One thing we didn't discuss was Mirror Neurons (hence the title of this blog being called Mirror, Mirror). This is such an interesting and important topic that I could have an entire 90 minute class dedicated on this subject alone. Because we did not discuss it tonight, I wanted to take a few minutes to address it here. What are they? Why does it make a difference for me to know about them?
So, now you know that you have this crazy set of neurons causing you to subconsciously play copy cat with the other people in your life - but what does it really mean to you?
Well, it means that you have empathy. You can put yourself in their shoes.
You can even use it to your advantage to control them (sort of) - please do this benevolently with kindness and love.
How do you do this, and with whom, you ask? With your children, with your spouse, with all the people in your life.
When you walk into the room and someone is having a bad day, they're grumpy and they grunt at you - your mirror neurons pick up on it and you have an instinct to grunt back, and be grumpy that they made you grumpy. -OR- You can hijack their grump. You can plug into their mirror neurons and get them to copy you and your mood.
You can't get someone to go from zero to sixty, but you can get them from zero to ten, then maybe to thirty, and so on until after a little while their cruising down the highway of your good mood.
Be kind. Smile. Ask if they need to talk. Give them space if they ask for it, but do something kind for them such as bringing them a glass of water, a blanket for their lap, or a snack. Just a gesture that respects their boundaries while offers their mirror neurons something to latch onto.
Are you going to let other people hijack you into a bad mood, or will you be the one to make the shift?
Having the self-awareness to know what's happening and the intention to decide what mood is going to rule truly makes all the difference in your relationships. Try little experiments here and there on coworkers and family members, try to get their mirror neurons to mimic your good mood. Can you think of a few things to try?
To make an appointment with Jessica for therapy, please call her at (530) 921-5122 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find her on her office webpage at: http://chicocreekcounseling.com/our-staff/jessica-wilkerson/