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Ibrahim EL Kazaz

Student, Istanbul Bilgi University

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Which is more contagious? The smile or the frown?

What really gets around, who is more powerful the optimist or the pessimist? I wanted to know what TED community thinks about positivity and negativity and is there truly any power in them or does it only depend on the person who carries the smile or the frown. If u walk around with a determined smile on your face will u get as many smiles back as the frowns u would get with a determined frown on your face? I just wanted some discussion, that my even be connected to the lord of the flies concept of innate Evil, or are we purely good?

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    Gail . 50+

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    Aug 1 2012: I've tested this at Walmart. Walk around with your usual face for about 20 minutes (pushing a cart). Then, change your expression to one of great happiness. Big sincere smile, body upright. looking around. People will suddenly say things to you, compliment you, thank you, and respond in other ways. I'd say that the smile is more infectious.

    I tested this another way years ago. I was a smoker who would go out the back door and smoke on the stoop by the parking lot. One day I wondered if a smile is infectious, so I began smiling at people as they came to work. It was amazing. People started smiling back - and waving. And they were happier when they got out of their cars to come into the building - waving and saying hello to co-workers on their way in. Yes, a smile is infectious.
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      Aug 1 2012: here's my question though, if u had walked around Walmart with a gloomy face instead of a passive one, would u have gotten any less attention and compliments, would u have actually gotten called out for it instead? If u tried to give negative energy would u get more negative energy, than the amount of positive energy u got when u smiled?
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        Gail . 50+

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        Aug 2 2012: This is something that you can easily test yourself - in any marketplace
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        Aug 2 2012: Ibrahim and Gail,
        I've never had the desire to intentionally wear a "gloomy" face, but there are plenty of times when I've had a neutral face. I notice that there is very little reaction/interaction created with neutrality.

        I've noticed all my life that wearing a smile encourages connection. It sends the message that we are open to the flow of energy between people. I am often approached, people start talking to me, connecting, complimenting, etc., and I do the same of course, because it creates a WONDERFUL personal exchange for all those involved. Even observers to this process enjoy it.

        This happens all the time if we are open to the possibilities. I was biking with my "play group" the other day and we stopped in a little town for lunch. We went in different directions, and as I was passing a woman on the street....we both smiled and made eye contact....we ended up talking for half an hour. At the end of the conversation, when my group was ready to leave, my new friend and I gave each other a hug and parted. When I went back to the group, they were all smiling and asked..."do you know her". I said..."well I do now"! They all started laughing because they already KNOW I smile and talk to people wherever we go!!! LOL:>)

        A smiling, open demeanor simply opens the channels to communication and connection with people....it's a choice which I LOVE!

        Ibrahim,
        Yes, I think/feel that sometimes when we give out energy that is not loving and encouraging, that is what we attract to us as well. That being said, there are indeed times when we are kind and loving to someone and that person simply cannot respond to us in that way because of his/her own "stuff".

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