Friday, June 25, 2010

Are Moods Contagious?

I'm one of those people who is really affected by other people's moods. To a surprising degree, I think my mood depends on those around me. I think the proper term is that I empathize to a high degree with those around me. This sometimes drives B crazy as I can be in a fine mood and then after spending time with someone else I'll be a total debbie downer. I do recognize this in myself, and I do try to be aware of it and not let other people affect me as much anymore, but it's a work in progress.

I read an article earlier about how social networks affect divorce rates - the idea that divorce can spread through social groups and affect friends, family and coworkers is fascinating to me. This post really isn't about divorce at all (though I am grateful at how hard my family and friends have been working on their marriages and families!), but the idea of things spreading through social networks.

As I've spent more time on blogs and twitter, I find myself being more affected by what these people that I don't know are going through. But I feel like I know them! And life is hard for them right now! And I empathize with that! It really doesn't help that I've been going through an extremely rough period myself for the last six months or so, and so I think that's been making me more susceptible to feeling like this, but still. I feel like a lot of the people whose blogs I love have been going through rough times (including some people that I do know in real life which makes it even harder because I just want to show up on their doorsteps with hugs and baby puppies and cupcakes. And I can't). It makes me sad that I can't do anything while they're going through their hard times, and I want the sunshine and roses to come back to their lives (and let's face it, to mine too).

I think it's one more thing that I need to keep an eye on now - and remind myself to step away from the interwebs when I need to. Because I do need to take care of myself first. But to anyone out there who's reading this - if you ever need a supportive voice from blogland, I'm happy to help. Unless I'm overwhelmed, in which case I'll be back shortly!

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