“My friend is driving me nuts literally, so here is the story. We grew up together and went to the same University, I studied arts and she majored in engineering. We have always been very close but lately, I am unsure of what is wrong with her. She copies everything I do, this started very gradually. I noticed that she would buy the same shoes as me, okay, this is not a huge deal, but over time it has gone from shoes to everything I wear to even the music I listen to. She now wants to study for a Bachelor’s in dramatic arts, I am trying to convince her to stick with her degree. It’s starting to freak me out a little because she was never like this. I recently cut my hair and colored it blond, and she did the same thing, should I be worried? I am now scared to tell her anything in case she wants to copy it”. – anonymous
So your friend has started dressing, looking, and speaking like you? At first, you found it cute, but as time goes you begin to be irritated and a little freaked out. A Friend who copies you and a friend who admires you are two different things, it can be hard to know which one is which. Most importantly why is she doing this?
Have a look at these 6 possible reasons why your friend wants to be you
6 Possible reasons why your friend wants to be you
Your friend wants to be you because she has trouble forming her own identity, she like the person that you are and wants to emulate your characteristics.
She does not have her own identity
It can take some people a long time to find their identity or establish their presence. It’s not unusual for people like your friend to go through different phases. Teenagers are notorious for this, one moment they dress like princesses and the next they dress like vampires, it eventually subsides. Your friend could be trying to find out what she likes and what will suit her.
She likes your style
If you are” the fashionable” friend, I would also want to take styling tips from you, but there is a difference between liking your style and outright being creepy and copying everything from the way you dress to the way you speak, now a line needs to be drawn. If she admires your style take it as a compliment and gently direct her to something that you think will suit her.
She doesn’t like herself
So many people including myself have tried to reinvent themselves, I have tried to change my style to look and appeal more like Eva Longoria for example, that is because I was unhappy with myself and needed a “life or style mentor” that I could morph into. I soon caught myself and decided that I was happy with the way that I am. People who don’t like themselves can be extremely dangerous, studies show that sometimes they do not change, so it’s best to think long and hard about this.
She is always being compared to you
It’s always uncomfortable when friends are compared with one another, it happens all the time. It becomes ten times awkward if it happens consistently. If you are the prettier friend or the one whos always been on “top” we can only imagine the pressure that your friend feels. The comparison makes people do funny things and yes one of them is to copy the style, and mannerisms of whomever they are compared to.
She wants to one-up you
This goes hand in hand with what we have just said about comparison, if your friend is copying you her next move would be to one-up you, to prove not only to everyone but to herself that she can look as good as you and achieve the same if not more success than you have.
You are always the center of attention
In her mind since she doesn’t have her own identity or sense of style or the style that she has is not getting her any attention, why not mimic yours so that she can garner the same attention that you get?
She could also be doing this on purpose, to get people talking, “oh you guys look alike”, “wow are you guys sisters?”, these could be the kind of reactions that she wants.
5 Things you can do when your friend wants to be you
Express your disapproval
A quick way to deal with this is to tell her outright that you don’t like this, you feel like you can’t tell her anything because she might go and do the same. Be honest and confront the behavior, it would also be great if you said something along the lines of “ these days you do and buy everything that I buy, why is that?”. If she has enough self-awareness she will be slightly embarrassed and hopefully stop what she is doing.
Go no contact
Putting an emotional and physical distance from her will give you enough time to reflect, you have to completely go no contact, but if this is bothering you, time and distance are what you need.
Conceal your plans or moves
If your friend wanting to be you irritates you, don’t give her style or general life tips, and don’t entertain her questions about what your next fashion purchase is or what you plan on doing next in your career, if you do this don’t be surprised when she copies you. You can do this by gradually changing the subject, answering her questions here and there, give her enough information for her to see that you are responding, but not enough for her to know the exact details. You can direct the conversation to everyday stuff like food, celebrity gossip, or movies.
Don’t fall for the praise
It is very common for narcissistic friends to do this, it’s the relationship equivalent of love bombing. Keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t be blind to flattery, if she is copying you and wants to be better than you, that is not a good friend to have.
Help her develop her own identity
You can start by complimenting her on certain features that she has that you think stand out. If her eyes look great, help her pick out makeup that enhances her looks. If she is good at sports help her find a sports clubs that will keep her busy. These traits need to be separate from yours, ideally, things that you don’t have to do together and you have no interest in participating in. If you don’t know how to do this you can encourage her to reach out to a professional.
Is it normal for a friend to copy me?
It’s normal for friends to admire one another, there is nothing wrong with your friend copying a little of what you have, it becomes a problem when your friend changes their entire identity in order to look and mimic your life.
How do you deal with a copycat friend?
If you have a problem with being copied, then you need to call your copycat friend to order. You ask her why she copies you and why you don’t like it. You should also keep information to yourself so that your friend does not copy you.
Should I be mad if my friend Copies me?
If your friend does it a lot then yes, you should be mad, encourage your friend to form their own identity and focus on the talents and gifts which make them feel special.
You need to determine the reason why she wants to be you, does she admire you? Or does she want to be you? If her actions are becoming more extreme as time goes on, she might benefit from the intervention of a professional.