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Mirroring is when one person unconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. It often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family. It can be a useful technique to build rapport.

Every single person in our life is our mirror. What this means is that others are simply reflecting our positive and negative qualities back to us, giving us an opportunity to really see ourselves and ultimately to grow.

When our interactions cause us to be upset or uncomfortable, it usually means there’s some aspect within us that needs to change. The stronger our reaction, the more likely we are judging some part of ourselves.

When we see wonderful parts of ourselves reflected in others we are delighted. However, when we see the negative parts, we can all too quickly believe it’s the other person’s problem. This is called projection.

Projection is a psychological defence mechanism, where we unconsciously transfer our desires and/or fears onto another person. It can play havoc in our relationships because it prevents us from being honest with ourselves and taking responsibility for our feelings and actions.

The person who pushes our buttons the most is our greatest teacher!

Task-IconClick audio and play quietly while you conduct this awareness exercise. Write your findings in your journal.
Think about someone you really like:
What are the qualities you like about them?
How do these qualities mirror you?

Now think about someone you have difficulty with or you’re angry with:
What is it about this person that bothers you?
How does this person mirror you?
How old do you feel?
Is there something within yourself you need to forgive?

Now think about your last two intimate relationships:
What were the major issues between you?
How did these issues remind you of your relationship with one or both of your parents?

If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?