Enthusiasm affects us in different ways.

It gives us energy, it makes us blind to roadblocks, it makes us immune to negative criticism and it gives us courage to drive forward through dark, narrow, frightening alleys.

As long as the enthusiasm is our own.

What does others’ enthusiasm do to us?

It inspires us, no doubt. Enthusiasm is contagious. We see a person bouncing up and down in excitement, we are tempted to shake our head a little to their rhythm. The fire spreads to us, and we are motivated too. If they can do so much, why can’t I try a little harder?

Often, it irritates us. The world is a dark and gloomy place, and this person is bursting with energy? Why can’t they shut the hell up? (No we aren’t kind, in those moments.) Are they trying to show off? Impress someone? Annoying.

But sometimes it depresses us. There is so much energy in the world, everyone is drinking from it. I am the only one, we think, drowning in misery. (We love those kinds of phrases when we are sad – drowning in misery.) We wish to run away from the enthusiastic lot and revel in our grief.

Tomorrow, when we are the ones bouncing up and down, we fail to see the indifference and discomfort in the eyes of the others around us. Because, enthusiasm also blinds us to the misery of others.