How we are mirrors.
The world is full of mirrors and reflections. Even we are mirrors. We have mirror neurons in our brains that cause us to emulate the communication, behavior and energy we see in others. And others will mirror us too. Knowing this, we have the choice of what we want to mirror.
Beyond being mirrors of each other, our internal dialogues in our mind transmit a ripple effect through our mirroring behavior.
Our thoughts, our inner critic and our inner cheerleader, guide what we choose to communicate, act upon and how we behave. We share this every day with others, simply by "showing up". Our presence communicates something about us, our body language communicates more and when we speak we want to be understood for what we are trying to communicate. Our internal dialogues that we have with ourselves directly effect the people we are surrounded by and interact with on a daily basis.
We can spend most of our days in our own head thinking about our appearances, how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others, muddled within our own current situations. If we are saying negative things about ourselves and our lives, this is going to have a domino effect in the relationships in our lives. The other people we interface with will suddenly feel our negativity subconsciously on some level and may start mirroring and internalizing our negative behavior and thoughts as their own. This is true likewise for positive thoughts and emotions too. It becomes contagious and the more people around us feeling a certain way heightens the pressure in our brains to emulate the same behavior and feelings.
Think about this in an airport for instance. How many times have you been waiting for your flight at the gate, maybe you are headed to a beautiful beach vacation in Miami. You could not be more happy! Then you look up and notice the business man standing impatiently tapping his foot and checking his watch every two seconds at the front of the gate. The plane isn't even there yet and there's still 15 minutes before boarding time. Joining that man comes a family of four, then an elderly couple joins, all noticeably very anxious, stressed and impatient. You start wondering, "Should I get up there too? I have carry on that may not fit in the overhead compartment if there's not enough space..." The line is starting to get pretty long. Suddenly it becomes a race to the gate with crowds of people competing for who appears the most angry, stressed, and aggressive. Who ever does, wins and gets to board the flight first out of sheer intimidation! Haha! You see this and want to compete. You double down your efforts and maybe even cut someone in line just so you can be first to your seat. Your seat is that middle seat in the back next to the bathrooms. Don't you want to maximize your time sitting there for the next four hour flight after all? Don't worry, you'll be surrounded by your newest most disgruntled best friends encapsulated in a metal tube festering in your stress and negativity together. How lovely! And what a relaxing start to that beautiful vacation to Miami planned! Why do so many of us do this?
Our thoughts and emotions transcend beyond us. What if we walked up to the gate in the airport and made eye contact with the business man and were able to share a simple smile? Then we said hi to the family of four that came up to join and cracked a funny joke to begin a friendly conversation. When the elderly couple struggled to catch up and join the group loitering at the gate, we offer kindness and assistance to the old woman walking. In that instance, our individual positivity could be the agent for change. In the end, the kindness and positivity eases the anxiety that people feel and makes a difference. After all, you have a seat reserved on the flight and will arrive to the beautiful beach vacation regardless of your thoughts, behavior and actions in the airport.
Our internal dialogue is a collective dialogue...
Our internal dialogue exists within us. A normal person has a ratio of 1:1 positive to negative thoughts in their brain. Some of the healthiest people with less illness and more longevity have a ratio of 3:1 positive to negative thoughts.
Beyond our internal dialogue with ourselves, we have an internal dialogue in our home with our families. How do you interact with your family? As much as we love the ones closest to us, we can take out stress on each other, we can have disagreements, but what is the positive / negative balance in the end?
Then, when we go to work at the office there's an internal dialogue among our colleagues. Yes, there are the company core values and culture, but do the people in the organization really live these? What are people saying to each other in the halls, behind closed doors? Do they like the leadership team, do they trust HR, can they rely on the accounting team for reimbursements? Do they feel they are treated fairly? What is the energy and behaviors shown within the organization? This is the real internal dialogue of the company.
Even bigger, on societal level, we have an internal dialogue on a national level and even global level. This includes government, pop culture, media and our citizens. Today if we were to look at the United States' internal dialogue as a society our ratio would be 1:9 positive to negative. This means that we have 9 negative things to say and think as a society over 1 positive thing. We can we shift this ratio by bringing more positivity to each other and to our society, but there certainly is work to be done. Think about how each of us has the power and capability in our own way to counter-balance the abundance of negativity being churned out into our society today.
Only together can we flourish.
How has this influenced you and your thinking? How can you influence these internal dialogues by bringing more of your positivity and happiness to our world? Together, we can flourish through our positive mirroring!
It is natural to go about our days living in our own thoughts. However, if we can all make an intention to smile more, make eye contact, say hello, and meaningfully connect with people, we can all benefit from our shared positivity. Because we are all connected. We are all one. Share your positivity with someone new today!