You know that great feeling when you and another person are totally in sync? You laugh at the same jokes, love the same food, both thought The English Patient was way too long? Similarity is the essence of connection, and connection is the essence of trust, and trust is the foundation for true love.
You're mirroring each other if you're
^ Duplicating your date's body language.
Are you both leaning forward at the same time, each sitting with legs crossed?
^ Adopting the same speaking rhythm.
Are you both talking softly, going back and forth conversationally, sharing the same pacing?
^ Echoing style or energy level.
Are you both mellow or energized, calm or hyped?
Is your date telling the truth, the whole truth, and the throes of a fib. Under stress, the erectile tis-
nothing but the truth, or is he or she fibbing? The sues in the nose become engorged with blood nose knows. Called the Pinocchio Syndrome and sort of tickle. (really, it is), liars tend to rub their noses when in
Subtlety is the essence of good mirroring. You don't want to get caught mimicking your date. The trick is to have your date feel connected, not pick up on a monkey-see, monkey-do act. You'll naturally either fall into — or out of — a sort of relationship sync, which you can't fake for long. Rather than direct yourself to do it, see whether mirroring just occurs normally.
Trust me on this — I make my living listening to others — your date will tell you everything you need to know about him or her in the first 15 minutes. Not 50. 15. Train yourself really to hear what your date's saying (and believe it). Of course, therein lies the rub: While love may be blind, dating is almost always deaf.
My friend Elaine "bought" a date with a soap star at a charity auction. She could scarcely afford her winning $250 bid, but she had such a crush on the guy she was willing to brown bag it for the half year it would take to make up the deficit. They met at a trendy New York restaurant. He looked incredible. She was flushed with the thrill of it all. Their first minute of conversation, as she later relayed it to me, went a little something like this:
HE (laughing): I can't believe you paid so much for me. I'm not worth it. SHE (also laughing): It went to a good cause — me. HE: I'm really not into the dating scene. I barely have time to learn my lines and go to bed.
SHE: Thank you for squeezing me into your busy schedule. HE: I barely made it. I'm leaving for L.A. tomorrow. SHE: Business?
HE: Hopefully. I'm up for a series. SHE: Good luck. I hope you get it.
Of course, she was lying, and he was telling the honest-to-goodness truth. Elaine thought their date went smashingly well and was devastated when he didn't call her again — which she could have known he wouldn't do if she'd listened with open ears instead of a too-wide-open heart. He'd told her flat-out he wasn't worth it, didn't date, and was going to move 3,000 miles away. And he'd said it all in the first 30 seconds of their evening together.
Learning how to listen is not easy, but it is simple. You have to train yourself to focus on the present moment only — not on your witty comeback, the follow-up question, the stupid thing you can't believe you just said, the parsley you can feel lodged in between your teeth. You have to be in the now. Period.
If you want to be a good listener, you have to
I Train yourself to stay with the talker, word for word, until he or she is finished. Simple concept, but really difficult to practice.
I Suspend judgment and open your heart and head, as well as your ears. Listen to what the person is actually saying — not what you want to hear; it's crucial not only to dating but to all human interactions.
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