Something to *cough* Reflect On

Think about the last time you looked in a mirror. Maybe you were brushing your teeth, or combing your hair. Or maybe you were feeling so good you had to stop and take a peek.

Who did you see?

Maybe you just stopped for a split second, then said, “Me… what are you getting at, H?”

Well, believe it or not, your reflection is the key to better, deeper, more meaningful relationships with others.

But what does MY reflection have to do with other people?

A lot, actually.

There’s this thing called rapport, and it’s an extraordinarilyppowerful tool in building connections with people.

Rapport is created by a feeling of commonality. When we have something in common with someone, we feel more comfortable when they’re around. The more comfortable we feel, the more free we feel to enjoy ourselves. And the more we enjoy ourselves, the more llikely we are to enjoy the people we’re around. All because of rapport. See, I told ya it was a strong force…

And we each have the ability to harness that power. That person in the mirror–YOU–can weild that tool to create friendships, relationships and combat the divisions our world is experiencing. We sre, each, able to change the world, if we take the personal challenge to be that type of person.

Most of the time, we use words to build rapport.

This is done by asking questions, like, “Where are you from?” (but, please, stop asking terrible questions, like, “What do you do?”)

But words are only 7% of how we communicate. If words were graded on how well they communicate mood and feelings, they would have to go to after-school tutoring.

Ninety-three percent of who we are, and what we respond to, is nonverbal. And because we gravitate towards those like us, or those who are what we aspire to be, a great way to create rapport is to match and mirror the ones we meet.

It’s your basic brain hacking.

If someone’s energy is high, increase yours to match. If their energy is low, level yours off to show you’re a kindred spirit. Talk with your hands if they do. Raise or lower your voice with theirs.

You can mirror touch, too. Match the strength or delicacy of handshakes. Reciprocate an encouraging shoulder pat & you’ll communicate more than words ever could.

Use your senses to determine a person’s proximity boundaries, aka: their “bubble.” People who invade your space, like close-talkers, may need that closeness to create rapport for themselves. If more space is needed, accommodate that. Get to know people from the distance they’re comfortable with, and it’ll show them you’re actually interested in them.

Posture, facial expressions, tempo and tone, even breath mirroring… the list of mirroring possibilities goes on and on. Nod your head in conversation if your partner does so. Cross your legs when they do. Speak slower if they take more time with their words, or faster if they like to hold conversations at warp speed. People won’t be able to tell why they like you, but they will.

Employ these mirroring tactics long enough, and eventually your counterpart will begin mirroring you. This is called pacing and leading.

We naturally mirror those we feel a connection to, but the reverse has proven just as powerful. And we can organically stimulate that meaningful connection in others by initiating the process ourselves. This turns everyday interactions into an experience that leaves people with a lasting, positive impression of you. And just as importantly, you with a lasting, positive impression of them.

The catalyst remains you. Mirrors are a way for us to enhance social interactions in our everyday lives–and they’re also a reflection of where we get the strength to do it.