There's nothing worse than being with someone and knowing
you're just not "connecting." The technique of "Mirroring"
can solve that problem. It's so easy, though, and sounds so
simplistic, that you'll never believe how effective it is
until you understand the principle behind it.
The Principle Behind Mirroring
The principle is a fact of human nature: people tend to
trust other people who are like them and mistrust people who
seem different. That is why there is so much prejudice in
the world. Ancient echoes, perhaps, of when our own tribe
meant safety and a strange face meant danger.
Most of us try hard to rise above this tendency, but if
you've just met someone you really like, should you force
them to work hard at trusting you or should you make it easy
for them? Trust is the most important basis for a good
relationship. If you use mirroring, the person you're
attracted to will feel instinctively that you can be
Actually, we employ mirroring in business almost without
thinking about it: only a Kamikazi salesperson would walk
into IBM wearing a brown suit; you just know
you'll do better at "Big Blue" if you wear a blue suit.
What you're doing is a simple form of mirroring. When you
mirror the blue-suiters at IBM, their first instinct is to
The ancient instincts that cause us to trust or not trust
start to relax if the stranger is dressed like the rest of
the tribe, but these instincts aren't fully satisfied until
they get a sense of the stranger's purpose (a friendly visit
or a murderous raid).
In modern society, these instincts are still pretty good at
sensing whether or not someone's "in sync" with you. If
not, alarms go off and barriers go up at some deep
subconcious level. If the person appears to be in sync, you
sense a vague but important state of agreement with them,
barriers fall, and you "connect."
How Mirroring Works
How do you make someone feel you're "in sync" with them? By
mirroring not just what they're wearing, but also their body
posture and rhythms. For example, say you're having coffee
with someone and they're sitting forward, talking intensely
about something. You can gain instant rapport if you mirror
them by also sitting forward and listening intensely.
On the other hand, if you keep leaning back with one arm
over the back of your chair, your "body language" signals
that you disagree that this is an intense subject. Or that
you're not really listening or you don't care. And their
instinct, like some primal computer that can't be turned
off, starts to beep, "Do not trust. Not a friend. Possible
enemy." All because you feel relaxed, (or perhaps because
it's your "style" to always look cool and relaxed).
And the truth of the situation? Ok, perhaps you really were
feeling mellow and relaxed at the beginning of the conver-
sation. But if this person's a true friend, and you're
really listening, how could you not share their intensity?
How could you not be drawn out of your relaxed state and
lean forward, look at your friend seriously and nod your
agreement and support?
While the blue suit at IBM example sounds pretty superficial
at first, this last example hints at the true depth and
validity of mirroring.
Why Mirroring Works
Have you ever noticed that couples who've been together
happily for a long time tend to dress alike and even adopt
the same body posture? They mirror each other without even
thinking about it because they're totally in "in sync" and
deeply in love. What's amazing is that the reverse happens
just as often -- mirroring helps create true love. Here's
why it works so well:
- You can't mirror someone if you're self-absorbed.
You must pay attention to the other person and observe
them carefully (an element missing in many people's
- If you mirror someone effectively, they can't help
feeling "in sync" with you, and they will instinctively
trust you -- the first, giant step toward love.
- While mirroring and getting "in sync" with someone
may start off as calculated and can even be intended as
manipulation, being "in sync" can't be faked for long; it
soon becomes true.
Ways Of Mirroring
Like wearing a blue suit to IBM, if you're attracted to
someone who wears jeans and you want them to trust you right
off, wear jeans. On the other hand, if you know she's a
dressy lady and you want her, don't show up in jeans. Dress
to kill and she'll be pleased that you both have the same
good taste; she'll feel comfortable and "in sync" with you
before you even say "hello."
Now that you understand how and why mirroring works, you can
apply it to all aspects of your interaction with someone.
Mirroring's amazing power for creating rapport goes way
beyond what you wear. Use body language to validate and
agree with someone, by standing or sitting like they do.
Mirror them by talking in the same rhythm. If you detect
that they have a particularly strong belief system and it's
not philosophically objectionable to you, reflect some of
those values in what you say to the person. You will create
a subliminal but compelling state of agreement with them.
Without really understanding why, they will get this strong
feeling that you are someone who is attentive, really on
their wavelength, and delightful to be with.
Of course, once you've "connected" with someone, mirroring
doesn't mean you have to continue following them. Once
you're both "in sync," you'll find yourself leading as often
as you're following.
Related Keywords: Love Strategies, Making Love Grow, Keeping Love Alive
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