Emotions impact everything we do; if we don't manage them wisely, it negatively affects us. In my book, The Power of Emotion, I share ways to increase emotional intelligence, observe our emotions' ripple effect, and manage emotional contagion.
THE POWER OF EMOTION | CHAPTER 6 | OVERVIEW
Understanding How to Analyze the Ripple Effect of Emotions
One of our biggest challenges occurs when an emotional situation arises; we tend to focus on the other person or circumstance instead of ourselves. When that happens, we respond to their emotional behaviour, resulting in a ripple effect of our emotions.
Once their emotions overpower us (a.k.a emotional contagion), we can lose control, adversely impacting that relationship.
What is Emotional Contagion?
We witness examples of emotional contagion regularly but may not recognize them. Emotional contagion occurs when one person's emotions and related behaviours directly trigger similar emotions and behaviours in another person. These can be both positive and negative.
Take Time to Pause and Reflect
Over time and with practice, I have learned to stop and breathe when I feel my emotions rising. I prefer to control my emotions instead of allowing them to control me. That's what happens if we respond without taking time to pause and reflect on the situation. Emotional intelligence is about balancing emotions and logic.
Take the time to ensure your response is rational, requiring our brains to work through the emotions to deliver a thoughtful reply.
Emotional Contagion Can Be Harmful
When emotional contagion is positive, we welcome it.
For example, when people feel unhappy or unmotivated, having someone transfer positive emotions and behaviour is beneficial. When the emotional contagion is negative, it can be harmful. This behaviour is often upsetting and can create discomfort with bystanders involved in the incident. Read chapter six of my book, The Power of Emotion, to learn more about this.
Reducing the Ripple Effect
Each of us can learn to recognize our emotions and their potential ripple effect. As you increase your emotional intelligence, you will become more familiar with your emotions and how they impact others. This knowledge will prepare you to be more agile with your feelings and will enhance your emotional awareness.
In my book, The Power of Emotion, I share practical ways to make the most of your emotional intelligence. I communicate numerous strategies to observe your emotions' ripple effect and practices to avoid adverse emotional contagion.
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