If spent a whole weekend together with my friends I would probably come back to work with some new personality traits when it comes to either my body language, choice of words or talking pace. I have realised that I’m a real parrot when it comes to friends and if I have been with someone for an intense period of time I’m most likely to copy some of my friend’s behaviour and personality traits.
A weekend with Maria makes me walk with my hands intertwined on my back or an intense work week with Linn makes me use hand gestures to a greater extent and perhaps I will skip a little when I walk. Sometimes I feel I don’t have any traits of my own, ergo my parrot-like behaviour. Luckily when I hear my friend Alma copy my Eddie-Murphy laugh I know I got some for others to absorb.
This behaviour is called mirroring and is a non-verbal way to say “I like you, I feel the same”. People who mirror other people may not be as obvious as me but it’s a common behaviour amongst us all and we do it subconsciously. Smile – smile, frown – frown. You get the deal.
Did you know that there is a concept called “Dancing brains”? In my opinion the sincerest form of mirroring. I read about it in the book “Choose right – A guide to great decisions*” by Katarina Gospic and she describes it as when two people are connected and close, their mirror neurones dances with each other. Like a cobra who follow the snake-charmers flute, as she puts it, people can be in crazy harmony flawlessly following each other’s movements with their bodies and minds. It’s kind of a beautiful thought how our brains dance together when we feel connected.
I don’t know about you but I feel like dancing after writing this.
* The Swedish title: Välj rätt – En guide till bra beslut, Katarina Gospic. A great read about our amazing brains. She makes brain science sound like child play.