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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Mirroring  (Read 36908 times)
Arminius
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 06:22:56 PM »

The term mirroring is very useful, but also very confusing because of its other, more prominent uses.

  Many members describe how a BP picked up on their values and modeled themselves after their dream girl (guy) - taking that persona on.  A BPD can be one way in one relationship and very different in another based on what they think that person deeply desires.  

Often the BP eventually comes to resent their SO for this -  feeling that they sacrificed themselves and the SO did not live up to their end.

I hope that helps!

So, so true.
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VitaminC
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A little mereology goes a long way


« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2016, 07:45:35 AM »

Some people say that this impairs right-brain development and the capacity to self-regulate affect. The upshot is that the BPD has no self or object constancy.

All of us are sensitive to being empathized with, being "seen" and understood. So, someone who is good at mirroring other people's states can sure get their attention. Mirroring can happen through how a person looks in your eyes, is attuned to your actions and postures, interests and dreams. it can happen on many levels.

Right now I find myself stuck on the idea that what was being mirrored back to me was my best projected self - all the bits I like about myself and how I am in the world. The 'bad' parts were invisible to him, and to me. This was intoxicating. However, it feels as if what I actually fell so hard for was really just myself! I fell in love with an idealised self, not another real person. So I am just as culpable, just as sad and partial a human being as he.

There's more to it than that, sure, but on the whole I feel as if I am not fully real and being in that relationship allowed me to see how much my being in the world is an illusion. I fell for an illusion of myself.  I don't know how long the process of figuring this out is going to be.

But the BPD has no constant sense of self or other and so is reliant on mirroring someone else (being intensely infatuated) but it isn't stable. The BPD had such negative experiences with the mother figure that the BPD starts feeling engulfed (no boundaries) and then starts raging, splits, and abandons the person he/she was infatuated with to avoid his/her own abandonment fears. Then the BPD starts the whole thing up with someone new and the cycle goes on. Mirroring happens when healthy people fall in love too, but healthy people have a sense of self and object constancy and so intense infatuation is just part of a relationship--not the whole thing. I think one of the things that makes us vulnerable to BPDs is their ability to capture this intensity that was surely a part of our very early preverbal development. I think we are vulnerable to mirroring.

Diotima

Are we less vulnerable if we have a more complete sense of ourselves and are more authentically and fully in the world? Accepting of our dark sides and our boring bits?

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Gunit1
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2018, 10:00:43 PM »

i feel like after a couple years of dealing with my exBPDgf i started to mirror her persona.

lost my grip on everything for a while and when i was no longer her savior, when she turned me into her she decided it was time for the next chapter, next guy, next cycle...  

i struggle with the feelings that my downfall, breakdown and toxic new mentality is what finally drove her away

I agree! I feel I did this. Near end once I became the jealous, more moody, possessive, controlling person she was, she was done with me. I wasn't like that prior or most of rel. But she was.
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zachira
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2018, 04:31:32 PM »

There are many interpretations of what "mirroring" means. For me, mirroring is showing with your nonverbal body language, that you are feeling what the other person is feeling. Mirroring can be healthy or damaging depending on the situation. To show a child that you understand their sadness, helps the child to feel cared for, and can help a child to learn to accept and deal with uncomfortable feelings. Mirroring another person's anger is allowing that person to dump their anger on you, and can lead to an escalation of anger on both sides. People in helping professions can take on too many of the feelings of their clients, and this can lead to feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
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Turkish
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Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 09:18:51 PM »

There are many interpretations of what "mirroring" means. For me, mirroring is showing with your nonverbal body language, that you are feeling what the other person is feeling. Mirroring can be healthy or damaging depending on the situation. To show a child that you understand their sadness, helps the child to feel cared for, and can help a child to learn to accept and deal with uncomfortable feelings.

It is good to point out that mirroring in and of itself isn't pejorative. Children require mirroring early in life as they develop their identities. Unhealthy mirroring,  such as when a BPD Parent needs the child to mirror them,  is damaging.

Regarding anger in confrontations, de-escalation techniques prescribe one not to mirror another's anger. 
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