Mirroring, mirroring…

Couple mirroring each other

Why couples seem so similar after many years spent together?

Partly because they accustomed to mirror each other’s posture, gestures, tone of voice, many times meta-communication, even the negative ones. The more you know about your unconscious reaction, the more you understand what your partner goes through…

Shortly after our first anniversary, my husband and I were presented with a great opportunity to travel across the southern part of Africa. As you can guess, it was full of excitement and adventure. However, as you can imagine when you travel, there were huge differences in weather, culture, language and habits. In essence it was full of stress.

As usual, it took its toll in our communication. One day I was working on some points in my head. Lately, I noticed that whatever I say he is arguing with it, whatever he says is somehow negative. Seemingly, out of nowhere, he spoke up:

“Did you notice recently whatever I say you argue with it and whatever you say is somehow unpleasant?” It surprised me tremendously because it was almost what I wanted to tell him, only he began a couple seconds early. It also surprised me because I was aware of him doing it but I had no idea that I am doing the same!

It’s famous in psychology that if you are tuned to someone, you pick up his or her body language. I’ve seen it many times in random places, but more often in my practice. Whenever a couple comes to me in my private practice, there is a lot that I can immediately see in their body language. Many of them sit in front of me in a near perfect mirroring position, which of course I consider as a good sign because they are attuned to each other.

I see lovely gestures as well. In the middle of a heated argument, one half of a duo spreads out her hands high in the air showing that she has no idea how it happened. Within a fraction of a second, her husband’s hand was the same, way high in the air sharing the feeling of “I’m clueless.”

Recently though I noticed another related phenomena. One of my clients complained about his wife not validating the feelings – especially the painful feelings of his, but argues about its rightfulness. Soon enough, we had a session together. I saw him with my own eyes rejecting his wife’s negative feelings the same way as he complained.

In another case, both man and wife missed the attention from one another. Both of them were able to list occasions when she or he was starved for attention (and of course acceptance) but the other disrupted the conversation or simply left.

Many other cases show me that when we are together with someone for a longer period of time, we mirror not only each other’s body language but frequently our mistakes – in communication as well.

This phenomenon has a great advantage. If you have an issue with your partner and a desire that you would like to see disappear or change, first make a deep introspection whether or not you do the same. If you do, it’s easier to begin the change with yourself – and let’s hope that your partner will mirror it. Meanwhile, you can understand when and why are you doing what you are doing, which might lead you to a different approach on how you face the problem.

This or that way: you will be way more prepared to create positive changes in your relationship than if you only point a finger to your partner’s faulty behavior.


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What to do with inevitable STRESS?


More presentations from Zita Fekete

PSYCHO FITNESS What to do to handle inevitable stress?



Why? There is activity in Pleasure Center : Nucleus Accumbens ; 1-Stimulates the immune system 2-Releases “feel good” neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin & endorphins)

How? Tell jokes, watch comedies, surround yourself with people with sense of humor.



Why? Extra pyramidal nuclei control rhythmic movement that is close to anxiety center in alternative connection: You either move or worry.

How? Walk, jog, run, bike, swim or do 20 arm swing from squat to reach up to the ceiling.



Why? Either active or passive relax is “altered state of consciousness”: Use the power of the Right Hemisphere: Analog, creative imaginative, intuitive, holistic thinking with art and music awareness.

How? Relaxation, Guided Imagination, Listening to Music or Simple positive messages right after waking up, before get out of bed: “Good Morning! Today something good will happen with me!”



TOUCH Why? Negative touch: Amygdale fires fight or flight. Positive touch: Oxytocin , Endorphin +Female hormone cocktail released, feeling trust & bonding. Sensitive period for touch: in first year of life, with constant touching we can make our babies “bulletproof” against stress. Even in adults: touch rereleases stress, enhances soothing and bonding. After kiss: saliva A immune globulin increases.

How? Stroke, kiss, hug, cuddle!



Why? There is activity in Pleasure Center : Nucleus Accumbens ; 2 fold effect: 1-Stimulates the immune system 2-Releases “feel good” neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin & endorphins) – again as in laugh

How? Help others whichever way it feels comfortable for you!



