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What Is Gauchais Reaction, The Art Of Subconsciously Mirroring A Person?

A 2015 movie 'Focus' starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie talks about Gauchais reaction or the art of mirroring an individual subconsciously.

Gauchais reaction is an important topic of research, especially in the field of social psychology and is often used by a person to deal with a difficult person.

There are more to this topic. So, let's discuss.

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What Is Gauchais Reaction Or Mirroring?

Gauchais reaction, also known as mirroring or limbic synchrony refers to a behaviour in which a person starts mirroring or imitating another person. This person could probably be someone who is close to them or they are attracted to or with whom they want to connect at emotional levels.

The mirroring is often displayed in terms of gestures, postures, voice tone, body language, expressions, muscle tensions, accent, attitude, movement of eyes, choice of words, the pace of delivery, breathing and many other verbal and nonverbal behaviours.

Mirroring can occur many times during social interaction and is often unnoticed due to its subconscious occurring. But, what's the reason behind it?

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Why Does It Occur?

According to a study, mirror neurons play a vital role in contributing to mirroring phenomena. These neurons have many high-level cognitive and motor functions at different levels, including recognising the behaviours of others and contributing to imitative phenomena.

Mirror neurons were first identified in the premotor cortex (the area of the brain responsible for planning and organising movements and actions) of the macaque (a species of monkeys).

It was observed that when these monkeys imitate humans or other monkeys and perform similar actions like breaking, grasping or tearing, the mirror neurons fire signals in response to these similar actions. [1]

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The activation of one's own motor neurons by seeing the behaviour of others suggest that mirror neurons can have many potential cognitive functions by recognising and observing actions.

Some studies also say that the urge of mirroring others is hardwired in the brain since birth, the reason why children often imitate the behaviour and actions of their parents.

Benefits Of Gauchais Reaction

1. Makes one happy

A study talks about unconscious facial reactions in response to the emotional facial expressions of others. It says that when a person is exposed to the facial expression of others, be it a happy or angry face, their facial muscles instantaneously and unconsciously mimic the facial stimuli of the other person.

This evokes the feeling of happiness or anguish depending on the person they are exposed to. This is the reason why a person often gets happy when they are surrounded by happy and smiling people. [2]

2. Improves social interaction

Gauchais reaction helps improve the social interaction and confidence in people in many ways, especially in introverts and those with social phobia. A study talks about the mechanism of mutual synchrony that may help us improve and expand our body expression, postures, creative aspects and other communication technique by imitating a person.

This can also help us express ourselves more emotionally, verbally and nonverbally and connect to people. [3]

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3. Helps in learning

Children tend to mirror others' behaviours. Some studies say that a person is born with mirror neurons while other studies neglect this phenomenon. A study published in the 2016 journal says that mirror neurons are not present at birth, but emerge from motor neurons in the course of the development phase and helping them learn simpler to complex things. [4]

Another study also mentions how imitating the accents of people help in learning and understanding the language easily and improve speech at an early stage. [5]

4. May help with anxiety problems

A study talks about the phenomenon of emotional contagion in which a person can treat their anxiety-related issues by mimicking the emotions of happy people. The study says that socially anxious individuals are more prone to catch negative emotions from others, but also tend to mimic people who show them polite smiles, thus displaying a positive mood.

The study does not entirely support that mirroring others can help treat anxiety, but in some ways, it does affect their mood and lower their anxiousness. [6]

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To Conclude

Gauchais reaction or mirroring works best in business settings where people try to develop mutual rapport with their clients. It also helps the most in teaching children the values and meaning of everything and help in their learning phase.

However, sometimes mirroring can be interpreted in the wrong way and may not always lead to positive results, whether it's done subconsciously or intentionally.

What does it mean when someone is mirroring you?

When a person mirrors you subconsciously like copying your body language or gestures or way of speaking, it states an act of liking or interest or trust in the person, often followed by interest to connect to the person at emotional levels. Mirroring is a great way of learning and improving our moods.

Is mirroring manipulative?

Though mirroring often occurs subconsciously in response to liking or interest in a person, it can be done from a manipulative prescriptive in areas like business or sales to gain the trust of someone. Also, it can be done for selfish and damaging purposes.

How can you tell if someone is mirroring you?

When we notice someone copying our body language, gestures, accent, word choices, postures and many verbal and nonverbal behaviours, we can say that the person is mirroring us.