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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Mimicking or "mirroring" is not exclusive to humans, our cousins the chimps do it and so do many other animals. chimps-1.jpg
It may be one of the most ancient forms of social intercourse. It's a way of establishing a connection with another and, although not absolutely necessary it may be a quick way of establishing a preliminary relationship. I don't usually mimic someone I don't like unless it's to ridicule them. It's a way of demonstrating our "sympathie" (in the French sense) for another. You smile and I smile back, you laugh and so do I. (Many people need a laugh track to know what's funny) 
When someone makes a friendly gesture; offering their hand or a hug and I don't reciprocate, I am showing that I have no wish to engage with that person in a friendly way.

We don't usually mimic anyone that we don't feel any empathy for unless it's to show scorn or contempt. So, what about those who can't empathize with others? Normally they don't mimic and if they do it's usually forced and unnatural. 

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