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.