Have you ever had an experience where you’re talking with a friend and you can’t help but notice that they’re doing the same things as you?
Or saying the same words you say?
It’s not just your imagination; it’s a common human behavior called mirroring.
And when this happens, you will notice that the person you’re interacting with is doing the exact same things you’re doing as you interact with them.
So if you notice these 12 behaviors, take them as signs that someone might be mirroring you.
Let’s dive in!
1) Body language
When I’m talking to someone, I often notice that they adapt the same gestures I use.
For example, when I cross my legs, I will look at them and see that they’ve crossed theirs, too.
Or I could rest my head on my arms, and they’d do the same shortly after.
I thought it was them trying to connect with me, and it was true. I just didn’t know there was a term for it called mirroring!
According to the Science of People, mirroring is a term used to describe a nonverbal technique in which a person imitates another person’s body language, vocal characteristics, or attitude.
So the next time you talk to someone and you see them mimicking your body language, now you know why!
2) Facial expressions
Like body language, we also tend to mirror other people’s facial expressions when we’re talking to them.
That’s because humans are wired to recognize and mirror facial expressions as a way to show others that they feel the same.
So when a friend laughs or cries with you, it’s a way of mirroring, too.
They’re basically showing that they feel your feelings as well and want to connect with you.
3) Tone of voice
Have you ever noticed that someone’s tone of voice sounds remarkably similar to yours during a conversation?
That’s a sign of mirroring, too!
In fact, emulating your tone can indicate an effort to relate to you.
And by trying to match the emotional tone you set, it makes the conversation more comfortable between you.
4) Word choice
If you notice someone using the same words or phrases you do as you’re talking, it’s not just a coincidence—that’s also a sign that they’re mirroring you!
Out of everything on this list, this one’s my favorite, because when my friends say the words I say when we’re talking, it makes me feel so validated.
Because it means they’re making an effort to understand what I’m saying, and they’re also showing that they understand.
So when someone copies the word you say when you talk, it’s not just because you have the same vocabulary—it’s also a behavior that indicates mirroring.
5) Pacing and speed
Mirroring your walking pace or the speed at which you talk is a subtle sign of mirroring that often goes unnoticed.
For example, when you walk with your friend, naturally, one of you walks slower or faster than the other. But because you’re together, you’ll find that your pace slowly adjusts until it matches theirs.
We do this because we’re trying to show a desire to stay connected with the other person, thus not wanting to rush ahead or lag behind.
6) Eating habits
Before I started living with friends, I used to have an irregular eating schedule.
There’s no certain time for me to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner—I’d just eat whenever I wanted.
But when I started living with them, our eating schedule slowly started syncing until we ended up eating every day at the same time.
And get this—we even finish our meals almost at the same time each time!
I thought it was just a coincidence, but it’s not—it’s also a behavior indicative of mirroring.
So if you eat together with your friends or colleagues at work every day, chances are it’s because of mirroring.
Have you ever told a friend about an interest you currently have, and the next day, they can suddenly relate to all you’re saying because they started taking an interest in it, too?
That’s a sign of mirroring, too!
If they suddenly show an interest in the same hobbies or topics you’re passionate about, it’s a strong indicator of mirroring.
It’s a behavior that suggests a desire to connect with you on a deeper level by sharing common ground.
By adopting your interests, they’re basically trying to relate more to you by knowing more about what you currently spend a lot of your time on.
And it’s actually quite effective at making you feel valued, because who wouldn’t be complimented when a friend watches five seasons of the show you like just because they want to relate to you, right?
Observing someone adopt a similar posture, whether it’s how they sit, stand, or lean, is a subtle yet powerful form of mirroring.
When a friend does this with you, they do it because they want to meet your level of comfort.
In other words, they’re trying to make you comfortable around them.
And by matching your posture, they’re also showing that they feel at ease in your presence.
9) Sense of humor
Laughter is contagious, and when they mirror your laughter, it’s a clear sign they’re connecting with your sense of humor.
And it’s not just about laughing—it’s about jokes, too! So when you and your friend develop a couple inside jokes, it’s indicative of mirroring.
When someone starts to emulate your style, such as clothing preferences, food choices, or even books and TV shows, it indicates a desire to be similar to you—thus, a sign of mirroring.
I know this for a fact because, as my friends and I grew closer with each other, I started liking the same shows they watched, even if originally they weren’t really to my taste.
And it makes sense, because if you want to connect with someone, you would try to make the same choices they do so you could understand them better.
11) Social media activities
If you notice someone frequently engaging with your posts, sharing similar content, or participating in activities you’re involved in, it’s a form of mirroring.
In fact, when someone reacts to the memes I share on the internet, or even when my friends send me instagram reels they thought I would find funny, I feel so nice because it shows me that they want to connect with me.
So when someone does the same to you, know that it is a sign of mirroring and an attempt to get closer to you.
12) Adopting opinions
As people, our belief system is probably just an accumulation of the beliefs of everyone we’ve ever met.
Because the closer we get to others, the more we adopt their opinions—but did you know that this is also a sign of mirroring?
When you find that someone’s beliefs and opinions seem to align more closely with yours, it could be a sign of mirroring.
This happens when other people show that they value your perspective and want to create a connection by trying to see the world through the lens you view it from—and isn’t that the whole point of being human?
Mirroring is a simple yet incredibly powerful thing that could forge such strong connections between us.
The simple act of adopting someone’s words and actions while we talk to them makes a world of difference, as it makes them feel seen and understood on such a deep level.
And while mirroring is usually done subconsciously, it’s something we still need to study in order to understand the science behind our actions as human beings.
It’s all so interesting, don’t you think?