Find your circle of genius. Behavioral scientists have discovered the phenomenon of “emotional contagion.” This describes the fact that, unconsciously, we adopt the beliefs, feelings and behaviors of the people we spend most of our time with.
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When we were tribal thousands of years ago, we would automatically model what the dominant member of the tribe, the chief, was doing. So if the dominant member had figured out a new tool, then automatically this type of brain cell, a mirror neuron, would cause us to start to mimic that chief's behavior, and that allowed us to survive. If the chief learned how to do fire, we would automatically, through the power of mirror neurons, start building our own fires.So in the modern world right now we start to mimic the behavior of the people we associate with, okay? And so when we were little kids, what do we do? We see our parents in healthy behavior, we would mimic it. But also the toxic behavior of those early caretakers, those early caregivers, profoundly influenced the way we would behave.
Second piece of science for you to think about is emotional contagion. Emotional contagion.What is that? Emotional contagion speaks to the profound subconscious phenomenon that we adopt and adapt to the emotions of the people we spend most of our time with. So couples have been studied and if one member of the couple was depressed, over time, the other member of the couple would become depressed. If you are with a toxic partner, you will eventually pick up that toxic behavior. If your parents, for example, were angry, well, there's a very good chance through the power for emotional contagion, you have a reservoir of anger within you. Same for sadness, same for grief, same for shame, same for guilt. All of those low-grade emotions we adopt through the power of emotional contagion. And, of course, same for the high-level emotions. If your mother, no matter what was going on, was always joyful and grateful, then you probably have a great sense of gratitude of your life.