Mirroring body language is a way to bond and to build understanding. It is a powerful tool that we use instinctively without even being aware of it.
The most obvious forms of mirroring are yawning and smiling.
When you see someone yawn, or even if you just read the word “yawn”, you are likely to yawn immediately or during the next 30 seconds.
Smiling is also contagious – seeing a smiling person makes you want to smile too, and as a result, you will feel better, even if you were not feeling particularly happy in the beginning.
According to some scientists, there is a neuron that affects the part of the brain that is responsible for the recognition of faces and facial expressions.
This neuron causes the ‘mirroring’ reaction when you see smiling or frowning faces. In other words, it causes you to copy facial expressions that you see on others.
Mirroring body language is a non-verbal way to say, ‘I am like you, I feel the same’.
The synchronicity of the crowd at the rock concerts and parades gives a secure feeling of belonging to each participant.
Research shows that people who experience the same emotions are likely to experience mutual trust, connection, and understanding.
They will also begin to match facial expressions and body language.
In other words, they will subconsciously mirror each other.
When people say that the vibes are right around a particular person, they refer to mirroring and synchronous behavior that they are not consciously aware of.
And this is the reason why playing background music during a romantic date is such an effective tool – it brings the two people to the same wave-length.
It is worthy of mentioning that if you intentionally assume a specific body position that is characteristic to a particular emotional state, you will start to experience the feelings connected with this state.
A good example of this is feeling happy after forcing yourself to smile.
Also, if you assume a body language position that displays confidence, you will start feeling confident, even if you didn’t feel so initially.
One example of confident body language is the Steeple gesture – a gesture commonly used by a seated person during a conversation, where fingertips of both hands are connected and pressed against each other.
If you do this, you will notice that you start feeling more confident about what you say.
This is the reason why mirroring body language makes people feel understood. When people see you mirroring them, they get a message that you feel what they feel.
Many women have the natural ability to pick up and interpret body signals.
Therefore, it is not surprising that a woman is more likely to mirror another woman than a man is to mirror another man.
Quite often, women imitate each other’s body language and facial expressions to the point that it may seem that the situations or events they are talking about are happening to both of them.
On a side note, men who are able to do this when talking to women are often described as caring, intelligent, and attractive.
Men, however, generally prefer to hide their feelings behind an emotionless mask that allows them to feel in control of the situation.
It doesn’t mean that they don’t experience emotions, however. Brain scans reveal that men feel emotions as strongly as women, yet they prefer to stay in control.
The key to mirroring a man is knowing that most men don’t use their faces to express their attitudes; instead, they use their bodies.
If you are a woman, you don’t need to mirror the man’s emotionless mask. However, you need to reduce your facial expressions.
Do not try to mirror what you think he is feeling, because if you get it wrong, he might think you are silly.
In business situations, having a serious look on your face is preferable. People will probably perceive you as an intelligent person who they can trust.
Mirroring body language and facial expressions are just one part of a much bigger story.
People also mirror voices, intonations, and accents.
Doing so, along with mirroring body language and facial expressions, helps to build understanding and trust.
Do not speak faster than the other person – this makes them feel pressured.
The best idea is to speak at the same pace or at a slightly slower pace than your companion.
While mirroring body language gains you acceptance, you still need to take into consideration your relationship with the person you are mirroring.
If you are in a subordinate position and are mirroring the dominant body language of your boss, he will view you as arrogant.
On the other hand, if you want to intimidate those who are trying to prove superior, mirroring their body language will help disarm them and change their position.
Mirroring body language is an excellent way to build trust and understanding quickly.
If you want to establish a connection with a new person, mirror his or her posture, gestures, sitting position, tone of voice, and talking pace.
It will make them feel that there is something about you that they like.
The reason for that is that they will see their own reflection in you.
Finally, never mirror the other person’s negative body language, or you will give off a rather negative vibe.
Would you like to build instant rapport with almost everyone you meet? Then try this.