Mirroring, listening the right way???

Home Forums Around the House Mirroring, listening the right way???

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #591438

    hey, so i was just wondoring, does any one have tips on mirror psychology? like if s/o tells me-ya, i had such a horrible day, or my dad’s in the hospital, how can you answer to make them talk. ex. 1 is easy, but what about the second?

    any tips on how to react to a frend with sick dad? how to listen the right way so they feel better?


    That’s always hard. It really depends on the person you are talking to, and finessing it takes a lifetime of experience. That’s why the Talmud – I forget which passage – says that the forties are the decade where you gain understanding and the fifties the decade where you give good advice. But that aside, I can only offer a little general advice.

    Open your heart. Really listen. Try to drop down to the level of what the mystics[*] call “The Hidden Conversation” the things they’re trying to say outside of the actual words. It’s not easy, but even making the effort works. Try not to project what you think they’re saying onto it, but – don’t know how to say this – shut off the chattering part of your brain and be quiet inside so you can hear what their soul is saying, not just their lips.

    Don’t try to force someone to talk when he or she doesn’t want to. People who are already in pain recognize this and react poorly to it. Be sympathetic. Let them talk when they want to. In other words, comfort and invite rather than trying to force or manipulate, especially when the grief is fresh. Sometimes they’ll say they don’t want to talk, and they might not at that moment. But if you take what they say seriously and allow the warm and loving side of your soul to come through it will encourage them to talk when they are ready.

    You are obviously a kind and compassionate person. That’s why you want to help people feel better. One of the hardest things to learn is that sometimes you can’t help all you would like. You can only help as much as you are able.

    [*]Yes, I have non-Jewish friends including Sufis, Buddhists and former Catholic monks. They all use the same term “Hidden Conversation” that I learned from a very wise rabbi. It must reflect some common thread of understanding of the human soul.


    In my humble opinion, mirroring will only work with difference of opinion or fights, not when someone is going through a rough time. I mean just picture the conversation

    Person#1 My father is very sick, and is in the hospital

    Person#2 so if i understand your father is sick and in the hospital

    Person#1 yes why are you so cold about it?

    Person#2 so you’re asking why I’m cold about it

    Person#1 are you normal?

    Person#2 you’re asking if I’m normal

    Person#1 PUNCH

    Person#2 PUNCH (he has to punch back, his mirroring)

    I think you get the point

    Mrs. Doubtfire

    Omg chesedname you had me rotfl!! Thanx for that. I wish you would know how good that was for me! Be gebentched!


    Mrs. Doubtfire

    so you’re saying you were rofl? lol 🙂

    you’re welcome!

    thanks for the kind words, it’s nice to know what ppl think of the things we write.


    The art of listening is truly “listening to understand” and not necessarily mirroring. If someone tells you that their parent is in the hospital then the appropriate response would be

    “Refuah Sheleimah, how is s/he doing?….

    How are YOU doing?

    What kind of support does the family need at this time OR what kind of support has the family received at this time?

    Do you want to talk about it?

    Is there anything I can do to help you or offer my support?

    Are you satisfied with the doctors or would you like me to help you make phone calls for recommendations?

    And of course….”I’m here for you, if you need me please don’t hesitate to call on me.”


    Chesed, that was really funny.

    I agree with Aries. I would probably respond, “I’m so sorry to hear that. it must be a very difficult time for all of you? I wish him/her a refuah shelaima.What can I do to help you – do your kids need to be babysat or picked up from school? If it’s ok with you, I could make them dinner so you can be at the hospital if you need to be.” I would and I have said that, and a few other assorted things, and people are very appreciative when you give a specific offer of help, rather than a generic, “Let me know if you need anything.” People almost always feel uncomfortable asking for help, so you should always be specific in the offer, and THEN also ask if there is anything you might have overlooked that they need. Sometimes all they want and need is a friend.


    chesedname-i almost died laughing…but wat does rofl mean??

    thats not wat i meant, the mirroring was a 2nd qust. for ex.

    #1:i had a really hard day today…everyone was down my back…

    me:that sounds really tough…ur probably totally stressed…

    her:ya…and i got screamed at by my teacher… my friends acting all wierd…

    me:that’s so frustrating…i hate when my teachers yell at me…

    her:ya…it so is!! and i dont know wats up w/friend…she’s ignoring me and i dont know wat 2 do…

    me:so ur friends acting kinda mean and your a little lost

    her:totally! i tried being super nice to her but shes not reacting….

    me:sounds like youre being pretty good about it and not just being nasty back, thats really nice of you…

    kay, so remember, this girl has a hard life and needs a lot of support and encouragement… i probably wouldn’t act this way to a friend with a high self esteem, shed be all-why are u acting so wierd? and is this even mirroring? or is it just the end that is…

    also i need more help with the sick dad thing. i really dont want to act to pitying-she h8s that and gets all withdrawn. but i dont know what to answer to make her feel better.


    FYI: ROFL/ROTFL = Rolling on the floor with laughter!



Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.