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What is Behavior Mirroring? When should I use it?

What is Behavior Mirroring and when should I use it?Image of the article titled

Photo: Zivica Kerkez ((((Shutterstock).

The next time you have a deep conversation with someone, whether it’s a platonic, romantic, or business interaction, keep the following in mind: Are you sitting or standing in a similar position? Is your voice speaking at the same volume? Do your arms and hands do the same?

If so, one of you may be (consciously or unconsciously) engaged in an action known as mirroring. This psychological technique, also known as the “chameleon effect,” is tactically used by professional network personnel and sales personnel, and unknowingly by everyone else, to form strong connections and among people. Increases the sense of trust.

What is mirroring?

Scientifically known as “limbic synchrony,” mirroring establishes relationships of trust, gains trust, and fosters deeper connections with others’ body language, speech patterns, and facial expressions. In some cases, it is an act that even imitates the appearance. It can be used intentionally, but it is unintentionally done as an evolutionary by-product of the need for affiliation in professions that need to gain the trust of others, such as sales, negotiation, treatment and police investigations. Often.As they say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery (and it is canUnless you try something creepy Deadly charm Make the territory, the people you are imitating, like you. )

In reality, there are different forms of mirroring. In couple therapy, a partner may be encouraged to sit face-to-face, express emotions using an “I statement”, and repeat what the partner says verbatim (change only personal pronouns). This method of accurate language mirroring helps reflect the feelings of others until they feel they are fully listening and understanding. (It’s also good for toddlers.) And most importantly, instead of planning a counter-argument while the other person is speaking, force each partner to truly listen to what the other person is saying. Is to do.

In platonic or business interactions, mirroring appears to mimic the body language, speech, and facial expressions of the other person. If they sit down, you sit down. If they use sophisticated vocabulary, you will utilize your SAT word bank, once they start speaking louder or quieter, you will soften your voice to follow. At this point, you might think, “It sounds weird and can completely backfire.” And you will be right. But first, the benefits.

Does mirroring work?

according to Martha LauberChicago Private Practitioner Clinical Psychologist, Mirroring is the Best Way Resolve the argument. Not only do you need to listen rather than plan a counter-argument, but “everyone thinks the other person is the problem. Mirroring helps you understand that only half of the image is displayed. . ”

As reported by The Wall Street Journal,

“Researchers using brain imaging techniques in new ways have recently discovered that these shared behaviors go beyond simple imitation. Study listeners and speakers using functional MRI. A 2016 study co-authored by associate professor Uri Hasson found that the brains of speakers and listeners responded to each other to adapt and “dynamically connect”. I am saying. Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. Dr. Hasson likens this connection to a kind of wireless connection of the brain. “

The WSJ further states that in a social environment where collaboration is more useful than hostility (in most cases), “this kind of collaboration fosters intimacy and trust.”

What to do and what not to mirror

Mirroring is most effective when it is done in a subtle and unobtrusive way, with the goal of creating empathy and fostering genuine connections. Many will not be aware that it is happening, but others will be aware that it is happening and may be resentful of the tactics if adopted too bravely.

None of this will work without a base level of true engagement. So instead of copying everything that someone else does, it will be obvious and annoying, but aim for a more subtle approach based on the first relationship. First, we focus on establishing connections through traditional nonverbal cues such as eye contact, smiling faces, and face-to-face contact, and avoiding the fundamental sin of looking at a cell phone.

Once that foundation is established, see which of those speaking patterns, accents, word choices, expressions, hand gestures, and postures naturally come to you, and they on your side of the figurative table. To reproduce. Don’t speak in a fake English accent or sit in an awkward way that feels forced. Focus on the following small things: Change the pace and volume of your speech, cross or uncross your legs, and match expressions of happiness or surprise (if you’re good at speaking, you’ve already done so).

Do not mirror when feelings are high. When anger is flowing freely, it is not time to imitate the tone or facial expression of the other person. When it comes to problem solving, wait until your temperament cools before adopting mirroring.

The secret to effective mirroring is that your approach is not so obvious and cautious that it makes you feel stalked, desperate, or manipulated by others. But if subtly adopted, it is “Brain-to-brain connection“Cooperation, empathy, and trust.

What is Behavior Mirroring? When should I use it?

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