Analyzing the Impact That Others Have On Our Moods and Our Affect
My sister hosted Thanksgiving this year. It was great to not have to host, ask everyone every 20 minutes “you good”, and most of all, I didn’t have to clean up a thing. The night was a good one but on the surface, it didn’t spark any cause for pause or any in depth introspective moments. That is until we played a game that had each player reflect on their regular routine, bringing attention to certain behaviors that came naturally and without thought. One of the questions I got was “who is the person you speak to the most outside of your immediate family?” After little consideration, the consensus was that I talk most to my younger sister. By no design of my own, and after confirmation from my sister, hers either, we realized that we instinctively connect throughout the week organically. Although I have many family members that I can connect with naturally, the question of when we give others access to us, how does that impact our mood consciously and subconsciously suddenly came to my awareness.
My sister is generally a calming spirit. She is an avid yogi, a book reader for self-improvement, and a pillar in our family to forge the path to personal boundaries. I’ve always appreciated these things about her but never to the point where I’ve evaluated the direct impact those things have had on my own personal growth. Then I started to think…considering that I talk to my sister just about every day without fail, whether it’s intentional conversation or simply shooting the you know what, that has to influence some part of me in some type of way. I began to consider what the contrary could look like. If I gave as much access of myself to family members who simply wanted to gossip, trauma dump on me, and not want to talk about progression and goals, what impact would that have on my psyche versus conversations my sister and I have? I came to the realization that random and organic conversations with my sister and people who possess similar values as she, are more conducive and aligned with the direction I want to go in, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. My question to you all is “who are you giving access of you to and what impact does that access have on you directly and indirectly?” Here are a couple of things to consider when giving access of yourself to others, family/friends or not!: 1. What is your alignment threshold? Consider who or what makes you feel inclined to operate authentically as yourself. Always show up as your true self, no matter what and no matter who you’re around. Consider who or what makes you more comfortable in appreciating quiet moments with yourself because within those quiet moments, you learn so much about yourself. There should be a level of calm and peace after and/or during these interactions, ones that align with your values and aspirations. Once you become comfortable with being by yourself, it becomes easier to float through life organically and that includes within your relationships. Then, your person(s) will naturally be drawn to you and you to them; “like attracts like”. Focus on building yourself up, then your person(s) will see you and appreciate you for who you are and also who you aspire to be!
2. The feelings you get during and after interactions. Consider how you’re feeling internally while around or talking to these people. Do you feel calm, or do you feel on edge? After the interaction, assess has it added value to your life in some way or was it depleting? Adding value can include giving you a safe space to vent and to lift the weight of the day off. It can entail feeling heard and seen, something you needed to get you to the other side of an unfavorable event or emotion. Feeling depleted can look like feeling drained or that there were no benefits during the interaction. Consider the content of the interaction. Would you consider it positive or negative? Were you better off not even having the interaction? It is very important to give access of you to those who don’t leave you feeling depleted or energetically drained. After all, if these interactions are happening enough, they have the propensity to certainly shape other areas of your life and interactions with others who are seemingly not even connected. Be aware and attuned to what you need and then create the relationships that meet those needs. If after reading this, you begin to think about your most consistent mood and affect as you move through your daily life and it does not align with the highest most happiest version of you, assess the access of you given to others. Who or what situations can begin to help you pour more positivity into you? Those are the spaces you need to be in!