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We live interconnected lives and naturally this means for better or worse those around us constantly influence us. While often we have little control on how much others affect us, as well as the effect they might have on our lives, we can limit how much we allow them to infect us.

To be affected is to be moved emotionally by another. For instance, we might rejoice when they receive good news or cry when they experience heartache and grief.

Whatever the case, their story invokes an emotional response in us and our heart seeks to make a relational connection with them. And this ability to be so moved by another is needed to create warm and caring relationships.

At the same time, relationships are costly and will effect many of our day-to-day interactions.

For example, someone’s bad mood might cost us an evening of laughter and fun. Their emotional state effects how we spend our evening.

And while we might be upset or grieved at the effect they might have on us, we understand and accept this as expected relational costs.

All the same, while we cannot always control the affects and effects of relationships, we can build our emotional immunity and limit how much we’re infected.

To be infected emotionally means our emotional responses are dependent on the ups and downs of another. For instance, we might walk around on eggshells to keep them happy lest their bad day becomes our bad day as well.

We’re infected in the sense that their mood takes us out and we’re unable to separate our emotional life from theirs.

While we might desperately try to appease the other, being infected as such robs us of our ability to love freely.

Be affected and humbly accept the effects of relationships. But build your emotional immunity and limit how much you’re infected by each other’s emotions.

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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