Who Influences Your Mood?

Do you remember when Facebook researchers wanted to see if what you read in your “news” stream influences your mood?

They wanted to see what you posted after being exposed to either a stream of negative posts or a stream of positive posts. There was a huge uprising against their methodology–they essentially manipulated your news feed for research (not that they don’t manipulate it now).

They did find a correlation between what you were exposed to and what you posted.

Negative people can drag you down emotionally. Positive people build you up.

Both Paul and Proverbs warn us to be aware of whom we hang out with. Other people can influence us in ways we may not even realize.

Doesn’t it feel great to hang out with energetic, positive people? I was working at a coffee shop this morning and two women who exhibited those characteristics were involved in an animated conversation. I have no idea what they were discussing, but I think that they lifted my whole day. This was one of the most productive days I’ve had for a while.

This leads me to ponder two different things.

First–how do I become aware of the effect of someone? How quickly do I discern the attitude of the other? How quickly and decisively do I extract them from my life?

Second–how often am I the positive, energized person spreading light and energy to others? How often am I the doom-and-gloom person who drags people down? How quickly do I realize that in a conversation?

Perhaps a good practice would be to establish a trigger that makes us stop and consider our attitude and our words. We can modify them on the fly if we are only aware.

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