Mirroring, as it relates to Borderline Personality Disorder, is one of the ways a borderline pulls you in. The act of mirroring can be subtle. It is also difficult to classify as a red-flag in the beginning of any relationship, since some mirroring can be a perfectly natural behavior.
We often mirror certain behaviors, phrases, or gestures that our love-interests display. This is natural human behavior and a component of attraction. We all do it to some degree. We may take a more active interest in things that interest our significant others. We may mirror back hand movements or eye-rolls… We may say something that our significant other says often. This is usually done on a subconscious-level to find and share a common connection with others.
Like many of the other extremes associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, mirroring is taken to the extreme. Though some would disagree, I believe that when the person with BPD mirrors, they do so subconsciously just as we do. However, the frequency and depth of the mirroring far surpasses what should be considered natural in healthy relationships.
In hindsight, I can see many instances where the woman I had dated was mirroring my behaviors and interests. One example that stands out in my mind seems absurd to me now, and didn’t even sit well with me during our initial courtship. I remember telling this woman about one of my favorite bands (a very obscure, little-known band). She immediately, excitedly told me that she “loves that band.” It was a blatant lie. I know for a fact that she had never even heard of the band, yet I did not confront her on this, nor did I register this as a red flag at the time. It did feel wrong though.
I was too absorbed with the prospect of love at the time. I was too absorbed with her beauty. I should have listened to what my gut was telling me. Always trust your gut in these situations. There is a reason your body will send up this message to you. It is a protection mechanism of sorts. Those gut feelings are often the culmination of accumulated notes your subconscious has made. Our subconscious should be trusted in these situations. This is especially true because of the fact that mirroring is such a difficult red flag to pick up on.
This is just one of the ways a borderline baits the non-bpd individual. Their mirroring of us shows us ourselves, often the person we like best. It validates us as individuals when others mirror us. We think we have finally found someone who is like us in so many ways, someone who we’ve found common ground with, but in fact, we are just seeing ourselves reflected back to us by the borderline disordered individual. In time, the mirroring will end, and when it does, look out.