We often get infected with the strong emotions of others when we are exposed to them. Emotions like anger, fear, depression, anxiety, and enthusiasm can be contagious. They are capable of spreading from one individual to another. Further on, by automatically mimicking certain behaviours in the other person, that arise from particular emotions, we allow the emotions to spread. Result to, when we mire ourselves in the strong emotions of others, we impair our capacity to think and perceive clearly. In consequence, we diminish our ability to solve problems and nurture the relationship. On account of this, how to avoid emotional contagion warrants close attention.
Emotional Contagion In The Office
To illustrate with, this scenario may open up with you as a player. You may be facing a colleague who doesn’t return files. Calm and in control, you stand before him. Then, he fumes at your mentioning what he terms trivial, at your not recognising the many things he does for you, and at your not understanding his need to hold on to the files. Suddenly, you discover yourself becoming very angry and responding in a hostile tone of voice. The unfolding situation reveals that your colleague has infected you with his anger.
Buttressing with, his raised voice, piercing looks, furious gesticulations, feature as behaviours reflecting anger. These behaviours are easily picked up by you. As you mimick the behaviours, you start experiencing the emotion of anger. Following this, you cease to think clearly, and your problem-solving capabilities diminish.
How To Avoid Emotional Contagion Spotlights.
1. Anticipate The Emotional State Of Your Interactant
It is constructive to anticipate, in advance, the other person’s emotional state. Value to, when you do this, you stand better to differentiate your emotions from those of the other person. This enables you to strategise how to handle the situation most effectively.
Detaching From A Partner’s Anxiety
In line with, suppose you are meeting with your partner to discuss your perceived assessment that he doesn’t spend much time with you anymore. His anxiety about the meeting stands out. Anticipating this, helps you to recognise that the anxiety is his emotion, not yours. This understanding helps you figure out the best way to conduct the discussion.
To continue with, you can alleviate his anxiety by telling him, at the onset, what a good partner he is, and how you understand the extra work pressure he’s been under, of late.
Further with, when you anticipate the other person’s emotional state, you enable yourself to control your emotions. As you do so, you make it easier for yourself to guide the outcome of the discussion in a positive direction. In plain, anticipating the emotional states of others, fits you to the ideas behind how to avoid emotional contagion.
2. Tune In To The Verbal And Non-verbal Language Of Your Interactant
By tuning in to the verbal and body language of others, you become aware of what emotions they are experiencing. Understanding what emotion you are dealing with, primes you to figure out how best not to catch the emotion. As well, you keep yourself from mimicking any corresponding unhelpful behaviour.
Along with, noticing your interactant talking slowly, in a low voice, sitting slumped in his chair and looking down, points to depression. Recognising this emotion, keeps you on the alert to avoid catching it. Besides, it stimulates you to check yourself from time to time, to ensure that you are not mimicking any of the behaviours of depression.
3. Use Instructional Statements
Here are examples of instructional statements you can use to keep away from emotional contagion. “John is depressed because of his poor score at the performance appraisal. Just because he is depressed doesn’t mean I have to be. I will keep positive.” “Peter is really angry that I’m speaking with him about this matter. However angry he gets, I’ll remain calm. I’ll breathe deeply and speak a little calmer than usual.” Preparing the statements, in advance, helps you to keep your emotional perspective, respond and act in a constructive way. In train with, positive statements bear a helping that aligns you to the notions of how to avoid emotional contagion.
4. Call Up Relaxing Thoughts And Images
If you feel yourself beginning to catch another person’s negative emotion, or you fear that you are susceptible, mentally call up relaxing thoughts and images. This mental practice helps you to turn off arousal connected to unpleasant emotions. Here is a thought that helps me in challenging encounters. “I Am the Presence which nothing can disturb.” If I begin to feel discordant energy, I simply say, “here I shut my door. You stay out.”
How to avoid emotional contagion revolves around ideas that start us keeping our emotional detachment from our interactants. Upshot to, doing this helps us to understand more clearly what our interactant is experiencing. As a result, we act more appropriately, nurture the relationship, and solve problems better.