Strategy of the Spirit #14= The Company You Keep
Emotional Contagion is Real
Your mother knew the significance of emotional contagion. She knew that who you hang out with will have a profound influence on the outcome of your life, for better or worse.
Understanding how people affect you means that you can do a better job matching what you need at any given moment to what your energy requires.
(For a nice breakdown of the energy personality types to seek out or to avoid, click here.)
Psychologists now understand that positive and negative emotions and behaviors are literally contagious.
Study after study has demonstrated what a powerful impact emotional contagion can have on our relationships—domestic partnerships, friendships, teams, business relationships, and groups of all kinds—interestingly, we often don't realize how much our own emotions are influenced by the emotional states of others.
World Wisdom Traditions understand that spirituality is better caught than taught. The purpose of rituals that gather us together to worship, chant, drum, pray, meditate, dance and learn is based on the knowledge that a subtle energetic exchange is created. There is an amplified heart-based energy and a unified group energy field created that help transmit an experience of higher aspects of human consciousness. “Where two or more are gathered...”
What Colin Powell Knew About the Company You Keep
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.
An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.
Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how you should. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.
Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
The Obvious Conclusion?
- Hang out with vultures and bottom feeders and....
- Hang out with sloths and .....
- Hang out with gossipy, complaining, or addicted people and....
- Hang out with kind, funny, encouraging, creative people and....
“I’ll Have What Their Having!”
The good news? Emotional contagion can also work for you. We also are influenced by and "catch" positive qualities and emotional states. We have to work harder to consciously choose this sort of company. (Negative emotional states and behavior are the default mode of our primitive brain and the path of least resistance.) What will you do this month to put yourself in the company of people you would like to be more like?