How Mirroring Can Inspire Introspection
Written by Noemie Akridge
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” - Carl Jung
Mirroring is a complex but infinitely inspirational process. Mirroring is when one person subconsciously or consciously reflects back the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. It can be used as a tool to work on one’s own soul. It is also a door to introspection and a key accessing new knowledge about ourselves. Simply said, through observing how others behave we can learn about ourselves and vice versa. Whether we are mirrors to others or are learning from the mirror that the other is providing for ourselves, we are constantly learning and teaching. It is a never-ending journey with many secrets and layers to uncover towards our eternal truth and inner self. Are you ready to dig deeper?
What is mirroring?
Everyone is a mirror. A mirror for yourself and a mirror for someone else. Embracing this and applying it in our daily relationships can positively influence and transform our lives. Becoming aware of mirroring can also help to deepen your relationships through uncovering the true feelings within. Mirroring, done consciously, can lead to better communication with those you love.
Mirroring can allow us to see, through the reflection of others, the best and also the worst about ourselves. Whether it is in the way we perceive them or in the way they perceive us, every interaction provides an opportunity to understand ourselves better each day and practice introspection in a more comprehensive way.
What can mirrors reflect?
Our “mirrors” are people in our lives who reflect a range of emotions, thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and actions. They do this by expressing things that we ourselves also have inside. As such, they will sometimes make us see things about ourselves, about the true selves that we had never noticed before or were unwilling to see. They are a tool for introspection like none other because they will teach perpetually if you are ready to receive the reflections. Here are some examples of what “mirrors” can reflect in you :
Behaviors enhanced with a magnifier
A true sense of pride
Hidden messages of your heart
Healing or Balancing signals
Character flaws or redeeming qualities
Neutral perspectives on present events
Mirroring in relationships
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” - Carl Jung
This quote is actually an accurate definition of what mirroring relationships can do best. However, there are also a lot of things that can go wrong when mirroring in relationships lead to destructive mindsets like comparison, self-blame or growing insecurities. To avoid relationship pitfalls, take the best out of the mirroring concept and make it a positive and constructive experience for yourself and others.
Compassion and acknowledgment are two essential tools in this quest. Trying to accept a person as unique and complete, just as the person is with everything that comes with her/him is paramount. You can start by applying this concept to yourself and spread this compassion and understanding around you. Acknowledge all the traits composing your true self.
Own yourself and your truth, take responsibility for who you are and if needed, work on the things you want to improve about yourself to feel more at peace.
Putting introspection into perspective
As a result of mirroring for ourselves or others, we will sometimes be confronted with personalities that challenge our own principles or feelings. Each and every one of us will inevitably meet people who will make us feel ill-at-ease, uncomfortable, unstable or trigger us to react in ways that do not reflect our true self.
However, as difficult as it is to believe, being confronted with these types of encounters or situations is an amazing opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Shifting our perspective and acknowledging the person in front of us or the situation as a teacher showing us important lessons and knowledge about ourselves and life is an incommensurable step into introspection. This acceptance means moving towards healing, reconstructing ourselves or opening up to new feelings and perspectives.
When you adjust your feelings and mindset according to what you are learning, the mirrors will shift and sometimes, new mirrors will enter our lives and challenge us again to dig deeper. After all, practice makes progress.
Being a mirror for others
Serving as a mirror for others is one of the greatest gifts we have to contribute to another’s development and journey towards their inner-self. Whether it is conscious or not, we always mirror feelings to someone when we interact. In our lifetime, through this long journey of self-discovery, we are both students and professors. Evidently, it is hard to sit down and ask ourselves what we are teaching others through our words and actions every day. This can be the downside of mirroring but also a way for us to practice being authentic to our truest self, in the most practical sense. For example, active listening is a practice that can help us serve as mirrors for others while not letting our own experiences and egos get in the way of the exchange.It is a way of really giving your full attention to the person you are communicating with and often results in a greater sense of connection for both people.
Also remember to focus on your own emotions and treat yourself with some alone time to dig deeper inside these feelings. Self-care practices can enhance the process of self-inquiry. Try daily meditation, even for five to ten minutes or journaling about your current feelings and accomplishments. Mirroring is a gift that can guide you to introspection and inspire you to discover your inner-self. Embrace the process.