The Mirror Theory: Wounds That Shape And Destroy Relationships
Have you ever wondered what actually happens when you connect with another person and after a while discover character traits that displease you? Jacques Lacan’s mirror theory helps us understand this process. According to this author, we would create our personal identity as we perceive ourselves in others. So our relationships with others are the reflection or projections of aspects of our personality that we like or dislike.
What is mirror theory?
Just as there are places on our body and appearance that displease us when we look at ourselves in the mirror, there are aspects of our personality that we do not accept. These aspects are suppressed by our subconscious. However, we see reflected in our fellow human beings, what we tease with. This means that in a certain way we sometimes recognize some of the traits that we dislike in others, even if symbolically. What we don’t like about others, we may not like ourselves.
So we constantly project a part of ourselves. The mirror theory, therefore, invites us to change our attitude so that we do not have to protect ourselves from others, but should ask: “Why do I experience this situation with this person and what do I have about me that I have about her? not enduring? ” Since we are generally unable to see our own shadows and even virtues, life gives us the gift of the relationships we experience to indirectly show us what is within us, The other person in the relationship simply serves us as a mirror, we reflect ourselves and thereby get the opportunity to recognize ourselves.
Direct or inverted mirror
The mirror theory knows a direct and a reverse projection. Here’s an example: Let’s imagine that you can’t stand the selfishness of your partner or friend . In a direct way, you may project that part of yourself that is selfish and that you reject from yourself. If you do the opposite, this person could show you how little value you put in your interests. Maybe you are dependent on others and give others more priority than you. So in one way or another we get very valuable information for our self-knowledge and development.
What I don’t like about you, I correct myself.
Maybe you think your boss is asking too much of you. Or maybe you are very demanding and perfectionistic about yourself and your manager is nothing more than a reflection of this demanding behaviour that you impose on yourself. On the other hand, it may also be that you are too tolerant and have to give your life some rigour. And we know that virtue is in balance.
We don’t heal a wound with a plaster. When we injure ourselves, we first express our pain, and when we have calmed down, we clean the wound and heal it with the appropriate tools. We don’t cover it and we don’t forget it because we know it won’t heal like this. In addition, we take care of the wound for a while until it heals at some point. The same thing happens with other types of wounds.
We all have emotional wounds. Emotional wounds are all these emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions that have arisen in us and in various painful moments in our lives that we have not yet overcome and accepted. We have become prisoners of our emotions and imprison ourselves in this fictional prison. We feel good again when we have transformed these feelings and made wisdom and experiences from these ways of thinking so that they serve as an impulse to heal ourselves.
Wounds as a reflection
As soon as we forget our wounds, they become part of our subconscious and influence our thoughts, moods and behaviours. A feeling of lack of love that has arisen in our earliest childhood but is now becoming noticeable and / or is even more apparent if we do not heal it.
It so happens that we often find empties in our partner that are very similar to ours. And that is exactly what leads to our union. For example, two people who have suffered greatly because of love meet and discover that love does not mean suffering. This couple has bandaged the same wound. Both are the reflection of the other. But we have to be careful here because wounds that unite can also separate.
If both partners do not heal their wounds, they will sooner or later destroy the relationship. Uncertainties, fears, jealousy or possessive behaviour then come to light. It’s like life is trying to hold up a mirror to us that shows us the way we have to go to grow. If we do not analyze these reflections and disregard the information they reveal to us, we will not develop or mature more slowly and our relationships will be more fragile. For this reason, our relationships with others – based on mirror theory – can provide us with very useful information about ourselves and the state of these wounds, which we have not yet made part of our history.