Are you contagious?
I’m sure you’ve already guessed; I’m not talking about you bearing contagion by transmitting infections. Instead, I use the word in the sense of whether you excite a feeling, emotion or attitude in others.
When I’m around contagious people, I want to hear what they say. Contagious people lift me up, energise me, inspire me, and ignite something deep inside to make me want to be a better person.
The most contagious people I have had the honour of interacting with have a few similarities which were shared in their own unique way. While I’m sure there are many more, these are the key attributes that stood out for me.
Firstly, they do not speak of themselves but instead speak of larger, systemic change. They always have a smile on their face. They speak deeply about the importance of equality and acknowledged their privileges while using those privileges to effect positive change. They speak about heart space, love and care easily and are not afraid to use the words in the context of systemic or organisational change. They have a sense of presence and mindfulness. They ask deep questions that elicit thoughtful dialogue. They seek different perspectives. They are positive about the future. They are kind people.
If, like me, you want to be more contagious, seek out some of these attributes and practice them in your daily interactions and conversations. Personify positivity, seek to focus your contagiousness on spreading positive emotions. Remain true to your core values and give people reason to feel good emulating you.
Go out there, channel the kindness within, and spread behaviors worth catching.