Journey Blog with John
You may have noticed this week after we talked about acceptance. If you decided to accept reality and stop speaking negativity, in a short time you would have noticed that the others around you did not join you in this decision. Sometimes navigating others is the most difficult part of change!Shortly after deciding to do something different in your life, you are faced with the first obstacle - others who do not share your conviction…or enthusiasm.
No matter how much we may dislike the fact that the attitude of others affects us, as the saying goes “No man is an island.” It has happened to us all…it was a perfectly fine day when all of the sudden someone dumped their negativity, bringing us down too. Whether it was someone we knew (a coworker or neighbor) or someone we didn’t (the checker at a store or another driver on the road) the effect on us was the same.
It can feel as if we are “soaking up” the energy of the people around us, and this is almost true. There is fascinating research about the affect at an unconscious level. Quick summary: negativity is transmitted to others nearby, spreading from person to person like an Emotional Contagion (interesting phrase they chose to describe this phenomenon). We do NOT JUST recognize the fear, anger, stress of others, we adopt it too.
If this has happened to you, you are perfectly normal. But what can you do about it?
First off, knowledge is a huge step forward. We are unable to change what we are unaware of, so celebrate your progress of awareness.
Then when you are able plan in advance for a potentially negative encounter, take the opportunity to “gear up”. Think about how you want the conversation to go and consider your response if it turns to whining.
Maybe most importantly, take advantage of the power of Emotional Contagion by choosing to surround yourself with people who you want to become like. They will share their attitude with you, and this positivity will help you move in the direction you want to go.
Choose your company wisely.
This realization started me on the path towards the positive me that I had always wanted to be. It started as a mental shift that affected everything else. It is not easy, but it’s simple. You are closer than you think! Join the journey to the life you always wanted.
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