Emotional Contagion: Are Other People’s Emotions Influencing You?

What is emotional contagion?

Emotional contagion occurs when you are influenced by the emotions or mood of another person or group of people. The worst example of emotional contagion has been described as ‘mob mentality’. Usually calm, peaceful individuals have been observed becoming aggressive and violent when present in a crowd displaying these behaviours and emotions. After the being exposed to this type of group, these usually calm and peaceful individuals were at a loss to explain what occurred and why they behaved the way they did. The best kind is where communities come together in solidarity and help others in need however they can.

The fear, anxiety and anger of others may influence how you feel and behave. However, kindness, compassion, empathy and love is also contagious. It is important to decide what you want to be influenced by, as well as how you choose to influence others. 

What can you do about emotional contagion?

It is important not to blame or find fault with others for how you are feeling, this doesn’t help. Additionally, no one has done anything to you, you have simply become influenced by another’s mood or emotion. Ultimately, we are all responsible for ourselves. If you suspect that the emotions you are experiencing are influenced by emotional contagion, ask yourself the following questions and take steps towards rectifying this. Are you with a person or a group of people that may be influencing your moods and emotions? Often recognition and awareness that the way you feel has been influenced by the emotions and behaviour of others, is enough to change things for you. Sometimes, you need to distance yourself from this person or people (if possible), to reset how you are feeling. If you are struggling to disengage and reset, you are not alone. Reach out for assistance. 

Are you emotions and behaviours being influenced by social media or the media in general? Social media and the media in general, can impact your emotions and moods. Be discerning in what you are reading and/or watching. Unlike pages on social media that are not benefiting you, and limit the amount of time you spend absorbing outside information.  There is a difference between being informed and being overwhelmed with information. Take care that the information that you decide to engage with is from a reputable source. Not all of the information you are receiving is aimed at educating you, much of it is to gain ratings or it’s click bait. This is achieved by appealing to your emotions. Panic and anxiety within communities can spread like wild fire and many less than trustworthy sources use this to their advantage.


If you are experiencing challenges such as stress, anxiety, panic, trauma, grief or any emotions or feelings you need assistance with, do not think you have to work through things by yourself. Some things you may be able to address yourself. However, sometimes we can benefit from additional support and assistance. Can you reach out to a supportive friend or family member and talk things through? Or, talking with a counsellor or other helping professional may assist you in finding your own way to work with your challenges.

If there are issues and circumstances that you need support and assistance to work through, please contact me for an obligation free, confidential discussion as to how I may be able to assist you. I am a counsellor (Member ACA), a clinical hypnotherapist (Clinical member AHA), yoga and meditation teacher. Online and phone sessions are available.

Allison Lord

Inner Mind Therapies

Ph 0403 357 656

Email allison@innermindtherapies.com.au