I was at a client’s office for a meeting and a few people had arrived early and were telling a story that was causing a few of them to smile and laugh.
When the next person walked into the room, she saw everyone smiling and she started smiling right away, before she knew what was going on.
It’s an example of a psychological concept called “contagion of emotion,” the idea that we can “catch” the moods of other people.
If you have ever been in a movie theater and found yourself laughing at a scene because many people around you were, but later watched the movie alone and didn’t find the scene as funny, you have experienced the power of this concept.
The emotions of other people have a significant impact on us. In life, how we feel can definitely be affected by the context: What’s happening in the environment matters.
You can use this concept to your advantage to create a happier more fulfilling life. How? Although at work and in our social lives we cannot typically control exactly who’s around us, there are times when you can … and that’s when surrounding yourself with people who have a positive impact on you can be so important.
It is important to surround yourself with people whose mood, attitude, and behaviors make you feel good, inspire you to do more to succeed, to be a better person, and to follow the things you’re passionate about.
Using the idea of “Contagion of Emotion” proactively, you can ensure you’re spending as much time as possible with people who have that positive impact on you. And you will likely experience life as much richer as a result.