Secondhand stress is as real as secondhand smoke
Everyone realizes the danger of secondhand smoke, but new research suggests that most people are just as susceptible to secondhand stress and negative emotions. Seeing or hearing someone, whether it’s a family member, co-worker, or stranger who is anxious and stressed affects your own mood and demeanor.
Two different research groups studied this phenomenon. They found that you’re much more likely to respond to a loved one who is exhibiting stress than you are when it’s a stranger, but the reaction still exists.
This is why many companies are implementing no-venting zones for employees who deal with customers and clients. A stressed healthcare provider may negatively affect a patient who doesn’t need any added anxiety.