Can you “catch” a bad mood from friends?
Robert Eyre, a doctoral student at the Complexity Science Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Warwick in the U.K., led a study to look into this very question:
“We investigated whether there is evidence for the individual components of mood (such as appetite, tiredness, and sleep) spreading through U.S. adolescent friendship networks” (Medical News Today).
What they found was that the prevailing mood among a circle of friends could have an influence on an individual’s feelings, particularly in the case of depressive moods.
“Those in pessimistic social circles were more apt to so-called depressive symptoms, such as tiredness, lack of interest, sadness, poor concentration, feelings of worthlessness, and more. This wasn’t enough to thrust someone into outright depression, however. On the flip-side upbeat, empathetic, helpful friends were likely to lift an adolescent’s spirits and keep them elevated” (BigThink).
Have you ever found this to be true, either as an adolescent or an adult?
I can definitely vouch for the fact that when I sneak away to dinner with another writer friend who I find to be highly motivated and enthusiastic, I feel excited to get back to my own writing. And years ago, I ended a friendship with someone I found to be super negative because being with her left me feeling dejected.
But how about a mood spreading throughout a group though? Leave me your story below.