Why? During the deep stages of Non-REM sleep, the body repairs and re-grows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. During REM sleep we dream. Dreams probably take part in unconscious conflict resolution, memory consolidation.

How? Keep healthy “sleep hygiene”. Wound down before sleep. Only sleep & sex in the bedroom. Keep bedroom dark & cool. No caffeine, no alcohol, no drugs…



Why? Serotonin (“feel good” chemical in the brain) is produced more under direct sunlight. Melatonin (“sleep well” chemical) is produced in the dark hours. Circadian rhythm (day-night cycle) can be disturbed in artificial light or dark. How? Go outdoor whenever you can, even if it’s just 10-20 minutes. Arrange your workplace near the window. In artificial light: try therapy lamps.



Why? synchronizing with ~ 60 beats/min causing alpha waves that promote relaxation Wide range of activity in the Limbic – Paralimbic system (emotional regulation) & reward circuit.

How? Listen – Play – Sing – Dance

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Call:   425.280.2643



Photo by  Mister GC . FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What to do with dirty fighters?


Hi, this is Zita Fekete with “Ask an Expert!”  Answering your love and relationship questions.

Question: “I feel like my husband is a dirty fighter. He calls me names, he’s manipulative, he gives me the silent treatment. How can I get him to stop acting like this and fight with me in a fair way?”

Answer: “Excellent question! You are not the only one who is husband is a dirty fighter dealing with a dirty fighter at home. Name calling, silent treatment, belongs to the toolbox of emotional manipulation. When he calls you name, you feel inferior. When he gives you the silent treatment you might fear from abandonment or rejection. When you feel terrible enough, he gives hints, tells you or shows you how you should behave in order to avoid these painful feelings.

How you can handle this tricky situation can viewed in three points.

First of all: you need to separate the imposed feeling from the goal of the manipulation.

(Second) You need to see that the invoked feeling is not the reality what we are talking about.

Third: You need to resist at the core of the manipulation.

What’s the core? – This is your job to figure it out! What your husband wants you to do imposing these feelings? Is it more house work? Is it more serving his needs? Is it more keep your mouth shut about your needs? You have to figure this out.

You have to resist at the core! And why? Because manipulation is a self reinforcing process. The more you comply, the more he feels this pressurizing tactic works, so it reinforces the manipulation.

If you want to break the cycle, you need to stop complying with it.

Reveal And Override Emotional Manipulation
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The Nature and Necessity of Sleep and Dream

Video of a presentation in a local Network Group about Sleep 



The Presentation that can be seen in the video – completed with the basics of Dream




What if he makes me feel not good enough?

Question: “I have this feeling in my marriage that I’m never good enough. My husband often compares to his mother who was perfect, or his sister who does no wrong, and I am really resentful. How can I show him what this is doing to our marriage?”

Answer: “Great Question! You are not alone with overly critical husband. Sometime critique can aim to correct some important issue, but most of the time habitually critical people might raise their own weak self esteem by look down on their environment, families and friends.

What does it mean?

One: you take his critiques seriously and personally.

Second: he can control your behavior with this critique.

How can you handle this situation? I can summarize you in four points:

First of all you have to see that the critiques has a goal. The goal is to control your behavior for some way. You need to figure out what is this way. What he wants to get out from you. Is it more housework? Is it more money? Is it more dealing with his needs without return? You have to figure this out!

The second point: Dismiss this feeling! Now you see that this is not about you! This is just a tool of the manipulation. It has nothing to with your real qualities. So don’t care about it!

(Third point.)What I would suggest is: Don’t jump into the defensive. – Don’t take me wrong! It is instinctive! Every one of us jumps into defensive mode when we feel critique, but most of the time this is just oil to the fire. – Don’t engage to the argument and don’t try to convince him that he’s not right. Just dismiss the feeling in this way.

(Four.) And the main point is that no matter… eh find out what he wants you to do and resist to this point. Not because I think that rebellion is so good in a relationship, but this is only for manipulation. Because when you comply, it reinforces the process. He sees that he pressurizes you, criticizes you, and this critique will result to the behavior what he wants you to do.

Your change of behavior will change the whole relationship.

Reveal And Override Emotional Manipulation
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