How does one learn not to let another person’s moods affect her? After all, they are the other person’s moods, so why should there be a correlation between another person’s shitty mood and a nosedive of my own? When someone I interact with a lot is in a foul mood and I am not, I can feel that person’s funk cozying up to the bottom of my own mood, hooking its clammy tentacles into any crevices it senses, and giving it a good, sustained tug. It’s almost a physical feeling in my head – like my good mood fills my skull but the erosion from the bottom pulls it down to somewhere around my eyes. I feel like I am trying to hoist my full body back above the top of it again to regain control, but the other person’s mood is stronger than my will to stay cheery and next thing you know I’m fucked. My mood is in the toilet.
How do you avoid that? Shouldn’t my mood be my mood, yours be yours, and so on? Is everyone like me, or can most people maintain their individuality a little better? Tips appreciated, just like at all the counters where employees were once expected to do their work for their wages instead of for the spare change customers are now guilted into adding to the already enormous tally (e.g., change from your overpriced latte).