You are currently viewing Episode 68 – Mirroring Emotions

Episode 68 – Mirroring Emotions

Have you ever noticed yourself picking up on other people’s bad moods?

Today I’m telling you all about why this happens and what you can do about it so you can stop feeling like you don’t have control of your happiness.


Hey, welcome everybody. I’m so glad you’re here. Listen, next week is the birthday of my podcast. It’s been two years since I started podcasting, and it’s been such an amazing journey and I love being able to reach out to you and talk to you, but I don’t get a lot of feedback when I’m here in my office all alone with my microphone.

So as a birthday present, I’m gonna ask you what you do. Two simple things for me. Number one, would you review the podcast If you’ve been listening and you’ve been loving it? Go ahead and review it. If you’re on Apple Podcasts, it’s really easy. You just, um, go right on the podcast, scroll down, you can pick five stars and then write a little, um, few sentences just saying how the podcast has helped you.

That just helps people know that this podcast is good and helpful and that it’s something they wanna listen to. And the other thing I would like to ask you to do is would you share the podcast? If you have social media, you could share it on there or just share it with a friend who you know might need it, who is also struggling from the loss of a baby.

Um, who might like the tools that I teach here that would help them. So, Those are the two things I would love for the birthday of my podcast. I’m gonna have a really special episode next week for you, so I hope you’ll tune in. I specifically launched the podcast right around in pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.

I think it’s just such a special, uh, time of year. Don’t miss out on that. I appreciate you always. I would really appreciate if you would do those two little things for me. And the other thing is we have got the holidays coming up fast and the holiday season can be really, really difficult. And so I don’t want you to do it alone.

This is the perfect time to get some help. And I know we think, well, it’s really emotional. I’m kind of exhausted. The calendar is filling up with events. I don’t have time. To get help, but what if I told you that getting help is gonna give you so much more back than what you need to sacrifice for it. If you work with me, we will work together 45 minutes a week.

Do you have 45 minutes that you can give to yourself to make everything better, to feel better, to be less emotional, to be less controlled by the dates on the calendar, and the things that you see in the store. It’s just such a wonderful thing to do for you and for your family, and for your angel baby, because I know you wanna be the best mom to all of your kids wherever they are.

And you have so many things in your life you wanna do better. Let me help you with that. Let me help you, not just get through this season, but really have a beautiful holiday season. All you have to do is go to the show notes, click on the link, you can sign up for a free consult call, and I will tell you all about my program.

All right, let’s jump into today’s topic. This is one that I’ve been looking forward to doing actually because when I. Learned this concept and kind of worked it out for myself in my mind. Uh, after being introduced to it by my coach, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It is called mirroring emotions and.

You might be wondering what that is. So I wanna ask you, have you ever noticed that you seem to kind of pick up on other people’s moods and this especially happens when their moods are not the best. Have you ever seen someone who is being really judgy? Maybe there’s that one person in the neighborhood or at church or in your family, right?

Like there’s always one family member around the Thanksgiving table that that is judgy, and you notice yourself being judgy about their judgmentalness. Or if someone in your family is grumpy, all of a sudden you’re grumpy too. Or maybe you’re getting ready for a big project at work, or you’re going on a trip and someone is really stressed and all of a sudden you find yourself being stressed about their stress.

Now we think that we just pick up on these moods that it just happens like that. Their bad mood just jumps from them to us. But I wanna tell you that that is not true. What is happening is that the model is always working. So in every one of these cases, what is causing your emotions is the way that you.

Our thinking. So let’s talk about the judgy. Let’s talk about like the Karens of the world, right? This is a big joke right now, and we hear about these people, or you see them out and about just being judgy. What are your thoughts about that person? Like they shouldn’t be judgy, they should be nicer, they should not act this way.

We have this whole set of rules for them, and we have this whole opinion about how they are acting. So we are judging them for what they are doing, even though we think that. They’re being judgey for judging other people. And this happens a lot with negative emotions. It’s easier to notice when it’s a negative emotion.

So for example, if your friend comes to you and is like, I’m so excited, I wanna trip, you know, to Cancun and we’re, we’re gonna stay in this really fancy hotel and I’m so, so excited. Right? Sometimes we can be really excited for them. But a lot of times our brain is gonna get in the way and our brain likes to go to scarcity and lack and a little bit of jealousness.

It’s kind of wired for the negative. And so even though we might be happy for them, we’re probably gonna have some level where. Were kind of sad for us, so that’s why it’s just a little bit harder to mirror those positive emotions is just because our thoughts get in the way. Um, our, you know, just our ego and our self-centeredness often gets in the way.

And this would be too, if someone you care about announces that they’re pregnant. And they’re so excited, and you have a lot of thoughts, right? You have a lot of experience and a lot of thoughts that are gonna come up when you hear that announcement. Those things can get in the way of us just being blissfully happy for our pregnant friend.

