Have you ever had a friend that always seems to have to copy you in one way or another?
You get a new schoolbag, they suddenly need to buy a new one too. You ask for Niall Horan tickets for your birthday, suddenly they have tickets as well. Before you know it, you notice that they aren’t just buying the same things as you, but their personality traits and opinions start to mimic yours.
This can be extremely irritating, and frustrating as you feel as though your views and ideas are being stolen by a person close to you. It can also lead to your friendship becoming pretty bland, we’re all for self love but no one wants to be their own bff.
Whilst someone morphing into you may sound like the stuff of horror movies, it’s not all sinister. In fact, there is science behind why your friend may be mimicking you as our ancestors often used copying each other as a means of survival. None the less, we’re not cave people anymore and being copied can be extremely annoying; trust us, we know.
Here are some tips on how to deal with a copycat friend:
Once you feel as though your friend is a copycat it can be hard to shake the feeling. Anything they do that is even remotely similar to something you’ve done can really start to get on your nerves. However, their copycat behaviour might be completely coincidental. Stop overthinking everything they do, and remember that you’re bound to be similar to your friends. Having things in common is what makes you friends afterall!
Take It As A Compliment
To paraphrase the great Oscar Wilde, ” Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Meaning that if someone is putting in effort to copy you, you should take it as a compliment. If you think about it, this does make sense. If you’re friend really loves your outfit and tries to recreate it, then why not take it that you are très fashionable rather than getting annoyed that they’re being a copycat.
Be Careful What Info You Divulge
If, however, your copycat friend is buying the exact same clothes as you constantly, stop telling them where you buy things from. Be vague, say the item is old/vintage, or you stole it out of your sister’s or mam’s wardrobe. The same goes for any plans you might have, the college course you want to do, or who your newest crush is. If you don’t give them all of the information they need, then they can’t copy you.
Talk To Them
If it’s something that really is starting to bother you, and you think it might come between you and your friend, sit them down and tell them how you feel. There’s no need to attack them, or name call (or go full Regina George on them), but just explaining that you feel as though they might need to embrace their individualism a little more. Explain that you’re friends with them for the person they are, and that they should express themselves in their own way.
Copycats can be annoying, but during your teens everyone is just trying to find themselves and figure out what works for them. Your friends may not have bad intentions if copying you, but rather is trying to see what works for them. Your their friend and you’re more than likely an inspiration to them in some shape or form. If it’s something that you can ignore then it’s probably best to take this route. If the behaviour continues to a point where you are starting to become irritated then follow the advice above.
Have you ever had a copycat friend? How did you deal with it?
Read More: Signs That You’re In A Toxic Friendship