Physical & Emotional Abuse Support Group

Abuse is a general term for the treatment of someone that causes some kind of harm (to the abused person, to the abusers themselves, or to someone else) that is unlawful or wrongful. No one deserves abuse, period. Abuse can be emotional, physical, or sexual.

1 Online

Mirroring. ?Sociopathy?

I'm just contemplating what is up with Manny.

I've thought maybe he's NPD, but he doesn't show any grandoise behaviors--he knows that's socially unacceptable.

It's more like he wears a mask.

He splits a lot--one minute holding someone on a pedestal, the next completely devaluing them.

He does express emotions, but they are always about him and his needs/angers.

He's exploitative and manipulative.

He consciously mirrors people.

Mirroring is what I really want to think about--because it's sometimes shocking. Here are some statements he's made repeatedly:

"I'm always wearing a mask."

"I'm a really good actor." Pertaining to socializing.

And tonight, he was complaining about his boss who "never does any work" and he said--

"I'll just mimic her. It's not hard. I do it all the time. She's an open book...all of them are. It's not hard if you have the ability...the knowledge to do that sort of thing."

To me, that sounds kind of freaky! Especially, "she's an open book."

Also, in the beginning of our R this happened:

He has criticized my art soooo much, but in the beginning he took an art class.

His last gf was a devout Christian. He's a self-proclaimed Athiest. He went to church.

He was dating another girl when we first started dating. She was a musician. He started taking piano lessons and singing in the choir.

Now--all this happened, not after he was with these women for a long time--as an effort for him to compromise and share interests--he just started taking these classes when he became interested.

Another thing, in the beginning of our R, I took the kersey personality type test. I marked my answers with pencil in the book. I loaned him the book, to take the test himself. He scored the EXACT same personality as me--that's what he said.

I just feel like this mirroring is so odd. And I'm really suspicious he just does it to everyone. He's a completely different person than who he pretends to be.

Are there other personality disorders besides psychopathy that entail this type of conscious mirroring?



that is all very scary, katya..I don't know if there are other PDs that are similar..

to me, it's pretty much-they aren't completely human, so they try to copy what other humans do..

Manny even coming out and saying it, so matter of factly is very disturbing to me as well...

I was very worried that my ex-boyfriend was mirroring me and other people. He would change his clothes many times a day, and try to get his look perfect in the mornings. I am a christian, and he went to church with me, and christian bookstores with me, yet he claimed that the bible was NOT true!
Why would he go to church with me, and dress and act like a christian while at church if he did not believe??
My ex-boyfriend also saw a doctor, and while he was talking with his psychiatrist, he would act so sweet and genuine and humble.
Then, when we were alone, he would act overly critical, and angry, and even condescending.
He also went to the gym a lot. He would wear all of this hyped up gym gear and create music cds for his friends to listen to at the gym. He actually said, "I'm like a monkey turning cartwheels."
Once, he was joking, and said, I have a thousand personalities.
I was watching Oprah, and one of her guests said, "If someone shows you who they are, believe them."
I have had no contact with my ex-boyfriend since 2009, but I
think that he had a lot of problems, and was emotionally abusive to me. I do think that mirroring is like manipulation, and may have something to do with narcissistic personality disorder.

When I first met my ex-abuser, the main attraction was how similar our tastes, habits etc were. I remember him even asking me if I was a very organized / tidy person, which I am. To this he replied "Well we'll get on just fine, because I'm so neat, tidy and organized I'm almost OCD!" When I moved in with him (like many of us, way too soon), nothing could have been further from the truth. His hygiene left a lot to be desired, the floor his closet / dumping ground and his diverse interests just a sham.

I think abusers mirror people in order to hook them in.

Let me just say that many PDs have some component of grandiosity in them at times. What we first think of when we hear the words, "delusions of grandeur" is someone running around thinking they are Jesus or Hitler or something like that. But in truth, grandiosity doesn't always take the appearance we expect. It, too, can be easily hidden behind a mask.

For example, my mother feels ENTITLED to try to run my life, to criticize me, attempt to control me, to tell me what I should be doing, to be given the attention she wants in her way...ENTITLED because she gave birth to me. This is a form of grandiosity.

Manny still sounds narcissistic to me. His belief that he can take on anyone's personality, that there is no flaw in what he does, that is his form of grandiosity. He even shows pride in it which shows that deep down inside, he believes he is superior to those he mirrors. Sick...just sick!!

Oh and to answer your question....Borderline PD has a mirroring component, however, it is usually something those with the disorder do in an attempt to feel a sense of belonging to their family or friends or partner. It isn't born out of a desire to be a good "actor" but more from a sense of loneliness and it looks vastly different than what Manny is exhibiting.

His acknowledgement of what he does and his display of pride in this behavior is classic anti-social tendencies....psychosis. Psychosis of this sort is usually indicative of a brain disorder that requires medical intervention. It's creepy and goes beyond just needing some counseling.

katya ----

My opinion is that finding
an exact label is a much
lower priority than lots of
other things. If you watch
the "official" psychological
manual compiled for diagnoses,
you'll see that it's always changing,
decade to decade. . . as the experts
change their minds about this or that.

Ultimately, what you describe. . .
the chameleon-like mirroring. . . . .
is clearly a blatant attempt at
manipulation. First --- he
"manipulates" his own exterior
to appear to be as similar to
his prey, as possible (a wolf
in sheep's clothing). Then,
when the prey is captured,
he dispenses with the disguise
because he feels he now has
control, and further manipulation
is no longer necessary and is a
waste of his energy.

I suppose I'd call it
sociopathic "grooming."
He's doing what it takes
to lure the victim into
his lair. It's just a
manipulation to
achieve his ends. . .
the capture of a

Yes Illene. I think you're right about the labeling. I don't know what it would tell me, that I didn't already know. I mean, it wouldn't mean he's any more or less dangerous.

