Sister-in-law Is a Copycat

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

When I first met my sister in law she was nice and simple she dressed simple and conservative and she never used to go out or drive its like if she was scared to live her life. Then all of the sudden she stared buying the same shoes and clothes as me if I wear my hair a certain way she wears it the same two days later when I got my license she decided to learn how to drive she even bought a similar key chain to mine its annoying. Recently she started showing off everything she is successful in how much she spends shopping and that she has many friends I have never been this way before so I don’t know why she is doing this I don’t even care I try to show it but she keeps telling me anyway. I mentioned this to my husband and he noticed and he says to just let it go and not make a big deal out of it. I want to confront her but I know she will deny it and make me look a fool and like I’m acting childish and my parents-in-law always support her with everything I know they will stop talking to me if I do this. What should I do? I tried ignoring her but I feel like I’m going to explode one of these days!
A: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
~Charles Caleb Colton

I can imagine how unsettling this is, but you do not need to worry about what your sister-in-law is doing. Each of us copies styles and trends others have set as being role models. In fact, I would encourage you to begin letting her know that you notice her duplication of your style. This will inform her that you are sensitive to it. In addition, notice when she does something unique. My guess is that after a while she will, as we all do, need to branch out on her own.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Sister-in-law Is a Copycat. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/05/sister-in-law-is-a-copycat/