Mirroring for Good and for Evil

There is a powerful communication tool that goes beyond modelling and education. This is called mirroring and we use it in a variety of ways. Children learn to smile and express joy from a young age when their parents smile at them communicating love and connection. Goodness is expressed and the child integrates this as that is part of themselves. Love radiates. As adults, if we have good communication skills, we connect and show interest in others by listening, asking questions and responding with empathy. But mirroring goes beyond this. Mirroring is reflecting energetically a loving connection. You are connecting with the other’s deepest self. It is challenging to do when the other person is unable to reflect back. Intimacy is created when both people mirror each other. But it can also be used as a therapeutic tool to help others. On the other side of goodness there is the other extreme of people using mirroring to manipulate and control others. The person mirrors and creates a sense of emotional space and interest that makes the other person feel understood and cared about, and they feel special with this person. It meets such an innate need for connection in a world. And it feels loving. And for anyone who has had to survive on less than the necessary amount of love in their family of origin, the pull can be strong. People who have always had healthy relationships will be less likely to fall prey to this kind of deceit. But once someone has hooked into your essential self, they will be able to use mirroring to meet their own needs. This becomes very confusing to the person who has given their trust to the other person because they felt so connected. But a telltale sign of this form of manipulation is the lack of consistency between word and action. Things don’t make sense. Trust yourself first. People with good intentions do not create doubt and confusion. Their actions are consistent with their words. They may not know how to mirror you in a way that makes you feel so unique and special in the world, but they are REAL.

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