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Mirroring in simplest form is copying what someone else is doing while communicating with them. Observed in people exhibiting similar postures, gestures or voice tonality.
This copying or miming includes: Gestures; Movements; Body language ; Muscle tensions; Expressions; Tones; Eye movements; Breathing; Tempo; Accent (linguistics); Attitude (psychology); Choice of words; Metaphors, and; everything discernable in communication.
Mirroring happens very naturally when people are conversing. The listeners will typically smile or frown along with the speaker talking to them. If one person throws in sports metaphors, another person, who is in rapport and mirroring, will likely parry along similar lines.
Somewhat like a communication dance. There is matching as if in a dance, while having normal conversation. People do this naturally with their silent body language and spoken words.
When meeting people, if you display the same expression as they have, or mirror their expression, they will generally be much more friendly. You might see this related to the way a person accepts their own image when looking in a mirror.
Sub-areas[edit | edit source]
Crossover mirroring where match one person's movement is matched with another type of action, sound, or different movement.
Direct mirroring and facing right at people is intense. Used by lovers, people with high familiarity or interest in one-another such as opponents in a contest.
Postural Mirror-image mirroring where one person’s left side ‘matches’ the other person’s right side shows strong rapport and typically Affinity (sociology) or empathy and increasing your own synchronicity with someone can also smooth conversation.
Social Uses[edit | edit source]
Mirroring is common in social interactions and awareness of the process is a powerful way to influence other peoples behavior while maintaining your own position and intent.
If the person you are mirroring is stressed or unwell, you can mirror them with crossover mirroring. If they breath heavy, move your head slower, the reason for this is that mirroring someone closely will often cause you to feel their feelings.
The best rapport may be gained by mirroring not too exactly, but close enough so they get that comfortable feeling without feeling mocked.
Incongruency can be mirrored for rapport. If someone says Great but looks or sounds downtrodden, a mirroring reply would be to incongruently say "Good" with a similar down attitude like them.
Mirroring in psychotherapy[edit | edit source]
Mirroring in psychodrama[edit | edit source]
Summary[edit | edit source]
Also called Matching or Pacing, the extent to which you can match another person's behavior, both verbally and non-verbally, will increase rapport, and there are as many channels as your sensory ability can discriminate.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Eye contact
- Facial expression
- Interpersonal interaction
- Neuro-linguistic programming
- Nonverbal communication
- Mirror neurons
- Psychotherapeutic processes
- Self psychology
References[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
- Mirroring a tool for Rapport
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