It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that time spent with cynical, distrustful, complaining, moody types eventually takes its toll. The people we mix with affect our moods, so if we spend time with happy, optimistic and motivational people it rubs off, and there is science to prove it.
During the 1990s Italian researchers discovered specialized nerve cells in the brain, which they called mirror neurons. These particular nerve cells tune us into the feelings, experiences and intentions of other people. It helps to explain a number of things. When we see a person grieving over a loved one we feel for them. We become excited or sad when watching a movie and so on. This is how mirror neurons work.
Givers and Takers
Some people light up a room when they enter and others seem to drag dark clouds behind them. We all have it in us to be givers and takers – it really depends on what’s happening in life. Part of the human condition is to respond sympathetically to those in need, but need and neediness are different so here are some tips for managing the takers.
Coping With Takers
Where possible keep clear of the takers – you know who they are! Spend more time with the givers.
Your work and social networks are useful so make sure you consider both as important. Common to both should be a sense of trust and mutual positive regard. If your boss is a taker this can be tough but if you focus on tasks over personalities it’s usually easy enough to tolerate. This will build up your energy reserves rather than depleting them.
Where it’s impossible to avoid toxic connections try not to take them personally. See them for what they are and don’t find faults in yourself based on other people’s negative behaviour or attitudes towards you.