Are you affected by other people's moods? A Poll.

In a recent Pit thread about pissy people, it came to my attention that not everyone can read other people’s emotions and be affected by them. I thought that everyone could read and was affected by the moods of people around them. I can do this, my husband says that he is able to do this, and he thinks that most people can do it. I’m not sure now.

So here are the questions:

Can you accurately judge other people’s emotions?

Are you affected by other people’s emotions?

Sometimes I can judge other people’s emotions, especially those I am close to.
Yes, I am affected by other people’s emotions. I don’t let any one cry alone.

Yup. It can be very uncomfortable for me to be around angry people or depressed people, because I pick up so much on their moods. I’ll either become angry and depressed, or try to get as far away as possible. Maybe both.

Dispell your belief that people are not affected by other’s moods. We all are, nearly all the time. Perception is something never to take for granted. I could walk with you into a convenience store to by a pack of gum and have the cashier say only one thing to me…the price of the gum…I could hand them the cash and leave with you. We just experienced the same thing, but you thought the twenty something teller was rude to ma and ask me why I did not say anything further.

I come back saying I thought it was completely normal, I did not detect any rudness.

Looking further into the psychology behind it, perception varies from human to human, it is developed early and succinctly when we are children interacting with other humans around us. We know how to read our parents mannerisms, tone, facial expressions. This ability only gets further honed as we age.

For instance, right now I can read my classroom as a whole and on an individual basis. Facial expressions, body movements all affect my reaction to someone else. You too.

When you are talking to someone - depending on their own particular sensitivities to emotions - you can be conveying a complete subliminal messege with no words at all. With what your face says, and what your body is doing. People who give interviews on a regular basis learn to read what people are saying to them, learn to see what that person is conveying by what their face and body movements do.

In short all humans are affected by others emotions, conveyed through movement, voice tone, word choice, even smell.

Can I read what others are feeling? Yes, I do everyday…as do we all

I suck at reading emotions on a concious level… badly. Especially women.

Now subconcious I seem to be easily affected and when I trust my sixth sense I usually figure out correctly if someone is going through something tough… but only high and lows.

  1. Usually, depending on the person. Sometimes I can’t tell exactly, but I do pick up on SOMETHING

  2. Yes. I have actually had to take conscious steps to avoid people/situations because I’m an emotional sponge. I soak up whatever’s around me, and it’s not always fun.

Yes and yes.
The closer I am to someone the more I soak up their mood. It really affects me with my SO’s moods and I try not to say or do anything that will come back to haunt me later. It’s not my mood, not originally, and I find that if he was perturbed or annoyed, then I snap at others when I’m not with him. It isn’t fun and I have to actively try to lighten my mood.

I am definately affected by other people’s moods. I grew up in a VERY tense household where one parent flew off the handle all the time and was pissy/moody most of the time. I learned to associate that with very bad things, and now if I’m at work and someone is stomping around or scowling and looking pissed, I get very tense. I know they aren’t mad at me, but I get that nagging feeling that they might be. And it just makes me want to leave so that if something does come of their bad mood, I won’t have to deal with it or get snapped at.

I have a supervisor now that is chronically pissy- she rarely gives me shit, but she gives everyone else shit, and is just generally a dark presence to be around. I hate working there because of her.

It depends who it is and the situation. If it’s my fiance, a family member or a friend, I am absolutely affected by their moods, and I can usually tell if they’re upset without them having to tell me. Then again, it’s hard not to if they’re crying, throwing things, or yelling. :slight_smile: And I’m more than happy to listen, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, to try to make them feel better.

As far as other people go, yeah, I do have sympathy when I see that someone I don’t know is upset, but it’s not always appropriate to ask what’s wrong if you don’t know someone. Also, when I worked in an office, I used to get annoyed mostly when people let their emotions affect their work. I understand that you really can’t separate everyday life from work - no matter how hard you try, it’s sometimes just impossible - but we used to have this administrative assistant who would completely flip out on people if she and one of her many boyfriends got in a fight. I mean, really flip out - if you so much as talked to her, she’d start screaming. I found that really annoying, unprofessional and extremely obnoxious. Anybody else I’d ask if I could help, but not her - she was really unstable. Thank God I work from home now.

Um, my belief was that we all are affected by other people’s emotions. The thread I linked to in the OP had shaken my belief that we all feel each other’s feelings, hence this poll. :slight_smile:

So far it looks like most people are indeed affected by other people’s moods and emotions. Just as I suspected {strokes Freudian beard}.

overlyverbose, that out of control admin assistant sounds awful. I just recently left a job due to harassment by a co-worker who was always getting mad at me, and it was a nightmare.

I beg your pardon, I got off on a tangent. Anyhoo, we’re on the same page :slight_smile:

I don’t even try to judge people’s emotions - they are just hanging in the air of the room when I walk in. I’m very affected by other people’s emotions, or what I perceive to be their emotions (I still can’t seem to quite shake my habit of believing that people speaking loudly = angry, and lots of loud people tend to make me nervous.)

However, there are some people – my father was one – who are terrible about paying attention to the moods of those around them. He probably would have been able to perceive them, but he spent more time thinking about himself than about others. He had absolutely no idea he had upset one of his teenage granddaughters when he told her she looked “husky.” Right after he’d told another one how beautiful she was.

There’s also, of course, lots of room for misinterpretation. I like calm and quiet. I sometimes misperceive a loud and animated voice as anger, because I’d have to be really upset to talk that loud. Men sometimes perceive a crying woman to be in more horrible distress than she actually is, because they are assuming that she’s as upset as they would have to be in order to cry. The reverse is also true.

Obviously, I am affected by other people’s moods (per the other thread…could ya tell!!!). I would never say anything to someone I was casually acquainted with. But it looks like I’m not the lone ranger here. Thanks, Featherlou for being one of the few who admits it’s a drag to work with bad-attitude people.

I hope everyone (even the pissed off people) have a good weekend!

Please don’t jump to conclusions about ‘most’ based on a sample of one dozen folks who chose to respond to a thread of this title. :slight_smile:

I should point out that those of us more resistant to emotional influence may not care enough to participate.

For my part, I’ll weigh in with a ‘no’, as expected. The only exceptions that come to mind are that it does bother me when my mother is upset; and secondarily, if someone’s shouting-mad, I do tend to avoid that person… but that’s mostly because I have sensitive hearing. Even these conditions are not severe enough to disrupt my work, however.

I think I’m rather good at ascertaining others’ moods. However they don’t normally affect my own mood; unless I’m in a blue or depressed mood. In that case being around others who are down can bring me down even more. But my good moods are invulnerable to others.

Hmm, good point. My “scientific” experiment has hit a snag.