Some days I feel so full of zeal and enthusiasm, I’m whistling while I work. Then along comes a cranky colleague and poof! Away goes my good mood and I find myself cranky too!
We are actually hardwired to pick up each other’s emotions and that’s part of what allows us to communicate well with each other.
However, that does not mean you have to become a party pooper too. Try these strategies to deter a deep funk!
Keep A Straight Face
In a recent study, individuals told to make happy, sad or angry faces experienced these same associated emotions, long after they had changed their expressions.
Retain your good humour by keeping your face, voice and body language on an even keel consciously when dealing with a grouchy person.
Here’s trick I do, just pretend that the person is talking in slow motion; thereby shifting your focus which will make you think differently and not pick up on those sour vibes.
Sympathize But Do Not Empathize
It is natural for you to feel sorry for someone who has problems, but walk too far in that person’s shoes and you will wind up with blisters! Do not inherit that other person’s emotions as your own.
Say you’re sorry, help them get over it with advice if you have any to give, offer reassurances, say it must be hard for them but move on to your own mood and well-being once you have moved on from them.
Gauge Your Mood
When you come in contact with someone sad or irritable, check your own disposition.
Understanding and knowing what you are feeling, gives you control over how you perceive the interaction, so you will not be at the mercy of that person’s mood.
If the meeting with that person leaves you blue, remind yourself that you are not the source of the negative vibes, let them go and carry on in your merry way.
We are evolved from apes, and we humans are born to mimic unconsciously expressions, gestures and even the tone of voices of whoever we are dealing with, at the present moment.
If you are dealing with someone irritated, you tend to also adopt an irritated demeanor and thereby, trigger the release of chemicals that will truly make you feel pricklier and crabbier too!
Smile! Now you know how to handle such individuals at work!