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Sister-In-Law Tries to Copy Me

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I rented out a beautiful flat, but the moment I moved in I started feeling that my sister in law (husband’s brother’s wife) will be jealous and she might also buy flat in same society. She has copied me several times before, but never gives credit and many times people see things at her place first and then think it is me who has copied her. This time, I have this fear from the last 4 months that she will buy flat in the place where I am currently renting so that when we move out they can come in. And I won’t be able to tolerate that as they will come to know about this flat through me, but I will never be acknowledged for that and secondly, everyone else in the family will praise them that they bought the flat here (no one will remember that we rented here first and through us they came to know of this place) and thirdly, they will become superior to me and they will flourish more as there are lots of opportunities and facilities in this society. Because of this fear, I am not inviting anyone home, especially my inlaws and secondly I am planning to move out to other society before I invite anyone here. What is wrong with me and what should I do to overcome this?

Other issue is: I cannot share things with anyone, especially in-laws. For example, I currently learnt how to ice the cake and if they see me doing it, they will ask how to do it or they will learn through someone else after seeing me. Again, here the end result will be they will directly or indirectly learn through me but will never give credit to me. So, I am afraid of showing or telling something nice about me to them. (From India)

Sister-In-Law Tries to Copy Me

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing us here at PsychCentral. What I understand from your letter is that your fear of having your sister-in-law copy you is dominating your thoughts and actions. This seems to be preventing you from enjoying your own accomplishments for fear that others will give credit to your sister-in-law. This is known as a thinking trap. I recommend a book called The Resilience Factor. This will help you understand how to challenge your thinking at the root of it, and give you tools so that you can enjoy your own accomplishments. Until you get out of the trap everything you do will be guarded.

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

Sister-In-Law Tries to Copy Me

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Sister-In-Law Tries to Copy Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 Aug 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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