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Do You Mirror Others and What's Your View on Such Behavior?

  • Never - I think it's positive when others mirror me

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mirroring is the behaviour in which one person copies another person usually while in social interaction with them. It may include miming gestures, movements, body language, muscle tensions, expressions, tones, eye movements, breathing, tempo, accent, attitude, choice of words/metaphors and other aspects of communication. It is often observed among couples or close friends.

Mirroring (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Explanations behind your vote would be greatly appreciated.



EDIT: I'm most interested in how people feel when they are or are noticing in others, mirroring leaning more toward very noticeable changes in a persons words, attitudes and behaviors.
 
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My attitude and wording changes a little bit around certain friends. Nothing that goes against my values though. Usually variants are on formal/sill side.

Also, I am not sure if this is part of it but... yawning and itching (or mentioning being tired/ itch related things) from someone can cause me to want to yawn or itch as well. Just thought I would throw that out there. :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm most interested in how people feel when they are or are noticing in others, mirroring leaning more toward very noticeable changes in a persons words, attitudes and behaviors.
 

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I do mirror people sometimes when talking to them. I definitely know I mirror people's expressions like smiling when they smile or frowning when they do, but I don't really mirror what they say, like if someone talks a sort of way like with slang, I most likely wouldn't do the same.
 

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I mirror others quite often, whether it's my close friends or people I have just met. If I come across a quieter person, I will speak softly, use non-threatening body language, and give them encouraging smiles. I generally change my energy level to meet theirs. I mimic accents sometimes. I've accidentally used a Midwestern accent when talking to someone who had one. When speaking to my Filipino father, I mimic his fractured English. When trying to explain something to a friend, I use phrases that they use because I know they'll understand it.

I pick up phrases from my friends and use them completely naturally, without realizing I've stolen it from them. I saw one of my friends slap her hand on the table during a joke, and I accidentally did it for a few weeks. My speech pattern changed to 90's slang (not sure how to describe it) when I became obsessed with a TV show (Buffy). I no longer watch the show as I did, and I haven't spoken like that in a long time.

It's usually positive because people feel comfortable around me, but I don't know how I feel about being so easily influenced. I've been taken aback by it on more than one occasion. I tend to be very physically expressive, so I'd like to have some modicum of control over my own body. It kind of has a mind of its own, though :/

I don't know if this qualifies for the subject, but I have also mirrored attitudes/ideals before. I did it more when I was younger and impressionable, but I was so so easily influenced. Maybe it all ties in?
 

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I actively and consciously try to mirror the people I'm talking to. Habit I picked up from NLP. It's a natural behavior that occurs when people have sympathies for eachother and are building rapport. It can, like most physiological manifestations of your psychology, be reversed too. Ergo, adequate mirroring increases sympathy between two people.

And yes it happens subconsciously. Mirroring is not fucking mimicking the other person, and you won't notice it when it happens in a natural way, unless someone is pointing it out to you or you are actively looking for it. When one's intentionally mirroring you, that's a different thing, since there's always the possibility the other person will overdo it. So far, I heard no complaints though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
And yes it happens subconsciously. Mirroring is not fucking mimicking the other person, and you won't notice it when it happens in a natural way, unless someone is pointing it out to you or you are actively looking for it. When one's intentionally mirroring you, that's a different thing, since there's always the possibility the other person will overdo it. So far, I heard no complaints though.

I was under the impression that mirroring could mean either an intentional or an unintentional activity. I'd even go so far as to suggest that some people's entire personality can seem to change to mimic others consciously and/or unconsciously.
 

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I was under the impression that mirroring could mean either an intentional or an unintentional activities. I'd even go so far as to suggest that some people's entire personality can seem to change to mimic others consciously and/or unconsciously.
Yeah. In high school, I felt as though I was at least 5 different people. I was someone else for every social group. It's like I would play up situationally favorable parts of my self while suppressing others. It could be exhausting, at times.

I've done a lot of soul-searching since then, though, and managed to make the different "people" within myself more similar. I still do it, but not as much. Ideally, I will find people who I don't feel the need to do this with.
 

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I'm most interested in how people feel when they are or are noticing in others, mirroring leaning more toward very noticeable changes in a persons words, attitudes and behaviors.
I think when it is positive, or neutral, I don't really catch on that I am doing it. Only in hindsight do I realize I can do such things in certain situations. As for the negative times (negative to me), such as itching when others itch... or yawn when others yawn. I get a little annoyed and frustrated. Not only do I realize that I am doing it, the feeling that I need to itch, or yawn spawns within me. So, I can't really resist even though I want too! Of course, if this example doesn't apply to this thread, please ignore it :proud:

My Best friend mirrors me sometimes. I find it funny. As an example, I will sit on one of my feet and see how long it takes him to start doing something similar/same. I will then do something else, and see how long it takes for him to follow suit. Kind of messed up... I know. :tongue:
 

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Only when I find it necessary (ie. in order to properly function at a job or particular social situation) or when I wish to learn something specific from a certain person or situation (ie. see what the reaction will be like). It would be necessary sometimes to be around certain people I knew or had to work with and was never anything I did with a malicious intention.

Periodically through life I've found myself subconsciously picking up a few mannerisms or phrases my associates might use, but I think just about everyone does that to some degree or another, and it was never anything that would really have any affect on me.

I've noticed it quite frequently in other people - knowingly or unknowingly attempting to stitch themselves a suit made up of the personality and ethos of whomever they are currently best friends with, dating, working with, etc. To me it just reeks of insecurity and the lack of having no identity of their own.
 

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Subjective as my view may be, I find that despite that my defenses rest on being underestimated through submitting to the will of others to slip through the harshness of life, my most often unrivaled strength of character doesn't go unnoticed for long. I have no problems mimicking the protocols of others, for fun, gain, or study, I tend to do so very often, especially when speaking English with people except if their accents are too far from those I have available.

