You can’t touch, smell, taste or see it but you can feel it – the moment you walk into any room, at work or home. A bad atmosphere; the palpable effects of negative and intense emotions; someone sitting in a cloud of silent fury and anger, a group of people smilingly on the defensive, or a couple with rigid rictus smiles together but not together. It can unnerve, unsettle and affect your decisions as well as your mood.
You can catch it over the phone, it comes from all directions. For example, you hear from a client who is going through a trying time and offloads onto you. He ends the call feeling lighter and happier but you are left with a drained feeling as you have picked up and are carrying an unwelcome burden.
This is especially trying if you work with someone who is always negative, complaining or just seems to be in a permanent bad mood. This can be exacerbated if your work revolves around people going through challenging times. I find that solicitors and barristers in the family law area can often be affected with difficult and harrowing cases; not so easy then to protect your attitude and emotions.