Copycats Need Not Apply

Dear Relationshipper,

My brother's wife is driving me totally nuts.  She copies everything I do and the family makes fun of her (behind her back) but they just tell me it's a form of flattery and to ignore it.  I maintain that it is NOT flattery and it's irritating as an itch that you can't reach.

She has turned their apartment into a replica of mine.  She goes to the same hairdresser and asks for the identical cut/style that I get.  She has bought the same clothes/shoes after she sees mine - and she doesn't seem to care that the colors I wear are not flattering on her.  My taste in music runs from Peabo Bryson to Enya to Sarah Brightman - guess what's in her CD cabinet?  I discovered that she has a running list of what I keep in MY pantry and that's her shopping list.  I entertain a lot and do all the cooking because I like to cook so I keep a well-stocked kitchen.  She doesn't know how to use half the stuff she has bought!

She's starting to creep me out with this behavior and I'm nervous about confronting her because I don't know if she's just immature or if there's more to it.  She's 22 and doesn't have a job because my brother makes a very good living and told her she didn't have to work if she didn't want to.  So she has lots of time to devote to this.  They've been married 18 months.

How do you see it?

Copied Cat

Dear Copied,

I hate to agree with your family, but this is a form of flattery!  You sister-in-law clearly wants to become just like you.  It sounds as though she is having trouble developing her own identity.  22 is still quite young, and maybe she’s a little nervous about becoming an adult and not sure that the world will accept her for who she is.

If you can’t tune out your SIL’s obsession with you, consider helping her to get more in tune with her true personality.  If there’s anyone who can do that, it would be her role model!  Approach the situation knowing that she really does idolize you, and is just a bit insecure.  Get her to focus on her own great qualities, not yours.

For example: take her clothes shopping.  Show her clothes that you think would really suit her.  If she picks out something that looks just like your clothes, tell her, “That looks just like my shirt – you should get something that makes you stand out…you’ve got great legs, why don’t you try on one of these skirts?”

This poor girl needs someone to encourage her a little bit.  Have some pity that she feels so lost.  She is probably a wonderful person who just needs some guidance.


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