BOLD NEW MOM – Jody Moore

Episode 119 – MIRRORING EMOTIONS

Twice a year, we gather, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to receive instruction from the Lord through his prophets in a General Conference. That happened just last month. So much inspiration!

Since the conference, I’ve been talking to other moms about their impressions of the conference. One statement from the conference has stuck out to 100% of the moms I’ve been talked with this week. 100%.

“Remember. Discipleship is not about doing things PERFECTLY. It is about doing things INTENTIONALLY.”

Dieter F Uchtdorf, Oct 2019 General Conference

I think, as women, we have a hard time with this, right? We know we can’t be perfect, but we also, somewhere deep inside of us, think we just might be able to get pretty close, if we try harder. Or, if we can’t succeed at being perfect, maybe we could succeed at just making others think we are perfect.

That’s a discussion for a different day.

We are not perfect. We are not even expected to be perfect. We cannot in fact be perfect.

But we can be intentional.

Let’s look at the human tendency to mirror others’ emotions, the topic of Jody’s podcast, and what it has to do with being intentional:

“We have this belief that we can control people’s emotions, or that other people’s emotions can effect us so much. It is not that they are effecting us, it’s just human nature to mirror one another… Humans mirror other humans.”

It is natural, in fact, we are usually unaware we are even doing it. We are functioning on auto-control. We mirror. It is easy to do.

For example, Bryant came home from work, feeling a lot of stress and feeling a heavy weight on his shoulders. Me, instead of kindly listening to him, mirrored his stress, and thought of, and expressed to him, all the stress that I had felt that day as well. I have a heavy weight on my shoulders, too. Don’t you know?

It’s a reaction. In scripture terms, it is being “acted upon”, not “acting”. It is giving up our power to another’s emotional whims.

Okay friends. To combat this lower-brain reaction, we need to be aware of what is really going on. Whether we are mirroring negative or positive emotions, we need to be aware of what we are doing. Step back and watch yourself. Notice it.

“When you just notice it, automatically you get some leverage over it.”

Second, choose intentionally what we want to be feeling. Will that feeling be useful? Will the feeling serve me or anyone else?

Maybe we WANT to mirror others. Maybe we want to be happy with a friend who just found out she is pregnant. Maybe we want to mirror her emotion. Maybe we want to be sad with a daughter who had a hard day at school.

But maybe we do NOT want to mirror others’ anger or frustration, worry or stress.

By mirroring, we are giving our power away. We can retain that power by choosing: Do I want to mirror that emotion or do I not want to mirror that emotion.

The point is, BE INTENTIONAL. Choose what we want to feel. This is powerful! It serves me, and it enables me to better serve others!

“True power comes in not mirroring others. True power comes in just allowing someone to be mad, and staying peaceful.”