How to Handle a Copycat Friend
The highest form of flattery
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when a friend copies everything from your clothes, to your hairstyles, even your choice of men even to the point that you feel like you're staring at your image in the mirror can be disgusting says a renowned author.
Tips on how to handle a copycat friend shared from the author of How to Handle A Copycat Friend:
- Understand her. Understand her, what drives her to copy. According to a psychologist resorting to violence will not help your cause. Give her the benefit of the doubt. Try to see where she's coming from to understand what's on her mind. These are the reasons that might drive her to copy: 1) She's afraid people won't appreciate the real her. 2) High regards for you, which unconsciously manifests in her own decision. You can figure out how to deal with her once you grasp what motives her to copy yours.
- Encourage her. Encourage your copycat friend to be unique. You can start by lending her some of your fashion magazines. Give her tips on what's "in and out", whats hot and not. Try to encourage her to experiment on different looks and styles that will boost her confidence. You can also give her tips on how to emphasize her best assets and mask her flaws with the right color and prints. This ways you are trying to make her confident enough to be unique.
- Sense of security. Keep your sense of security. It's always best to keep your pose, even if her actions are starting to hurt your reputation says a psychologist. So next time you see her in a pair of blouse that is similar to the one you wore during the party, don't let it get into your nerves and spoil your perfect day. Instead practice maximum tolerance.
- Subtle hints. Drop subtle hints if you can't be frank about your feelings. For example, casually tell her from time to time it's better to be unique, instead of being a copycat. Tell her you don't want to be copied because you want to stand out in a crowd. If your friend is sensitive enough to take the hint, then you may soon see her old self. Or you may soon see her with all- new image. When this happens, then you have succeeded in building up your friends confidence.
- Avoid her. Avoid her usual haunts. Try to avoid her if you really can't stop her from imitating you. This will spare you from quizzical looks and from having to explain yourself to everyone who sees the two of you. Better yet, seek the company of other friends. Choose who appreciate and respect the beauty of individuality.
- Limit your time with her. Do limit your time with her. As much as possible, steer clear of parties you know she's attending. Don't go if she invites you to go shopping or bar hopping. This way, you'll give her sufficient time and space to grow and find her own identity added a psychologist. You'll also lessen the possibility of unfair comparison which result in a total loss of identity of both of you. That is one tip to handle a copycat friend.
- Dump her. If all else fails, dump her. Nobody wants to lose a good friend, but you should set a limit. It's probably high time you stop seeing her altogether if you have tried every possible means to stop copying, but to no avail.
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Mateo, Shiela, "How to Handle a Copycat Friends." 10 July 04