The non-reversing mirror

When I was a young graduate student at NYU, taking my first course in field methods, my professor Renee Blake took our class on a little fild trip to learn about how others see us. She took us to a shop in New York City that had non-reversing mirrors called True Mirror.

For many, looking in a mirror that does not reverse your image can be like looking at yourself for the first time. This certainly was true for me, I saw assymetries that I had not been aware of, and it was a fundamentally different experience seeing myself move in a mirror when it was not the opposite hand, moving in the opposite direction.

From their website:
When you communicate with every other individual in the world, your eyes always meet left-eye-to-right-eye and right-eye-to-left eye. This normal biological pattern conveys information “just so”. With traditional mirrors, where the right eye picks up the right-eye reflection, and the left picks up the left’s, you are experiencing a highly unnatural way of gathering information about yourself. You don’t communicate with anyone else in the world in that pattern. The result is that we always feel we are somehow different than everyone else, often in a negative way. It is very common for people to feel “I won’t join a club that will have me” or “I know there’s something wrong with me, no one else seems to see it, but I sure do.” Other people report that flat mirrors create uncomfortable or pointless feelings that really don’t have any good explanation.

I would characterize my experience with the non-reversing mirror as quite unsettling. but it did help me to see myself in a new way and think about what kind of impression I give off. This is so important when we are jobsearching. Finding ways to understand how we are being seen.

The closest parallel that I can think of is in cultivating a network that will give you the good, the bad and the ugly. You desperately need honest feedback, keeping asking for it from those you trust!!! Tell them that you appreciate honesty when they trust you enough to give it! It may feel distorted when you first hear it, because you may be used to only having one version of yourself reflected back to you, but the sooner you can become aware of and comfortable with the full picture, the better!

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