I have a broad smile on my face. I take a pack of french fries and milkshake and take a seat on the park bench to soak in all of it. In no time, a stranger comes and sits beside me and starts sobbing. Out of concern, I ask him why and we have a conversation about what he was going through. By the time he left, I realized my milkshake had turned warm, and my french fries soggy. But, the only thing I felt was sorrow. My mind was constantly reiterating everything I was just told and analyzing it to its tits and bits. What he felt started feeling like something of my own- a word stuck in my head for a long time, resounded. Emotional contagion.
What Is Emotional Contagion?
Emotional contagion has a negative connotation to it but I’d like to see it in two shades. It is precisely defined as a phenomenon where emotions and behavior in one person influence the same in another. When they talk about ‘vibes’, who knew it was deeper than its superficial meaning? There is so much more to human emotions than meets the eye.
Have We Met Before?
I have always considered this as empathy and moved on. Especially, when we feel emotional connection with strangers, when you see a baby crying and you automatically feel sad, or when a random person on the streets smiles and greets you, you say Hi- I wondered if it’s just basic decency or empathy. However, emotional contagion is more addictive and infectious. It’s an absolute proof of how everything seems more effectively connected than it seems, how human beings are wired through an invisible thread of emotional prowess, and how our feelings are not just ours.
Is The World A Better Place Now?
Now that I have one more reason to believe how beautiful this universe is, I might as well do my two bits with regard to it. If a simple smile from our side can brighten up someone else’s day, it makes things so much easier and lighter in the world. Of course, it doesn’t imply that we ought to bar our own feelings because we are afraid of the contagious effect it may have. But, I would like to believe that emotional contagion just puts the emotions we feel in a little better perspective. I hope it does the same for you.
To explore more of my articles on things that we miss out talking on, have a look here!