See if this scenario doesn't sound familiar. You're in a great mood, relaxing in the backyard when your wife sits down next to you and starts talking about the issues a friend of hers is having with her husband. She is certainly upset about the issue and her being upset makes you upset.

Suddenly your care free attitude is now one of concern for either your wife or how  you're going to get the hell away from your wife. Her stress and anxiety has now been transferred to you much like a handshake with someone who has the flu can bring that malady into your life.

If you haven't figured it out, stress is not good for us. It can make us physically ill. So how can we avoid being sucked into another persons drama? LSU Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Michele Many  says this,

"Don't allow people to pull you into their storms, invite them into your calm,"

That means be empathetic to the other person's predicament but don't allow them to make their stress your stress.

"We are by nature empathetic and driven to support each other,so if we can sense each others stress levels and anxiety, we can be more responsive and supportive and helpful to each other,"

Professor Many made these remarks to the Louisiana Radio Network.

Obviously the lesson to be learned here is this. We all have stress. We all need a friendly ear from time to time. But just because you lend a friend an ear doesn't mean you have to invest your attitude and well being into their drama.