We are copycats, compassionate copycats
I carried out an experiment to prove how much happier we can be when we become compassionate copycats. A very good friend of mine had started about a year and a half ago, to get on me, to criticize me, to talk behind my back and to point out my failures in front of the whole group of friends that we share.
About six months ago, I remembered an old psychological theory that states that we copycat the people around us, we feel better with people that act like us , because we feel a rapport with people who mimic our moves. This happens naturally and frequently, we do mimic people around us all the time without even realizing it.
So I came up with a plan that I strictly followed. I promised myself that instead of getting mad at her I would begin praising people that we both know, making her aware of the good things they do. I would also praise her in her back, making sure our friends would tell her what I said about her.
Believe it or not, the change has been enormous. In six months she got to be fond of me again. She is another person! She copycats what people around her do. I realized that she was in the middle of very stingy people who only looked at the bad things that the rest do, they were stingy with praise.
I felt she was envious of me before the experiment, and she became very empathetic with me after my little experiment. Whenever she had a bad remark about me, I would maintain a neutral, relaxed seated position, but at the same time I would mimic her posture, movements and mannerisms, crossing my legs or twirling my hair when she did. I did this because I wanted her to feel more empathetic with me, I wanted her to find me more likeable.
Now we have smoother interactions and she seems to have learned how to love me again. She does not remark my failures and she calls me again on the phone. Imitation became a sort of social glue, truly the sincerest form of flattery.
I was very cautious though, that she would never be aware that I was mimicking her, because I know that when people realize they are being mimicked, they like the mimicker less, it backfires. I think what helped me do this right, without going overboard, was that I forced myself to be more compassionate. When she was being mean and rude to me, I forced myself to feel compassion and change the subject to praising a good thing from one of our mutual friends.
I am writing about this because I found a solution for a problem that I had, that can easily be the problem of so many of us. I see this as one more proof that we can solve our everyday troubled relationships through non violent methodology. We just need to do some research, work on the relationship and be patient.
I wonder if this experience is valuable for you, my dear reader. I would like to know if anyone else in the world would take the time to follow this example, because it is important to DO THE WORK. Human relationships are not easy. We need to have an approach. We need to learn how to make them work. It is hard to learn new patterns of behavior, it is easier to copycat new behaviors. Let us make sure that they are the correct ones.
The importance of this is shown in families, where little children learn behaviors that make them good or bad people when they grow up. It is also shown in countries, where the majority of inhabitants accept and follow violent behaviors they copycat from other countries, or even the movies and television. Very sadly, it is also shown in the leaders of the world, who copycat strange and dangerous behaviors from other leaders of the world.
We need to copycat the right behaviors. We need to copycat with compassion. Do not vote for leaders who copycat violence, because you will end up being violent yourself. Watch what happened to our brother Kingsley from Jos, Nigeria. The violence he faces comes from leaders who copycat knacks and contrive better than their teachers, and from grassroots people who copycat a survival strategy (involving violence) that ends up killing them.
See what I mean? Women who learn and take the time to work and use new non violent behaviors, can do it easier by being compassionate copycats. Their families will then acquire new non violent behaviors, and someday, somehow, men will follow the lead.
Get started right now in your own life. The change comes one at a time.