You may have noticed that when people bond intensely, they begin to adopt one another’s traits and idiosyncrasies.

It turns out, there’s a psychological reason for this, and what it boils down to is: the more you unintentionally adopt the mannerisms of a friend, the more you love them and want them to be in your life forever. (Yes, really.)

It’s called unintentional mirroring, or the chameleon effect. Its purpose is to show the person that you are “in their tribe,” so to say. It’s a way to subconsciously communicate that you already feel as though they are “family,” or to preemptively smooth over any social bumps you fear could arise.

So, the more you mimic each other… the more you are communicating that you want them to be in your life forever. It seems imitation is the greatest form of flattery after all.

Photography: Richard P J Lambert