How do I do the mirror trick

Don't let yourself be manipulated: the mirror trick

Episode 2/17. "Like and like people like to join," they say. A manipulator will intentionally mirror you in order to defraud you.

When I look in a mirror, what do I see? Myself, of course, a person I trust (usually!) And who I believe in what they say. A manipulator will behave in such a way that we recognize ourselves in him. Similarities make you sympathetic. The clever similarity manipulator uses exactly this effect to gain our trust and our favor - and thus lead us into the mirror trap.

The communication method neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) deliberately uses the mirror trick to create a similarity connection between the conversation partners. If we mirrored the posture: If the other leans back, then I lean back; if he slaps one leg over the other, I will do the same. The vocabulary is mirrored: If the other words use the visual area, I say "I see it that way too"; if he speaks in the association field of hearing, says something like "that sounds good to me", then I mirror: "that sounds good". It is helpful to establish a connection to the other by "mirroring", but it is even better to be aware of this fact. This is how we avoid the mirror trap.

The basis of this manipulation tactic:


"Like and like people like to join," is the popular saying. And it's true: Similarities make people likeable. But too much sympathy may blind us to what the manipulator is actually up to.

How react?


Be careful if you find someone talking to you. If you particularly like the person you are talking to, ask yourself: Do I only support him because I like him?

Mind you, it's not about being consciously suspicious in order to protect yourself. However, one should be aware of this trap. Leonardo da Vinci already recognized: "It often seems as if we like the faces that are similar to ourselves." That also applies to the painters, "because the figures often resemble their master."

Next episode (3/17):
Don't let yourself be manipulated: the possession effect

The suggestions for this series come from the book
Andreas Edmüller and Thomas Wilhelm:
"Manipulation Techniques: How to Defend Yourself"