Riding the Tide of Other People’s Emotions


Do you remember last Tuesday we chatted about how happiness is an inside job; that external things do not have to dictate your happiness levels, unless you let them?!  Well, there is one external force that is seemingly an exception to this:  The people surrounding you.  The people around you are just as powerful as you and therefore their influence is as potent and potentially far-reaching as yours.

This can be explained by quantum physics which has taught us that we are not a dense unmoving mass of matter, but rather vibrating energy.  And it’s reflected in our language when we say things such as ‘I’m getting bad vibes off that person’ or ‘I feel really connected to her.’  When we meet, our vibrational fields intermingle.  Sometimes this can be pleasant, and sometimes not.

Let’s quit all the woo-woo explanations for now and look at it like this:-

A few years ago mum, dad and I used to go ‘boating’ as they’d endearingly call it to Brownsea island from Poole Harbor, Dorset, UK.  In actuality we were heading off to be buffeted and tossed around in a rubber dingy, care of the English Channel and all her numerous seafaring vessels.  I recall feeling very exposed and vulnerable in this wee boat, but always game for a spot of adventure I’d invariably join my gung ho parents.  ‘Oh but it has an engine!’ my parents proudly and reassuringly reminded me.  Nevertheless these huge passenger ships would slit through the water, as we’d quite humorously (in hindsight:-) try and resist the current and will and rev our wee vessel in the opposite direction of its great pull.  In the wake of these comparatively massive ships our boat would be left bobbing erratically as we’d clutch onto the side ropes and squeeze our eyes shut, salt water sloshing all over us.  Luckily we avoided being spilled over into the cold, dank channel water.

Then we’d get sailboats or fishermen boats gliding past us.  The residual ripples and disturbance they created was minimal, just a gentle swell underneath our boat.

I like to think of the effect of the people that surround us like this. Some people are very important to us; parents, spouses, children, dear friends.  They represent the big ships.  We cannot help but be swept up into their current (vibrational energy) because, in good and bad times, it is our Love, which pulls us together into Oneness.  Sometimes this makes it hard to tell where we end and they begin.  We are riding the same tide, energetically intermingled.  What affects them, affects us, and vice versa.

I have also found these big ships to represent people that we are circumstantially forced to be in close proximity with much of the time; that annoying housemate, for instance, a shady boss or a prolonged stay at the in-laws. (Not my MIL, of course:-)

If you are of a sensitive nature too, like me, you may find you’re boat even more susceptible to the current of other vessels, just like our vulnerable rubber dingy.

The sailboats and fisherman boats also emit ripples which can affect our equilibrium but not nearly to such a powerful degree.  They may temporarily disrupt our peaceful sail, but nothing like the thunderous affect of the big ships.  I see these ships as representative of a grouchy stranger that we may meet, an acquaintance or the bank clerk: Although their moods do impact us, because we are not bound in love with them-nor do our ships have to dance to each others tides for long- the disturbance to our wee boat (emotional state) is minor.

Dr. Barbra De Angelis explains it like this:-

“Our nature as human beings is to naturally and intuitively attune ourselves to vibrate at the same frequencies as those around us in order to achieve a sense of harmony.  I call this vibrational resonance.” (‘Soul Shifts:  Transformative Wisdom for Creating a Life of Authentic Awakening, Emotional Freedom and Practical Spirituality.’)

Perhaps this is why monks, nuns and other holy people quite wisely (for their purposes at least) cut themselves off from society in favor of a chaste, pious and undisturbed spiritual existence.  And it may explain (although I’m sure they would not explain it in quite the same language) why some priests dedicate themselves to a life of chastity, knowing that sexual intimacy with another would most certainly disrupt their equilibrium, for better or for worse.

Like you, I’m sure, I have experienced how people can impact my happiness dramatically.   Let me take you back two years ago; my husband had been forced into early retirement from the Army.  Effectively jobless, he came here to Florida to plough into job search whilst the children and I moved in with my parents in Dorset, England.  Still our sunny dispositions were not compromised; we saw it as a time of rebirthing our lives into something more glorious.

However, my father was suffering from very poor health, and had multiple debilitating surgeries and haunting hospital stays.  This-quite understandably- was the equivalent of a cruise liner tearing apart the water our dingy sat on, tumbling its passengers overboard.  Dad was physically and emotionally down (although he projected his feelings rather than expressed them).  He and mum were under huge strain as she stared her new role as carer in the face and he wholly unwelcome physical incapacitations that had their undesirable implications. Although I admired their overall bravery and strength, there were biting arguments and an oppressive, palpable atmosphere hung in the house.  It was if much the previous joy had been siphoned out of their home.  And who can blame them?

Me being me, little Miss Positive Polly, thought I’d be able to lift the mood of the house. I thought our ships had met at this point so that I might help, pull them aboard my vessel.  But instead of pulling them aboard, I found myself, months later, a drowned rat on their deck.  I remember being so frustrated at myself!  It was as if the engulfing tide of emotions had caught me off guard, much like the enormous swell of those big ships, causing me to lose hold of the rudder, symbolizing my control over myself.  Just when I needed desperately to hold tight to my controls, through centering practices such as meditation and inner visualization to remind myself of where I was going, I let go and became effectively ship-wrecked.

