By now, we all know that healthy communication is the key to any successful relationship. While understanding how to express yourself is important, effective communication also involves listening well. Mirroring is an excellent method to show that you’re paying attention to the person you’re speaking to.
Psychotherapist and sex and couples therapist Lee Phillips, Ph.D., tells Well + Good that this is especially beneficial for those in romantic relationships. Reusing your partner’s words shows that you are paying attention to everything they are saying, whether you are engaged in a heated dispute or a minor debate. Repeating it back to them shows that instead of simply hearing the words, you’re actually digesting them. As Dr. Phillips’ explained, practicing this technique during conversations can help partners come to common ground during arguments.
A study conducted by researchers at Wellesley College and the University of Kansas found that people strongly desire to connect with people like themselves. With this in mind, mirroring can certainly come naturally to some couples who have established similarities. This can be a great relationship-building tool, though certain risks can still apply.
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