We can all agree that using manners is just part of being a being a considerate, respectful, and compassionate human being. But what about those days when you aren’t feeling any of that? We all have those terrible, rotten, no good days sometimes, and its particularly easy on those days to develop a me first mentality. These are the days that you have to put extra effort into not letting your mood dictate your manners.
Getting in the habit of exercising good manners (let’s face it – sometimes it does feel like exercise) in the middle of a bad mood can affect more than just your demeanor. It can be contagious. Yes, moods and manners can spread just as fast as any determined germ. There’s actually a scientific term for it – Emotional Contagion.
What is emotional contagion and how can you use it for good?
Emotional contagion is a three-step feeling transfer process:
- Mimicry – people unconsciously and automatically copy each other’s facial expressions, posture, movement, speech patterns, etc. If you see me frowning, you are likely to frown as well.
- Feedback – people then adopt the feelings associated with the above actions. You frowned and now you feel sad or down.
- Mimicry and feedback loops continue until the behaviors and emotions are synced.
I used a frown in the example above, but mimicry, feedback and syncing can work just as well with a smile, kind demeanor and mannerable actions.
So letting your mood dictate your manners not only affects your day, but that of those around you.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Modern Manners. Feel free comment below or email me at email@example.com
Stay humble, work hard, be kind.
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