Beware Social Contagion
A Bob Pritchard Insite
If you mix with successful people you are 5 times more likely to be successful. If you associate with losers, reserve your park bench today. If you mix with heavy drinkers you are a certainty to become a solid drinker…and so it goes.
The journal, Royal Society Open Science, study shows that you can actually catch a good mood or a bad mood from your friends.
The new study adds to extensive research that shows that happiness and sadness as well as lifestyle and behavioral factors like smoking , drinking , obesity , fitness habits and even the ability to concentrate —can spread across social networks, both online and in real life. This new study measured social and mood changes over time, and how friends actually influenced each other, and helped rule out the possibility that similarities between friends exist simply because people tend to gravitate toward and hang out with others like themselves.
The research looked at 2,194 high school and college students and used a mathematical model to look for connections among friend networks.
Overall, kids whose friends suffered from bad moods were more likely to report bad moods themselves—and they were less likely to have improved when they were screened again six months to a year later. When people had more happy friends, on the other hand, their moods were more likely to improve over time. Symptoms related to depression —like helplessness, tiredness and loss of interest—also followed this pattern, which scientists call “social contagion.” These negative feelings do spread across networks and do have important health implications.
If you hang your hat with a bunch of pessimists who believe the world is out to get them and there is nothing worthwhile, the whiners and complainers, you will become just like them, even if you are initially a positive individual. . If you hang around those people who are the depressing, angering, blamers, you will become just like them.
If you hang out with a group of successful, positive-minded individuals who believe in taking responsibility for their lives, you will become a proactive individual who shapes his/her future.
You really are only as good as the company you keep, pick your associates carefully.