But I do wanna offer to you that. If you want to be blissfully happy for your friends, your family, the people around you who are in great moods that is available to you, right? We just need to be aware of why we’re not completely happy for them and work on those thoughts. Notice them and decide if they’re serving us, if that’s how we want to feel, right?

Or we can at least change the balance. If your friend tells you you’re, they’re pregnant and you go straight to terrified, but you wanna be excited, maybe we can change that balance to, Hey, like in your heart, you are gonna be a little worried about them. Or their baby, but also you can work on adding to that side that is excited and happy for them.

Um, you definitely can do that. It just takes being intentional because your primitive brain is going to want to go to that negative and it’s going to be afraid. Worried in scarcity and. We have to just remind ourselves to use that higher brain and keep practicing it and it will get easier. All right, so what do we do if we find this happening to us?

I want you guys to know that what we’re doing is the same as any other time that the model is working in our lives. So if you are new here, the model is just a tool, um, that I learned from my mentor, Brooke Castillo and. It goes like this. There are circumstances. Then there’s our thoughts about those circumstances.

Then those thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings drive our actions. And our actions create the results that we have in our lives that belongs to you. Our models are always working in our own lives, in our own results, and not for other people. So if your husband comes home and he’s really grouchy, he’s had a terrible day at work, you know, maybe he’s like kind of throwing his stuff down and um, you were having a perfectly fine day until he walked in and he was grouchy.

And you notice. The Giness coming up. You don’t have to be grouchy just because he’s grouchy. This is one of the most empowering, freeing things I ever heard, and you would think it makes sense. Oh, you don’t have to be in a bad mood when the people around you are in a bad mood, but we need to be reminded of it.

Like it’s true. You do not have to be grouchy just because your husband is grouchy. You have control over your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. So him coming in, saying words in a certain way, doing whatever he’s doing, that is your circumstance and you get to decide how you wanna think about it and how you wanna feel about it.

And this takes practice, but I want you first to just be aware. Just notice there’s probably a few places in your life where you’ll notice this even more like a certain person, a certain situation. That just tends to get your emotions going. So I want you to see if you can figure out what am I thinking?

And a lot of times what we’re thinking is, well, he shouldn’t be grumpy. He shouldn’t walk in the door like that. Like he should have taken some time to cool off and come home and being nice. I mean, I’ve been waiting for him and I made this dinner and all of these things, which again, we are now grumpy because we think he shouldn’t be grumpy.

Can you see how that works? It’s kind of crazy, but once you notice it, you’re gonna see it everywhere. So I want you to pick, just like I said, those top like two or three places or people where you notice that you are mirroring emotions, and I want you to just slow it down. And start noticing what is going on in your head in between seeing their emotion and then your emotion that starts to follow it.

This can go with your children, right? Like if you have toddlers. Right now I have my youngest little rainbow guy. He just turned four. He is in one of those phases where he’s got a lot of opinions and you could notice like how on some days when. Your toddler is a little bit sassy that you get sassy back, right.

And you just feed into it and that’s never I. You know, that’s never us at our favorite self, but it happens. And then notice other times where it’s like you’re able to kind of laugh at it and be curious and amuse. Uh, I think it can be really interesting to just be amused. Not in a, I’m laughing at this person, or I’m laughing at my child who’s upset or I’m laughing at my husband who had a really bad day, but just noticing like, wow, there is a lot going on there.

And. I’m going to take care of myself. I’m gonna have my own back. I’m gonna show up the best way that I can and just kind of notice that it’s funny how our brain thinks it’s useful to kind of have a little freak out or to get really frustrated. So try being amused, try being curious, try just taking a step.

Back because it doesn’t feel good to feel like our emotions are in the power of someone else. So I always wanna empower you to know that you do have control over your emotions. Uh, a really good example of this, I think that just came to my mind is have you seen like a drill sergeant who is up in some little private’s face just yelling at him and telling him all the things and.

His job is to stand there and to take it. Now, I’m not saying that that is okay, but noticing how even if someone’s like up in your face, yelling at you, freaking out, doing all these things, you can stand there. You can be calm, you know that you being calm is the right thing to do in that situation because if you, if that little, um, recruit is gonna freak out back at the drill sergeant, it’s not gonna turn out really well for him.

So he needs to learn to control his emotions in the face of that huge emotional display. Right? And there’s probably lots of different, different examples you can think of. So this is what I wanna offer to you. Other people’s emotions do not jump from their body into your body. You always have control.

What they do is your circumstance. It’s a fact in your life. You always have a choice, but we also have to just be sure we’re using our higher brain, not our lower brain, cuz our lower brain just wants to react. Our higher brain is gonna help us maybe make better choices and not be so judgy or grumpy or stress or whatever we see in other people that we don’t like.

Don’t bring that into you. You don’t have to feel that it’s okay. That there’s Karen’s in this world, like, can you love them? Can you try to understand them? When your boss is stressed at work and he’s kind of bringing it down onto you, can you understand that maybe his boss is breathing down his neck, that maybe he’s got something going on in his life that you are not aware of, just like you wish that he would know that you’ve got stuff.

