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The ripples of negative behaviour

In society what effect do we have on each other? What effects do our behaviours or actions have on those around us? Think about yourself just for a moment, what influence do you have on family members, friends, work colleagues? How do your behaviours affect those around you or what have you created, achieved or done that have affected others? What influence have others had on you? Think of your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, can you identify family traditions, beliefs or behaviours that have been passed down the generations?

In the words of American Psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom “the effect we have on other people is in turn passed on to others, much as the ripples in a pond go on and on until they are no longer visible but continuing at a nano level.”

With this in mind think of the teachers and their pupils and how their lessons are passed on, the work of doctors and nurses on patients, aid workers in war torn countries; positive ripples in a pond.

But what if the ripples aren’t positive ones and the effects negative? These negative ripples for example may be as a result of being bullied at school or in your workplace which may have impacted your self-esteem or led to anxiety or depression.

The ripples of abuse of any form will continue on and on which may have led to self-harm, addictions or difficulty trusting others to name just a few. There may be areas in your life that you feel you want to work on that may be impacting others such as dealing better with stress or anger or working on a relationship. The ripples do go on but we do have the ability to influence how they continue.