Body Language: Mirroring

Mirroring in Psychology is the behavior in which one person copies another person while in social interaction with them. It may include miming gestures, breathing, posture, pace of speech, direction of feet pointing, expressions, and choice of words. Mirroring is often observed among couples and close friends. It can also be used to initiate rapport with a person.


In the image, as an example, Hannibal demonstrates postural mirror-image mirroring in attempt to employ rapport on his client. It is indeed called mirror image as imitating movements when you would see yourself in the mirror. The client’s right leg over left while Hannibal’s left leg over left is a good demonstration of a postural mirror-image mirroring. 

It’s beautiful how the creators of Hannibal employed Psychology in it, because Hannibal Lecter is a psychiatrist in Hannibal, utilizing the branch of body language even in the most subtle manner such as this which may come unnoticeable, but would be valuable and effective. 

Types of Mirroring

     Crossover mirroring occurs where one person’s movement is matched with another type of action, sound, or different movement.

     Direct mirroring occurs where a person is facing right on at another. It is used by lovers, people with high familiarity or interest in one another such as opponents in a contest.

     Postural mirror-image mirroring occurs where one person’s left side “matches” the other person’s right side shows strong rapport and typically affinity or empathy and increasing your own synchronicity with someone can also smooth conversation.

     Incongruency can be mirrored for rapport. If someone says “Great” but looks or sounds downtrodden, a mirroring reply would be to incongruently say “Good” with a similar down attitude like them.