You can die from someone else's misery—emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

The infector possesses an inward instability that radiates outward drawing disaster to all that they touch. Marie Gilbert A.K.A Lola Montez of Ireland was one such person. Lola found herself in the role of a courtesan (prostitute of the royal court). In today’s society Lola would be considered a gold-digger. She only sought out men with high social standing in the community that she could use for her own gain.

Once she would have her hooks in these men, their slow demise began. One of her victims was king Ludwig of Bavaria, who felt compelled to help Lola yet once he was warned of the dangers of his affair with her, he could not seem to resist Lola’s aura and almost found his once peaceful country in a state of civil war. It was not until then that the king finally ordered Lola to leave but a month after she left King Ludwig was forced to relinquish his throne.

There are many men who suffered because of their association with Lola Montez.

King Ludwig said that he was “bewitched” by Lola. Lola was an unstable, incurable and infectious character type. This is not to say that these characteristics are only restricted to women, this is to say that there are some people whose emotions are so powerful that they infect the very soul of the people that they touch.

How to Recognize an Infector

1. They draw misfortune upon themselves.

2. They have a turbulent past.

3. They have a long line of broken relationships.

4. They have an unstable career.

5. They have a forceful character that sweeps you up and makes you lose reason.

6. They have a desire to destroy and unsettle and is chronically dissatisfied.

7. Look at the effect that they have on the world around them.

What to Do When You Meet an Infector

1. Don’t argue with them, this is part of how they trap you.

2. Don’t try to help them no matter what they say.

3. Don’t pass the person onto your friends or you will become enmeshed.

4. Flee the infector's presence or suffer the consequences.

Learn To Fear the Power of Infection

The risk of associating with infectors is that you will waste valuable time and energy trying to free yourself. Through a kind of guilt by association, you will also suffer in the eyes of others.

On the other side of the spectrum of infectors are those people who attract happiness through their good cheer, natural buoyancy, and intelligence. They are a source of plea-sure, and you must associate with them to share in the prosperity they draw upon themselves. All positive qualities can infect us, but taking advantage of the emotional side of this osmosis may be difficult.

5 Ways to Affect Positive Change through Your Associations

1. If you are miserly by nature, associate with the generous and they will infect you, opening up everything that is tight and restricted in you. Only generous souls attain greatness.

2. If you are gloomy, gravitate to the cheerful.

3. If you are prone to isolation, force yourself to befriend the gregarious.

4. Never associate with those who share your defects—they will reinforce everything that holds you back.

5. Only create associations with positive affinities.

Your rule for life…

Recognize the fortunate so that you may choose their company and the unfortunate so that you may avoid them. Misfortune is usually the crime of folly, and among those who suffer from it there is no malady more contagious: Never open your door to the least of misfortunes, for, if you do, many others will follow in its train… Do not die of another's misery. (Baltasar Gracian, 1601-1658)

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