Promethea suggested manipulative intents playing a role in mirroring behavior, or rather mirroring the expected response. I suppose that goes for me in some cases, though when I touch people for more reasons than mere informations, and while I can be very sneaky in getting my way through subtlety, I don't like taking without giving, and I always strive to return more than I take. I see no shame admitting I can be senselessly manipulating or persuasive to the point where people are well aware of it, yet making their knowledge a part of the play. Especially people who come to me for emotional support and personal demon treatment, although I throughly mention to each and every one that I am a person still despite near infinite room for the misery of others, and that they should always think about all the things I suggest them before following them. At times I know I make decisions for troubled souls without asking them first, and I use my intellectual skills and understanding of their way of thinking to get things to play out my way, often by asking at the time odd questions. However, it's always what I believe is in the best interest of the person I communicate with, always to show them new sides of life or themselves, to strengthen them, or to explain another point. But then again, when spending my time on lost souls, I mirror them only early, most often it ends up being an even mix of picking up one another's quirks.

But as for most interaction, I do what is expected when I am not very relaxed. I don't see it as a bad thing. I'm very well aware of my own ways, mirroring simply makes my everyday interactions so much easier, so I find it worth it to suppress my current feelings in order to play my part as it is expected. There's plenty of time to show myself to people who dare to scratch my surface.

Edit: My point is that I believe I have a strong personality, to the point where I don't feel the least bit threatened by having to play my role in life. Moreover I'm very very fond of covert play, so I can easily keep up my appearance and still be true to my goals.

I was under the impression that mirroring could mean either an intentional or an unintentional activities. I'd even go so far as to suggest that some people's entire personality can seem to change to mimic others consciously and/or unconsciously.
I think a fair bit of changing or adapting personality is called social interaction. If people's social appearances were set in stone, life would be quite dull.
 
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Mirroring someone's gestures is a good way to manipulate someone into agreement when debating. When you act the same the person gets a notion you think the same and agrees with you without paying much attention to the meaning behind the words. I noticed this during college debates, one dude was doing it all the time and was winning without exception. It's almost like hypnotising. :confused: Then I told it to my teammate and he destroyed him by mentioning his behavior out loud during their conversation. lol Good times.

I wanted to mention this since I see this happen even in everyday situations when there's a strong issue being discussed and someone's trying to take control as the mind of the group. It almost comes natural to some while others are even aware of it and do it nevertheless. Very dishonest and machiavelistic imo. Try not to fall in this simple trap especially if you have a competitive job.

I don't do it, but I see people mimic my voice intonation often when talking with me lol.

EDIT: Ah damn Shorttail covered the manipulation part. xD
 

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I probably do mirror quite often subconsciously. I think my sense of "self" is something that is ever-changing, so I'm constantly trying to adapt to whatever seems best for the situation, or makes me look the most appealing to the people around me.

As with anything, this sort of behavior can be good or bad, depending on the context.
 

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Personally I find it unnerving.. When I get to know someone, I want to see them as how they really are. I need to see the flaws, the quirks. If they mirror me, my impression is they don't have a personality of their own. They're 'sheep' and I don't know what to say or do with a person like this. I can't ask them questions, they'll answer me with what they think I want to hear or they'll say any random thing or agree with me. "Well what do you like?" they ask in response. I've also noticed from my experiences, that they often have an instability, a hostile side underneath... there is something that scares me about them. Anyway you can't trust someone who changes so much according to whomever's with them I think?

But I can understand when it's used for something positive. Definitely there is a lot of people out there who would rather other people act like them. So it does work in many cases. I prefer not to do it myself. But I also have a hard time doing it if I have to.. Seems to take quite a bit of energy. If I had to, I'd do better doing it in order to connect with someone than to manipulate them.

When I was a child, I admit I was impressionable. I'd mimic friends I admired, but I don't do it anymore. I think it can be offensive. Especially in the case of artist types, individuality is very important and I feel I am invading their privacy or taking something precious from them when I do it. If I copy their style, etc... Even when I see something they do that I like, I deliberately cut myself off from it and find something else when I'm alone, uninfluenced.
But since I was young, this was not as huge an issue as compared to others mirroring me. I've been the target of this for as long as I can remember. I'm often used as a "source", for ideas, for likes/dislikes, etc. These people who do it are not even friends with me, they just watch me and take my actions, ideas etc as their own. Mostly they use it to socialize with other people, rather than something to develop their own personality.
 

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Personally I find it unnerving.. When I get to know someone, I want to see them as how they really are. I need to see the flaws, the quirks. If they mirror me, my impression is they don't have a personality of their own. They're 'sheep' and I don't know what to say or do with a person like this. I can't ask them questions, they'll answer me with what they think I want to hear or they'll say any random thing or agree with me. "Well what do you like?" they ask in response. I've also noticed from my experiences, that they often have an instability, a hostile side underneath... there is something that scares me about them. Anyway you can't trust someone who changes so much according to whomever's with them I think?
I feel very flattered when someone actually bothers to mimic or study my behavior. And I only found it to be annoying a few times in my life, and usually in everyday settings I ask them a ton of non-obvious questions to either throw them off or test how skilled they are at perceiving my nature. Maybe this just doesn't happen often enough for me to be bothered by.
 

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I often "mirror" people's behaviour, their style of conversation and even their mood. I personally find it as a positive and invaluable asset since it helps me adapt to various situations. I'm not very good with people, so this really is helpful, I build friendships faster and generally come off as a likeable person to those who are nice to me. If I see an extrovert, I'll try and blabber more, but if I'm with an introvert, I'll be a lot more silent.
 
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