The term “mirroring” is used when referring to one person unconsciously imitating the verbal and non-verbal behaviors of another. This could manifest in the form of one imitating the gesture, speech pattern, attitude, etc., of another person. In short, it is when someone reflects or “mirrors” another’s identity and in healthy relationships it allows those involved to see one another accurately.
Narcissists are extremely good at mirroring. They intentionally use mirroring to absorb information about their victim’s identity so they can create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in the victim’s life. Mirroring allows a narcissist to be exactly who others need them to be.
Readers can learn a lot more about narcissistic mirroring in our article How Do Narcissists Use Mirroring but this article is going to illuminate just how good narcissists are at using mirroring by taking you through the story of three women we had the pleasure of interviewing who unknowingly dated the same narcissist at the same time and in the same city!
How a Narcissist Used Mirroring to Date Three Women at the Same Time
The stories of these three women are so enlightening because they each have different backgrounds, characteristics, and personality traits. The fact that the narcissist in their life was able to transform himself into their “Mr. Perfect” at the same time goes to show just how good narcissists are at mirroring.
Meet the Three Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse: Amber, Rebecca, and Katie
Hi! My name is Amber and I am 32 years old. I consider myself to be a bit goofy/nerdy. I work two full-time jobs. First is at a video game/comic book store and the second is being an awesome mom to my daughter. I like to spend all of my free time with my daughter but when she is out with friends or busy doing something else, I like to play Clash of Clans, go on walks, watch movies, and occasionally go to the gym!
My name is Rebecca, I am 29 years old and I am a certified personal trainer and motivational coach. I do not have any children but it is definitely on my agenda! My fitness journey is my identity really. Coming from a family with a history of being morbidly obese, it took a lot for me to get where I am today. Outside of physical activity, I enjoy traveling and cooking.
I am 36 year old Katie and I am an art teacher at a high school. I also have my own art studio where I teach a variety of different forms of art. I love teaching. I think you can get to know someone on a much deeper level through their art. My dream is to move to the French Riviera, specifically Menton, fall in love and create these amazing pieces of artwork that tells my story for the rest of my life.
How Did Amber, Rebecca, and Katie Meet the Narcissist?
Amber: I met the narcissist at a coffee shop. He made a comment about a book I was reading. He was so charming. We talked for about an hour and made plans to meet up again. The more I got to know him, the more I felt like he could be the one. He seemed just as nerdy and goofy as me. He would come keep me company at work and we’d have debates about video games, comics, and movies. It felt amazing to be seen by someone I thought was way out of my league.
Rebecca: I met him while I was out for a run. I was a bit annoyed that he approached me because I had to stop running. We spoke for about ten minutes before he asked for my number as I was leaving. I told him I wasn’t interested, which wasn’t entirely true, but I said it anyway. A week passed and I had a new client who signed up with me. I’m setting everything up at the gym for our first meeting when he walks through the door. He is the new client! He made a really cute joke and I fell hard. I trained him for 4 weeks before he asked me out. We had so much in common. He showed me pictures of his fitness journey, he talked about wanting to help others live a healthier life, and even tried my vegan diet for months! He was amazing and I could feel myself wanting to spend my life with him.
Katie: (blank) actually bought one of my paintings at an art gallery, that is how I met him. He was blown away by my work and wanted to know if I was selling anything else. When I told him that I wasn’t he was angry, but in a validating way if that makes sense. I wasn’t threatened, it just left me feeling like I was wasting my potential. He told me that he was in town for the next month and asked if he could come to my studio to see how I worked. Before I knew it, we were spending a few days out of the week together in the art studio, inspiring each other to do better and talking about our love for art.
How Did Their Story End?
The fact that Amber, Rebecca, and Katie are three very different women who were all manipulated by the same narcissist is what makes their story so interesting. The narcissist in their lives was able to keep everything a secret for 14 months until one day Rebecca noticed something strange.
You see, juggling three girlfriends at once is not an easy task. As grandiose and larger than life as narcissists portray themselves as, they can’t be in three places at once. So, to explain his temporary absence he lied about having a job that took him out of state for a few days at a time.
He told Amber and Katie that he was a truck driver for a big company and he told Rebecca that he was an event planner that often got hired by big out of state companies to coordinate large events.
He was able to maintain this lie until one day Amber sent him a text message wishing him luck on a delivery he said he was out on while Rebecca happened to be nearby his cell phone. He had never mentioned anything about being a delivery driver to her so she picked up the phone and scrolled through the text messages.
All of the evidence was right in front of her and it didn’t take long for her to find Katie’s text messages as well. She looked both of them up on social media and found that they had a ton of photos posted with the narcissist. She reached out with all of the evidence that she had and together, the three of them confronted the narcissist in a public place.
According to Amber, Rebecca, and Katie, the narcissist in their life was furious and left the meeting and they haven’t heard from him since.
What Should You Take Away From This Article?
Narcissists are really good at mirroring. Their ability to absorb a ton of information about their victim’s identity and use it to create a falsified identity that is designed to fill a void in the victim’s life is extremely dangerous. The information they gather is to blame for the continuation of many narcissistic relationships.
However, there are some positives to take away for this article as well. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone is all of this and Amber, Rebecca, and Katie should serve as a reminder of that! There are people out there who will understand the agony and confusion you’re going through, you just need to find them!
This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.
Pines, Malcolm. “Reflections on mirroring.” International review of psycho-analysis 11 (1984): 27-42.
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