This topic has come about so frequently with clients and in my own life over the past few weeks that it felt like a great topic to write about. This subject of mirroring is not a simple process to understand however it can be very powerful. In the big picture, I always say that “we do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are!” This means that we interpret our outer experiences from the perspective that we hold at any given time. If we wake up one morning over-tired and not in a great mood, the experiences of our day seem to reflect that mood that we hold! As Abraham would say:, “The worse it gets, the worse it gets!!” Thankfully, the opposite is true too:, “The better it gets, the better it gets!
Where it gets tricky is in our personal and intimate relationships. The mirroring behaviour can look very different between two people and yet come from the same underlying needs or perspective. Let me provide a personal example of this. I remember a time that my husband was extremely busy with work commitments and he was going full out dealing with many challenges in his company. He is not one to talk much about work issues once he gets home because he doesn’t want to relive the frustration and he doesn’t think I would care or understand fully what he is going through. However, his behaviour at home is definitely affected by what is going on during his day and so he gets withdrawn and intense. Sometimes his language can be quite judgmental. So, I am only responding from what I see and experience at home and wonder why he is getting so withdrawn. I guess that things are intense at work and try to make the home environment more soothing by stepping up the nice meals, the house responsibilities etc. When things don’t shift in a timely way and there is no acknowledgement of the extra effort I am putting in, I begin to withdraw and get irritated.
The last time this happened, I noticed my unhappy mood and decided to go deeper than saying it was because my husband was in a negative space. I asked myself what need was not being met for me? It was the simple acknowledgement that what I was doing mattered.
Ahhh – if we mirror each other, then that is what he must be looking for as well!!
Of course the suppliers and people he was dealing with in his business were not supplying that for him and I hadn’t done that because I was dealing with it my own way. So that night, I acknowledged him…thanking him for being such a great provider for our family and having the dedication it takes to run a growing business. I could see him relax with the authentic appreciation and he immediately said to me that he could never do it if I wasn’t here making home such a special place to return to after a tough day! Well – let’s just say we both got what we needed!!
So, when you run into challenging interactions with someone you are close to, then it may be very valuable to take the time to see how you may be mirroring the same unmet need underneath all the behaviour! As I say, this has surfaced so much lately in my practice that it warranted some sharing.
Does this resonate with you? Share your thoughts with me. I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,