Mirroring and Body Language

It has been observed that people who live together, or have been married for sometime look very similar. Well, in a very strict sense, a person's physical features do not change in order to look like their spouse. At least we don't know about that for a fact. What is for sure is that two such people's behaviors are very similar. Fact has it that humans constantly try to imitate others, for varied reasons.

Whether they are trying to conform to a given setting or just trying to please another person, it all depends on the circumstances. The act of imitating another person's actions or behavior is what we refer to as mirroring body language. It is actually a very interesting trait in human beings everywhere.

Mirror Mirror…

When any two people are having a conversation, you can tell that they are in agreement even without listening to what they are saying. All you have to do is watch their movements and gestures, and you will know. These people will tend to have the same sitting or standing posture, or at least very similar postures. They will also seem to be doing the same things simultaneously. If, for example, they are each holding a cup of coffee, they will be sipping the coffee almost simultaneously. It sounds strange, but very true. This includes very little and seemingly insignificant actions like touching one's head. If one person looks in a certain direction, the other person automatically looks in that direction too.

Have you ever noticed a group of friends who walk into a restaurant and all have the same food? It is all perhaps an indication of how much in agreement these people are, or how much they influence each others lives. It all starts with one of them asking another, “what will you eat today?” More importantly though, this reflects the influence that friends on each other.And it does not end there. Friends will seem to have the same kind of clothes, hairstyles and even shoes.

A clue to influence?

Mirroring also reflects the amount of influence a person has over their peers. When watching two or more people in a conversation, find out who is the first one to do something. If the same person makes two moves and is followed or copied by the others, then this is probably the dominant person in the conversation. They may either be in control due to their personality(the whole group loves them), or it could be that they have a higher status, or are more powerful. Also take a keen note of the speed at which the person is copied, especially in rather important actions. If for example a person orders food and their friend or friends quickly order the same, it either means that this person is very influential, or that the others are relatively new to the place and depend on his judgment.If, on the other hand, people are a little slow to copy this person, then they probably doubt this person's judgment from previous experiences, and they only imitate them because they can't make up their minds fast enough.

It is the same thing that happens when one yawns. If a person yawns in a public place, like in a lift, several people will automatically follow suit. It means that you all share something, sub-consciously, and not that you are all hungry.

Mirroring is an art that some people have perfected. When you talk to some people, they tend to adapt very quickly to your style of talking as well as your gestures. If you use a certain slang, they quickly try to use it in their conversation too. It is very natural sometimes to meet someone with whom you are very similar in a number of ways, and it makes you very comfortable around them.However, you need to be very careful about people with whom you seem to get along very well the first time. Chances are these might be very cunning people, or even con men.They study and copy your mirroring body language very fast and make you feel comfortable when in fact they are thinking of ways to con you.Look for signs of this in the person's other gestures, and in their eyes too,so that you don't fall prey to con men.

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