Emotions are contagious. We've all known it experimentally. You know after you have a really fun coffee with a friend, you feel good. When you have a rude clerk in a store, you walk away feeling bad. - Daniel Goleman
Have you ever been around someone who just by simply being in their presence, made you feel better? Have you ever been around someone who just simply by their presence, made you feel worse? Energetic emotional exchanges are always occurring, whether we recognize them or not. This forgotten superpower is what allows human beings to have empathy. At the most basic level we match our emotional state to that of another. We absorb the emotional energies of that we are around.
It's called motor mimicry, and according to a quick google search: "Motor mimicry is the classical name for a phenomenon that has appeared in the literature for over 250 years. A good example of motor mimicry is when a person winces at someone else's injury. The person wincing is not hurt, so the wince does not fit his or her own situation."
"If you show people a pictures of a smiling face or a frowning face, they'll smile or frown back, although perhaps only muscular changes so fleeting that they can only be captured with electronic senors. We imitate each others emotions as a way of expressing support and caring and, even more basically as a way of communicating with each other." (from The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell)
Typically we associate emotions as coming internally and expressing outwardly. I'm happy so I smile, or I'm sad so I frown. If we conclude that the opposite can also be true, that emotions can come externally and influence internally, then we could say that if I can make you smile, I can make you happy.
Consider looking at mimicry as one of the means in which we infect each other with our emotions. So, if I smile and you see me and smile in response, it's not just empathy. It may be a way that I can pass on my cheer to you. Emotion is contagious. How do you engage emotionally with others? Do you pass on positivity? or do you pass on negativity? Can you be more aware of how you engage with others and the energy you bring?
Most importantly, can you see how you have the power to influence the people around you? How are you infecting others? How do you want to make others feel? How do you want to feel? Be a carrier of a healthy attitude. Share it with others.
With a newfound passion for life and a deep interest in the connection between science and art, this is where ideas develop and blossom and are shared with you, my friends. Thanks for stopping by and joining me on this journey.