Let us start with some famous quotes, ‘It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch’, ‘One frustrated co-worker sours the mood of the entire team’. We have all experienced the effects of this first-hand.
Emotional contagion is an appropriate term for this psychological phenomenon. It is an ability to control the emotions and attitudes of others, either directly or indirectly. It also describes the very fact that moods transfer between individuals over a brief amount of time. It’s like when your friends are happy you are more likely to be happiest too.
On the other side, Emotional Contagion is a big reason why it is so hard to deal with negativity in life. People who express negativity can be like blinded with self-importance. Everyone who comes in contact with them suffers the outcome. Steering these scenarios well depends on your ability to be mindful of your thoughts and actions.
You will find angry, bad-tempered, and frustrated people wherever you go. It could be your co-workers, your family members, or an absolute stranger. No matter how those people treat you, remember that you are always in control of how you react. If you aim to spread peace and positivism within the world, make the following choices when negativity crosses your path.
- Do not take it personally:
You do not know what somebody else is going through in their life. Their distress can be due to other issues like their family member is sick or some issue with their friends. Their negative actions likely have nothing to do with you, they are just conveying their negativity, and you happen to be there to experience it.
- Stay patient to create space:
Negativity hampers your system and gives rise to a tactless response. The best way to be patient is to take a deep breath and create space to act with intention. For example, when answering to an angry e-mail or note, do not respond to it right away. Give it some time to take up by waiting until the next day. Approaching the e-mail with a clear-headed perspective will stop a regrettably reactionary response.
- Be peaceful:
Emotional Contagion is a result of interpreting thoughts and feelings of oneself or others which applies to both positive and negative emotions. Do not forget that your reactions are an opportunity to bring others up. It does not need to be a thriftless effort to make them happy. Simply being peace by your smiley face is enough.
- Dealing with your negativity:
Even the most positive individuals wake up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time. In these circumstances, self-awareness is the first step to prevent spreading negativity to others. Without understanding your negative mental state, you will be shut in as a victim of its reactive ways.
But the moment you become aware that you are experiencing negative emotions, you are back in control. Awareness gives you the chance to act with intention. When you feel angry or frustrated, take a few steps to proceed mindfully.
- Remember, you are not your emotions:
Instead of getting washed away by your negative emotions, observe it with curiosity. Accept that these emotions are short-term like how clouds pass over the sky, this too shall pass which is true of all emotions, thoughts, opinions, believes, and feelings.
- Choose to smile:
By smiling, you can remind yourself that you have the power to manage your reactions. When you endure with greater self-awareness, it is understandable that how you act is always a choice. Even if you smile consciously faking it, give it a try, it can improve your mood and reduce stress. A study showed that the physical act of smiling during stressful activities led to reduced heart rates in participants. Negativity is guaranteed to enter in your lifetime and time again. Sometimes other people will push negativity upon you. Other times, you will find negativity flowing within you.
However, when you encounter negativity, choose to cross these conditions thoughtfully. Accept the existence of negativity with an unbiased approach, and you will have the opportunity to act with intention.
You cannot succeed in a quarrel with a negative person. They only hear what befits them and listens only to react. In simple words, just ignore the negativities in your life and go on…