When we meet people, whether we know them or not, their body language — implicit and explicit — can tell us more than we realize:
We mirror each other’s body language as a way of bonding, being accepted and creating rapport, but we are usually oblivious to the fact that we are doing it. In ancient times, mirroring was also a social device which helped our ancestors fit in successfully with larger groups.
Studies into synchronous body language behaviour show that people who feel similar emotions, or are on the same wavelength and are likely to be experiencing a rapport, will also begin to match each other’s body language and expressions. .… Mirroring happens among friends or between people of the same status and it is common to see married couples walk, stand, sit and move in identical ways.
To consider upon your next encounter with a stranger:
Mirroring someone’s body language makes them feel accepted and creates a bond and is a phenomenon that occurs naturally between friends and people of equal status. Conversely, we make a point of not mirroring those we don’t like or strangers, such as those riding with us in a lift or standing in the queue at the cinema.
As you prepare for this evening’s party:
Wearing the same outfit as another woman is a mirroring no-no. But if two men show up at a party wearing the same outfit, they could become lifelong friends.
Mirroring the other person’s body language and speech patterns is one of the most powerful ways to build rapport quickly. In a new meeting with someone, mirror his seating position, posture, body angle, gestures, expressions and tone of voice. Before long, they’ll start to feel that there’s something about you they like — they’ll describe you as ‘easy to be with’. This is because they see themselves reflected in you.
A word of caution:
When someone takes a position you have one of three choices – ignore it, do something else or mirror it. Mirroring pays big dividends. But never mirror a person’s negative signals.
Signals abound: the body points to what the mind wants, the legs also reveal what the mind wants to do, There are 13 most common gestures you’ll see daily, and there are secret signals of cigarettes, glasses, and make-up.