Mirroring is at the heart of how sociopaths hook us and why others think we were just like the sociopath while inside the toxic relationship.
Not only do sociopaths intensely love bomb and praise us in the beginning, they mirror how we behave and how we react to people and experiences.
The sociopath agrees with our parenting style, choice in friends, work ethic, family connections, and how we approach solving problems. In the beginning, the sociopath never questions, challenges or opposes us in these areas of our identity. We are led to believe that the sociopath is on the exact same page as we are when it comes to absolutely everything life throws at us.
As victims, we don’t realize that the sociopath builds his mask of sanity by agreeing and mirroring us with intensity. This intensity, simultaneously creates a bond of deep trust and commitment. We see the sociopath as someone “just like us,” so we trust the sociopath intrinsically…with everything!
As a result of being fooled into believing this false bond of trust is genuine, we begin to reciprocate and naturally mirror the sociopath, because that’s what humans do in close relationships with people we love and trust. Unfortunately, mirroring the sociopath means gradually and insidiously taking on the same shitty attitude the sociopath has about life and dealing with people.
We criticize the same people, places, and things the sociopath criticizes. We assume that the sociopath’s criticisms are coming from a place of extensive thought, intellect, and consideration; because our criticisms of people, places, and things come from those places. We falsely mirror what we think is healthy observations of our environment, when, in fact, the criticisms the sociopath spews are the opposite of healthy and come from a place of jealousy, hate, and contempt.
We end up behaving like a jealous, hateful, and contemptuous sociopath not realizing we’re behaving like a sociopath!
To those ex-victims and survivors on the outside, we appear perfect for each other…two shitty people living out their shitty lives together. Two sociopaths, side-by-side. Perfect!
Reconciling this is difficult in recovery. It takes time to undo the brainwashing and to not keep thinking we are the pathological ones. It’s painful when we look back on some of the stupid and thoughtless things we did to and against people and situations all in the name of being faithful and committed to a person we thought was just like us.
Personally, I do not believe two sociopaths in romance or even business could ever last. I think sociopaths repel each other and have a knack for spotting “their kind” better than anyone else can. And if two sociopaths were to get together, I think there would be so much fighting about control that they would each self-implode. They would never work out.
What do you think? Do you think or have you ever thought that your ex has found his perfect match, because you have been led to believe, in your mind, that the new victim isn’t really a victim at all, and is instead a sociopath, too?