Emotional contagion, a lesson from my empathy training for school. Contagion at first glance, I didn’t understand the word, but it simply means contagious. How our emotions are contagious to those around us or the possibility of such an action or feeling. To mimic.
Have you ever walked into a room and there is chatter, laughing, and joyous emotion within the environment? Does it not put you in the same mood? You immediately have a sense of joy, camaraderie, and interest into why those within the room are acting the way they do. Or you are out somewhere, and a child is crying and upset and within your mind you have to wonder, even for a moment, what the child is feeling. It’s emotional contagion.
Have you not been called by a family or friend or visited someone and at first look you can see, sense, or feel the emotion they are experiencing without a word being exchanged? You immediately sense and feel within yourself the same emotion? Emotional contagion is to mimic what we see and feel from others without even knowing it. It catches us off guard at times, sucks you into the moment without realizing it.
It’s been very interesting to learn about this and how it relates to other social and interpersonal relations we all have. I have closely associated this contagion with body language and forms of nonverbal communication. How those actions can speak louder than words at times.
You might agree that in recognizing such emotions can alter our path in a different way, steering clear if they are of a negative tone you want no part in. Just the same however it can invoke empathy and compassion that someone may be needing. Being empathetic to someone’s pain, suffering, or discomfort adds humility as an additional emotion.
To be humble is to place yourself at the same level as another, outside of yourself, to experience, share, and be as one with. It’s more than the emotion of sympathy. To have sympathy is to greet the issue but to empathize and be humble to it causes us to embrace it as if your own. It’s compassion.
I have always thought of myself and even taken those personality tests and found myself as an introvert. I’m not the center of attention or even want to be but do enjoy being within small groups or even standing off to the side and watching the actions of others. The different personalities, attitudes, and expressions each of us can be associated with. Nationalities, genders, and race have a story to tell and so much can be seen and identified by our emotional contagion.
Take a look around you, at what I have mentioned and even look at the reflection of yourself. What do others see from you? Emotions are contagious, should not be held back, disguised, or be shameful to admit.
I believe we all have a soft side, an empathetic, humbling, and compassionate care for others. Words do not always have to be spoken to show your support and understanding. Maybe all that is needed is the contagion of emotions and a good listening ear.