I wound up on St. John’s Wort to aid my plummeting mood and resigned to an emotional compliance of negativity.  Oh of course it wasn’t my parents’ fault; it was just a bad time, as we all experience.  And to have we noisy house guests… they were so good to take us in and do their upmost for our welfare at a vulnerable time for us.

What this experience demonstrated for me was the power other people have to pull you down and/or raise you up emotionally.  Therefore we have to be mindful of who surrounds us.  I was no good to my dad, nor mum, all the time I was feeling dejected and emotionally weak.  I can far better serve them outside of the house, with my emotional equilibrium restored to its usual rigor.

Dr. Barbara De Angelis’s words in her new book, ‘Soul Shifts,’ are such a comfort to me to explain my seeming ‘weakness’ during this stay:-

“We as human beings unconsciously adjust ourselves vibrationally to match the vibrations of those around us…this explains why we become so affected by others mood, energy or vibrations even when we try to do everything we can to not let that happen… We actually become like the person with whom we spend the most time.”

Oh this isn’t like us, is it?  Being on a Debbie-Downer?!  Let’s lift the feeling tone back up, shall we, with our take away?  Quietly sit with what we’ve discussed today.  Can you see how it’s manifested in your life?  Perhaps when you fell in love, do you remember how thrilling and divine and beautiful the world-and everything in it- looked?  Do you recall holding a precious babe (perhaps yours) for that first sublime time, engulfed with inner explosions of humbleness, unadulterated joy and wonder?

Drink those moments in, get drunk on them when life gifts you.  And consciously absorb yourself around those you admire, those who rocket your feelings skywards.  Trust your instincts on this; don’t just listen to what they say or how they appear, listen to that quiet voice which reads their vibration.  Of course we can’t so easily desert our family members when they prove to be repeatedly toxic, but we can best serve them from tossing in an inflatable from a safe distance instead of mindlessly (albeit nobly) plopping in the water and winding up drowning with them.  As any seafarer will know, there are trained lifeboats poised to rescue a troubled boat, so why not leave this type of heroic mission to those qualified?  Very often, captured by their vibrational tide, we are too close to them and their emotional residue to offer the help necessary, not to mention most of us are not trained therapists, or doctors or whatever other lifeboat vessel of help they may really require.

Friends, of course, we have more leverage with.  We get to select friends that are likeminded, or of the same sized vessel; non-threatening to our boat’s equilibrium.  We are a product of our environment; if we surround our self with happy people, their happiness will buoy ours:  Its a contagious emotion.   As Anne Frank said:-

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

However, they too will have storms to weather, and by no means am I saying we should abandon them during times of need, rather to do all we can to resist being swept away in their current.  What use are we to them then?


At sea we can add stabilizers to our vessel; we can take motion sickness tablets so we might better cope with the frantic residual waves emitted from other ships.  We have coping tools too; we need a comfortable distance- or at least times of respite from the volatile storm.  We need to remain strong for them.  We would do well too to set our course-or intention- of how we can help and try and remain undeterred from that course.  As a certified angel practitioner, I also advise you to employ physic shielding, which act like an energetic cocoon to protect you from lower energies and negativity.  See here for a thorough explanation of this from my teacher, Doreen Virtue, Phd.

Additionally we can wear a lifejacket in the grave instance that we do fall in and become at the mercy of the choppy sea.  Is there a buoy nearby to cling to?  For example have you got a trusted friend to whom you can call to rescue you if you are tumbled amongst the sea of someone else’s emotional current?


I love how Rhonda Byrne (author of the sensational ‘The Secret’) refers to challenging people in her later book, ‘The Power;’ she calls them Personal Emotional Trainers, or PETS.  The challenging ones are making you stronger, just like a physical trainer.  You may not enjoy what they throw at you in the moment but eventually, when the current quells, you’ll realize, in an indirect way, they actually served you.

Of course, as any sailor knows, when a storm is brewing, it is best to avoid sailing that day: Period.

Equally important to regard is; how is my energetic vibration affecting those around me?  A simple smile offered to a passerby can ripple out in unimaginable ways, especially in unexpected places; the slew of rush hour in central London, to a visibly frustrated cashier.  You are powerful and you never stop emitting these radars of emotions towards others.

As the children and I head home to Dorset to stay with mum and dad once again this summer, I hope I can better serve them.  I let them down last time.  This time I feel more realistically prepared for our time there, (I’ll be employing my own advice:-) and defaulted in my adoration for my parents, who I’ve hardly seen since we immigrated.

Namaste, rather than a casual parting formality, always seems to befit the article’s subject.  Today is no exception.  ‘The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.’  I acknowledge your Divinity, your strength, creative power, as you may others.

As always I love to hear from you. Has today’s subject touched you on any level?  Do let me know your thoughts.

Have a bright, beautiful and calm day, my seafaring friends:-)





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