Someone recently asked me if I’m the kind of person who feeds off other people’s energy or if I’m the one giving off the energy? It was a question I had never considered or thought about until now. I always felt like my mood was in direct correlation with the events of my day–how much traffic I sat in, how productive I was, my encounters with other people, how aggressive my allergies are that day…you know, normal mood-shifters. As it turns out, those things do affect my mood / energy. But, why do the factors that affect me also affect others?
The first time I really noticed it (now that I’m paying attention to it) was in boxing last week. I go 3-4 time per week and I work pretty hard, pushing myself to get the most out of my workouts. The people around me motivate me even more. They are a combination of older and younger men and women who all have the same objective: to lead a healthy lifestyle, get / stay in shape, kick some ass, and do so in an uplifting environment. In a way, we push each other. Last week I was feeling a little off–to be totally honest, I was PMSing so my stomach ached, I had a throbbing headache, and I was feeling all around blah–I wasn’t my usual, high-energy self. I found myself stopping more often, taking longer breaks than usual, sipping more water, complaining, in other words, I was wimping out big-time.
What was weird is I started noticing other people doing the same thing. The same people who push themselves, work hard, kick ass, etc. It almost felt to me that they were feeding off my low / bad energy. This crossed my mind and I hoped it wasn’t true, as I started feeling guilty for ruining other people’s workouts. I was too far gone as far as my attitude was concerned so I did my best to continue class in silence.
I’m not trying to flatter myself with this theory, by the way. After this incident I started to take notice anytime I was around others. If I set the tone on a positive, high-energy note, that was how the rest of the day / event/ interaction went. If I am huffy & puffy from said factors (traffic, allergies, rude people, general irritability, etc.), some are affected by it, too.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone I interact with, as I’m learning that certain people feed off energy and others dictate it. It’s kind of a lot of pressure having that responsibility. Sometimes I just want to be. Sometimes I just want to sit in silence, observe, listen, whatever it might be, and I’m perfectly content (not to be confused with resting-bitch-face problems, of course), but others might view that as me not having a good time and the energy might shift.
Does anyone else experience or notice this? I could be totally overthinking it but often times when I begin to analyze behavior I fall into a deep hole of thoughts and theories and I would love to get some feedback on this topic.