- By Michael Jason Sherman, MA
Why Mirroring is So Important
You ever find yourself in this situation?
You ask a friend, “Hey man, I went on this great hike. Can I tell you about it?” And your friend says, “Oh man, I went on this great hike, too. We went up to the top and had this great view. Oh man. It was so cool. Anyway, hungry? There’s Thai somewhere.”
Situations like this happen to all of us. We want to be heard and wind up getting spoken to. And it’s really an epidemic in our society that we don’t know how to receive another person. Nor how to be received.
That’s why the practice of Mirroring is so important.
Mirroring Communication is a practice that involves doing something crazy. Totally insane. Get this. One person asks to send a message, and the other says, “I’ll receive.” And the sender sends the message. And the receiver says, this is what I heard you say. And repeats it back.
Whoever would have thought it could be that easy to be understood?
Well, actually, it started with Dr. Harville Hendrix, who developed a theory and therapy style called Imago, the latin word for mirror. He wrote a book called Getting the Love You Want: A guide for couples. But what I have seen is that mirroring as a practice—think Tai Chi, but with listening and communication—then we’re simply working with energy by hearing what the person has to say.
Yes it’s that easy.
Mirroring as a practice leads to the development of a muscle that makes just about anyone you interact with feel heard. It puts you in a place as a loving, honest presence, who simply likes connecting, and especially—interacting with you. You learn it so that you can see people as is instantly, and that is as much a fascinating joy for you as it is soothing and validating for them.
It is a worthy practice. But it also is so super uplifting to feel the ease of being you—and being seen as is. I teach The Power of Mirroring as an ongoing drop in free class every Thursday at noon in Eureka, at The Connection, the holistic space associated with the soon to open second HPRC dispensary on 4th and F. I hope to see you there.
Michael is the author of The Zen of Solo Travel: A Journey from Anxiety to Enlightenment. Check out his book at http://www.thezenofsolotravel.com.