacting consciously or unconsciously.

How do you answer the phone? How do you treat your waitperson? How do you deal with a distracted sales clerk? How much do you send your food back to the kitchen when dining out? How patient are you with your children, your mother, your significant other?

Do you ever notice the look on people's faces when you are unconsciously talking to them? What are you saying?

How about when you are consciously talking to them? What are you saying? What are you not  saying? What is the difference?

Mindfulness is important whether we are doing something as mundane as cooking, or as important as impacting the world around us.


Brian Miller said...

some really good thoughts here...we def can impress our feelings on others....and affect their mood just being around them...

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes. We've all been around someone who can suck the life out of a room. People who every time they open their mouth they speak from the negative. Mindfullness, paying attention to our speech. I mostly resort to silence when I am feeling negative. No sense in spreading it around.

cloudia charters said...

This is life changing wisdom.

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Rob-bear said...

I don't know about having a lot of impact on people, but I always try to be a cheerful as I'm able when I'm with people. Even the more challenging ones.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Great post and love the quote from The Tipping Point. Gladwell is a genius.

Linda Myers said...

I try to connect with every server or retail person I come in contact with. They deserve to be seen as people.

Grandmother said...

Such a good reminder to be mindful of our impact.

The Good Cook said...

Wait... you called cooking mundane? hmpf.

Hilary said...

So true. I know someone who thinks very negatively most of the time. Even when she says the right things, you can hear her quietly seething by the way she takes the air in through her nose. Sounds strange but I swear it's true. Sadly, she's a bright, funny and fun person but she's lost so many friends over the past decade and does not understand why. It's always them. I'm learning a lot from her about how I don't want to be. I do recognize my own self in her from time to time. That's actually been very helpful.

Nancy said...

Brian - It's a matter of living consciously or unconsciously, I think.

Ellen - I wish I had your wisdom. I'm working on being more circumspect.

Cloudia - I agree. It's the difference between being awake and being asleep. Not easy to incorporate, however.

Rob-bear - That's a gift. I wish I had it :-)

T&R - He is a really good writer, I'm finding.

Linda - I agree. I've been doing the same thing.

Grandmother - The thing that intriqued me was how often I was just going along and not even noticing the impact I was having on others. Unconscious interaction.

Good Cook - For some it is a mundane activity - but for you it is genius! :-)

Hilary - When you realize that everyone around you is actually a mirror for yourself - you being to notice some very interesting things about yourself!

Anita said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Whether overt or covert, I find negative people to be very tranparent and hard to be around.

I'm assuming that I'm NOT negative. lol