But I do think that grooming is very weird. And the psychopathy explains how he's sooooo over-the-top charming to other people. I mean, to other people, he's the warm, playful, meek, relaxed guy who always wears flip-flops and just likes to joke around. He'll compliment you, and focus all this attention on you...and he has no opinion around others. He might fix your car, or act very generous to you...focusing all on you.

He can absolutely HATE a movie--claim that his friend is the stupidest person alive for being interested in that movie, but if the friend asks him about it he'll smile and thank him for loaning him the movie--and laugh...and ask questions about the parts of the movie that "were over his head." Playing dumb is a big part of his disarms people.

And it's also just unfathomable to me how he can change SO much about his mannerisms....I mean, his tone of voice changes. His eye contact changes. His mouth position...EVERYTHING about him changes between when he's acting the way he really is (alone with me) and when he's putting his mask on. And I've seen him change over a matter of seconds--when he went from berating me to picking up the phone to talk to a friend he wants to impress.

I guess maybe I'm looking to the labels to explain this, because normally I would never imagine that someone would purposefully pretend to be someone else...and lie.

And Jillie, that's interesting about the grandiosity. But it's just that Manny doesn't seem to be obsessed with his self image. He knows it's not socially acceptable to be Narcissistic. If anything, he's obsessed with how everyone around him is wrong and bad...and he's all alone.

But I can see that I could infer Narc. from this--that if everyone around him is so rude etc....that that's another form of grandiosity because it must mean Manny is above them all, better than the rest. Psychopaths also have grandiose fantasies.

And I just don't see how most typical people could be THAT good at acting--I mean, he really is good...good enough to fool just about everyone he knows...

And people just love him--girls have gone nuts meeting him once. One girl, I knew her through friends and heard about this not through Manny, she met him once and fell in love with him. She had a nervous breakdown and stalked him for a couple weeks.

Another girl, she met him once in yoga class--and he made such an impact on her that she called the radio station and announced she wanted to see him again on the air....and this was a woman who was working on her doctorate, came from a wealthy family, was athletic and blonde....

It's just amazing to me...if they only knew the real him.

""""""""""""""""""""""""normally I would never imagine that someone would purposefully pretend to be someone else...and lie.""""""""""""""""""""""

[1] actor
[2] spy
[3] sociopath

Since he's not an actor or a spy, he's a psychopath aka. conman.

I used to think that con men were those guys that shuffle up to you on the street, trying to get you to buy their stolen merchandise, or spinning long tales about their bad luck, only to ask you for money....

But now I know that there are those people in the world who con everyone. Who are just con-men by nature, not by occupational choice (IMO). And who con you for way more than a few bucks.

And its terrifying realizing that isn't it? It changes your whole outlook on the world, at least it did for me. I was so naieve.... I didn't realize that these people were out there in such large numbers. I feel like I'm going to have trouble trusting anyone new in my life for a long time.

Ilene is right - it really doesn't matter what you label him. It is the individual behavioral components that are hurtful, and that is what really matters. But, sometimes it is helpful to find a label simply for peace of mind that you are not alone and that this kind of behavior has been documented and studied before. Sometimes finding that label also helps one to realize there is no cure.

As for grandiosity - Jillie said what I would say - you need to look from the perspective of the personality and culture. To me "grandiose" means having some kind of ideal or image that is illogical or cannot be obtained through rational means. It's an ideal that is impossible or pointless given one's natural behaviors and capacities. I could picture myself as the king of England some day, and that is impossible and also pointless. Or, I could strive to be the worlds most influential peace negotiator - but again that is really not possible, and pointless because that title depends entirely upon the opinions of others.

My ex once (or many times) said "I need to have the best things." Or, "when I go out to lunch, it needs to be gourmet or deluxe." I consider that grandiose because "best" and "gourmet" and "deluxe" are matters of opinion, and not clearly defined in reality. What is the "best" car, or "best" toaster? It's not like she said she needs to have a BMW because she likes BMWs, it is because she felt the need to have the "best", and she somehow determined that a BMW was "best". And it's not like the car she drove really mattered, and she really had no means to achieve those arbitrary goals considering her job and lifestyle.

The fact that manny insists on the cheapest possible could be considered grandiose, because he is saying that he is better than others because he is buying cheap. That is what fits in with his ideal, and in with the culture he has defined for himself. To him "best" = "cheapest".

oh boy, my ex's name is Manny too and he is a narcissist. He mirrors people. I always made excuses for him being that he was in prison for 5 years and was trying to find himself. Not so, he know exactly who he is but he likes to take certain traits from people and use them to get attention because he sees the other person getting attention.

Katya, my sociopathic ex used to do this purposefully, except he would add to it, to make it crazy, just to make YOU think YOU were crazy, that this was how YOU acted. It took me a long time to figure out what he was doing. He would do it with a glint in his eye, full of himself, proud that he could freak people out like that....


His real problems became tho, that he was not able to, after a while, dissociate himself form the mirrors he played. He stopped being able to discern reality form the world he made up.
Posts You May Be Interested In:
  • mallory26

    Are horoscopes accurate?

    I went through a break up, and I've been really depressed. I've turned to horoscopes, because they seem to say things that relate to what's going on in my life. My horoscope for the past month has been saying things are going to get better soon and that my suffering will end soon. Are horoscopes accurate/real? I just want to be happy again. And horoscopes seem to be the only thing I can put my...
  • Byzantine


    To the wayward spouses: If you confessed to your spouse that you cheated, what compelled you to do so?  Are you glad you did or do you regret it?  If you haven't confessed and haven't been discovered, do you think about coming clean?  Does it eat at you?  What do you tell yourself in order to keep your mouth shut?