Beware of manipulation: Intentional mirroring in conversations

How to protect yourself from being manipulated

Intentional mirroring in conversations


Intentional mirroring is the deliberate imitation of other people to make them feel good. It serves to promote rapport and can also be used against the interests of the mirrored.


The language is given to man to hide his thoughts.

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

Birds of a feather flock together


Surprisingly fast, some people are likable, without it being really clear why. In the presence of such people, we simply feel comfortable, so we seek their presence. In a shorter time than normal, we gain confidence. But it can be, that we deceive ourselves badly. Perhaps it is due to appropriate techniques, such as deliberate mirroring.

When people are of the same mind, they show similar posture, and similar gestures and their behavior also resembles each other amazingly.

Intentional mirroring is the deliberate imitation of other people to make them feel comfortable. It is used to promote rapport and can be used in the interests of the mirrored and also against their interests. It is therefore a technique with the intention of manipulation. Some contemporaries use this circumstance for it also, in order to deceive other humans, to manipulate and exploit. They study and copy the peculiarities, such as the language, opinions, and body language, to mirror the behavior. Speech rate, gestures, body position, facial expressions, volume, or breathing are mirrored and in this way they make their victims feel comfortable. They are then easier to influence.







In Neurolinguistic Programming, mirroring is called pacing. This technique is basically quite simple, and after it is taught in basic training, conversational partners are mimicked for practice. For it to work, the application must be quite subtle. In the zeal and lack of sensitivity, however, many interlocutors are so obviously mirrored that they feel aped and made fun of. Then it has exactly the opposite effect, generates aggression, and leads to the deterioration or even the termination of communication.







These techniques can also be used to ensure that sufficient rapport is fostered despite difficult initial conditions, thus enabling positive developments. It is, like with all tools, a double-edged sword. Opportunities and risks are close together. Without moral aptitude, the best technique degenerates into something bad.




It is also a natural phenomenon


In body language, this is referred to as “mirroring”; in English, it is called “mirroring”. The unconscious variant is a natural behavior of people. People who are close and familiar with each other do it all by themselves.

Do you want to expand your knowledge and skills?


If you want to expand your knowledge and skills, come to my training, and I’ll show you how to identify, ward off and even use advanced manipulation techniques yourself. I recommend 2 to 5 hours for this worthwhile topic.

Be ready for important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say one thing and then realize later, based on the other person's reaction, that they were talking to someone else. With the best will in the world, I didn't say that. - Or did I?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen quickly enough, and above all, if it isn't precise and vivid, the other person quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. - The conversation has failed.

You can let me help you prepare for your meetings and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will train you in effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and ultimately convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may be of interest to other readers in the comments. Looking for professional help?

If you are interested in coaching, training or consulting, if you have organizational questions, or if you want to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (you can choose whether you want to enter your personal data) or via e-mail ( The privacy policy can be found here.

Transparency is important. That is why you will find answers to frequently asked questions already here, for example about me (profile), the services, the fees and getting to know me. If you like what you see, I look forward to working with you.


I have read and accept the privacy policy.


In the address bar of your browser, the URL should begin with "". This indicates a secure connection (SSL). Whether you enter your real name is up to you.



Have you already become acquainted with this technique of intentional mirroring? Up to what point do you find its use legitimate and where does it become unethical?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

When you submit this form, it will save the used name, email address, and content. Find out more in the privacy policy.


You should know Godwin’s Law in order not to fall into the trap

What is Godwin’s Law? And how does it relate to everyday communication, speeches, and presentations?

17 signs that someone is a manipulator

17 signs that someone is a manipulator

Not every attempt to manipulate us is obvious. Especially the professional manipulators learn how to hide their intentions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those manipulators in business and private life. Learn how to recognize manipulators.

read more
Body language: What can actually be read from the eyes? Not only wishes!

Body language: What can actually be read from the eyes? Not only wishes!

What can be read from the eyes? More than wishes! The eyes have a big part in human facial expressions. There is a reason why the eyes are called the mirror of the soul. They reveal a lot about our feelings and thoughts, no matter if we want it or not. Eyes can smile, radiate joy, permeate, agree, question, doubt or reject. Learn to read body language.

read more
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. Albert Schweitzer

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 20, 2016
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: October 6, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
Ü: Review required

error: Copyright