People hate it when other people cough or sneeze near them. The reason is simple. We don’t want to catch whatever you have!
We’re quick to say “no” to other people’s physical maladies. We’re much less quick to say no to what researchers have labeled emotional contagion.
What is emotional contagion? It’s the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. Studies show we pick up cognitive baggage from others without even knowing it — both the positive and negative variety.