In an unconcscious adaptation of the optimal Prisoner’s Dilemma solution (tit-for-tat), I have discovered that my personality is that of a mirror. I show you what you show me. If you concentrate on your flaws, I reflect them to you. If you’re kind, I’m warm and fuzzy. If you hate yourself, you won’t like me either. If you’re a math god and you know it, I’ll worship you.

I don’t think it’s an optimal way to live life, though. There is one better: Mirrors of Erised.

People who reflect the you that you wish you were. Every interaction with them leaves you feeling like they truly believe that you are the person you wish you were. Why is this better? Recent studies have shown that people tend to live up or down to the expectations that you have of them. The downside is that they’re highly addictive and rare. If I can’t be any of the things I wanted to be in this lifetime (Duchess of Devonshire, patron saint of hopeless dreamers), maybe I can at least learn to be a Mirror of Erised.

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