That he’s not aware of. Being a compassionate person feels a lot better than mirroring the negative emotions of the people around you. I am telling you this concept will change your life if you put it into practice, and it does take practice, but notice it. Keep trying. If you need help, you know, reach out to me.

I’m on Instagram at Amy Smooth Zones coaching. I totally read every single one of my dms and I will respond. Let’s talk for a minute about mirroring emotions in grief. I think what happens a lot is I. We feel very alone in our grief, and we’re very centered on our grief and our loss. And so when we see people who seem to be fine, we get very upset and sometimes we will express those emotions to the people that we care about and saying.

You don’t seem upset enough. Uh, you don’t understand me. You don’t know how hard this is for me. And then they will mirror back those emotions and they will be upset that you are upset. And so it can be this cycle where you feel really misunderstood, but what happens is you end up misunderstanding them, right?

Like you don’t try to. No, notice how they feel. You’re not trying to have empathy for them and for where they are. All you want is for them to validate your grief. And so it can be a really painful cycle, and I have seen relationships just torn apart by this, and I wanna really warn you that this is not useful.

And for me, I just. I don’t think it serves us at all. Like I really don’t think that it does. And if it’s happened to you, if you’ve seen it in your life, I want you to be super compassionate and gentle with yourself. It’s okay, like it’s pretty typical because grief is so self-centered and it’s not always.

Rational, right? Like we are raw, emotions are raw. We have a lot going on, and we just want something to fill that hole inside of us. And so we turn on the people that. We care most about, and I just want you to notice how, if you just take a minute and understand where are they coming from? Try to, and you don’t know what’s going on in their heads, but choose some things that are gonna help you to have a little bit better perspective, whether they’re true or not.

One of my favorite thoughts for other people is they’re doing the best that they can. They’re doing the best that they know how. A lot of times I just assume like they don’t know what to do, and I try to be understanding because that is what I want, right? I wanna be understood. I want to be cared about.

What I can do for myself is give that gift of feeling, understanding, and feeling the love and the care. And giving grace to people in all their messy imperfections, because then I get to feel that. So I really want you to watch out for that pattern where we are judging how other people are grieving or how they are dealing with you and your grief.

That judgment is never gonna really get you anywhere that you wanna be and telling other people how they should act. Also, not really effective, but if you can just love people where they are. And choose to believe that they love you too. You’re gonna feel a whole lot better. There’s gonna be a whole lot less drama and pain, and you can focus on just grieving and focus on just taking care of you, having your own back and letting other people do what they’re gonna do.

Cuz they’re gonna do it anyways, so you might as well not be mad about it. And the other thing I wanted to just touch on for a second is, In support groups, a lot of times there will be a lot of sadness, pain, anger, and people come to support groups to vent, right? Like they wanna let their things out in the open.

And I think it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I, I’m so glad we have those, whether it’s on social media or in person or wherever. Uh, you’re finding support. For your grief, but I also see some mirroring of emotions happening there. Maybe you hadn’t even thought about being sad about a certain thing, or you hadn’t even been upset about a certain thing until people bring it up.

People are upset about it and then you get upset about it too. I think this could be in like politics, just the world in general right now, right? There are so many people that are so mad about so many things or so upset about so many things, and. It can be really emotionally exhausting to let ourselves just pick up on all that without being aware of what’s happening.

And sometimes we think we don’t have power over it, but like I said at the beginning, we always do. I want to offer to you that if you are in a situation with a support group or even a friend or things online that just. Are not bringing you joy and peace. It is okay to let go of that. It is okay to move on at some points in our grief.

We want that. We want that raw. We want to know that we’re not crazy for the way we’re feeling. But if you’re feeling like, Hey, I need a different kind of support. I don’t want to carry the emotions of all these people who are so upset, it is absolutely okay to move on, to take care of yourself, to say goodbye with love and to have your own back.

We don’t want to be mirroring emotions. We want to choose on purpose how we’re gonna live our life. We have this one life. We know that it’s short, and we know that it’s okay to grieve on our own timeline. We don’t wanna be grieving the way other people think we should. We want to do it our way. I would just encourage you, if you are in a situation right now where you feel like you are mirroring emotions that are not working for you.

It’s okay to say goodbye with love. It’s okay to get a different kind of support. That’s what I wanna offer to you. If you’re ready for a different kind of support, I would love to help you. I would love to help you find those places where you are mirroring emotions and teach you the skills you need to take back control of your life so you can feel like you are in power no matter.

How recent your loss is or how long it’s been, coaching is gonna help you. So I encourage you to pay attention and notice and try not to mirror emotions. I think it would be a really fun thing to do this week to just notice it. Notice other people how they mirror emotions, how they blame their emotions on other people.

Uh, listen to it in like shows you’re watching, things you’re listening to. It’s everywhere. So we really have to be onto it and work on it on purpose if we wanna feel better and stop mirroring emotions. So I hope this one was really helpful for you. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me and I will see you next week.

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