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People's moods seem to affect the people around them

  1. Apr 26, 2004 #1
    I just realized how people's moods seem to affect the people around them. I mean, if some one you can tell is in a bad mood, your mood seems to deteriorate as well. Has that been proven by psychology?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2004 #2
    First hand I can tell you that I often see this in myself, but I also tend to have mood swings. I'm certainly not saying that if you should avoid associating with people who suffer from depression and similar affective disorders, but all in all, I think it's good not to be constantly surrounded by people who are in a bad mood more often than not.

  4. May 3, 2004 #3


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    I don't think Chrono was just talking about people with mood disorders, but just generally someone with a bad mood. I don't know if anyone has really studied it, might be more of an anthropological study than a psychology study, but I know I've experienced it as well. Sometimes you're just around someone who's had a really bad day and is grumpy or angry and after a while, it starts to "rub off." But, it works the other way too, if you're around someone in a good mood, it can also rub off that you end up being in a better mood too. Hard to be grumpy when someone you're with is laughing and smiling.
  5. May 3, 2004 #4


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    A strange thing happened today. Today at work I was told that I smile so much it's hard to be upset when I am around.

    This really startled me because I consider myself to be one of the most disgruntled people on earth when it comes to my job. I never would have chosen this field of work, I just got sucked into it. I never realized that I smiled that much. Maybe it's gas... :confused:
  6. May 3, 2004 #5
    Honest empathy and forgiveness often help turn a "bad mood" around. Just think if anger, disgust, hate, etc. were not curable - by now the world would be even more overwhelmed by these negative emotions. Maybe the reason good and bad feelings remain fairly well balanced over the generations is that they adapt to continue an overall objective sense of our personal environment.
  7. May 4, 2004 #6
    That's exactly what I was refering to. I probably should have specified that. More anthropological than psychological? I hadn't thought of that.

    That's especially the case since laughing is contagious. I do know that. Of course, if that doesn't work it's probably time that they need a good hug.
  8. May 4, 2004 #7
    I believe it also occurs with complete strangers. Take for instance a funeral. Being just a passer-by, you'd never see the corpse or know the dead person yet you still leave feeling depressed for the next hour or so.

    Are these mood reflections/changes a fundamentally human experience?
  9. May 4, 2004 #8
    This is classic social psych research. And, yes, its true that when those around you are grumpy, your affect changes as well.
    This is one of the reasons depression is tough to treat. Depressed people need social support, but their friends avoid them because hanging out with them is a drag. Its a cycle that's hard to break.
  10. May 5, 2004 #9


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    Does that mean we don't need Prozac to treat depression, just more happy people? LOL!
  11. May 5, 2004 #10
    Would be cheaper, wouldn't it?
  12. May 5, 2004 #11


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    i often wonder if prozac takes away the body's ability to stimulate the natural seratonin in the brain? i have heard that one drops into a deep depression once they are off the happy pills.

    i am extremely moody, however, i also realize it's not anything but the chemicals in my brain that are going nuts. having this perspective helps me identify when i am in a bad or good mood and then rationality make better choices of my words and actions.
  13. May 9, 2004 #12
    Besides the psychological and anthropological explanations, there is this QM "speculation" to account for mood infection. They call it "non-local mood links" and you can find it in the following article towards end of p.3.

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