Friend shaming and coping with it

My whole life I have fought with the constant idea that people copying me is not a compliment.

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I hate it. I hate it more than anything in fact. I love being my own person and I love the things that make me unique. So of course, when a friend copies my every move, it irks me more than anything else in the world. More than cotton balls, more than wet hair after a shower touching my back, and certainly more than loud chewing. I just hate it.

But recently, thanks to a long conversation I had with my boyfriend, I decided to look at this in a new light. Maybe instead of friend shaming and getting angry, I can use this to help this desperate friend in need. Help them become their own person and not feel the need to copy my every move.

When they mimic your style.
Seriously this is the biggest form of flattery. Even though it pisses me off, because I certainly have my own unique style, it’s kinda cool that someone else wants to dress just like you. So next time you choose to get mad at this, just brush it off and know that you still are your own person.

When they copy your hobbies.
Just know that you are the authentic one. You do things that help your personality shine and help you cope with day to day things. Whether they copy your love for yoga or whatever, just know it’s not benefitting them in the same way because it isn’t their thing, it’s yours. Try to help them flourish in their own hobbies, or even find their own hobbies. Or hey, maybe even start doing this hobby they (you) [now] love, together.

When they mimic your relationship.
You cannot live through someone else’s relationship. This may bug you, and this may put a damper on your relationship, but just know they don’t have the same relationship as you. They wish they did and so they are mimicking what you have. And you could use this to realize that you have a great relationship that they envy. Instead of being upset, talk to them about their relationship. Help them find things that make their relationship unique. Show them that you don’t have the same relationship.

When they copy your habits.
This one probably bugs me the most.. Whether it be then copying your eating habits, the way you talk, your gestures, anything, it’s just obnoxious. There is only room for one you. And that’s just my point, they can copy your movements all they want, but they cannot be you. Don’t let it get to you. Maybe start acting different and see if they change too. Point it out to them. Point it out at the moment they do it. Push them to be their own person.

Use this to help them.
Don’t you think it goes deeper than all of this materialistic stuff? I hate worrying about this because I should just be able to be myself and do what I want.. But with a shadow that’s hard. The best thing to do is realize that there is an underlying issue (maybe jealousy, maybe lack of knowing who they are, maybe the need for guidance, maybe the need for independence and they see you have that) and just be a friend. Be a friend who is there to help them and maybe you do guide them. But guide them in their own direction. You can’t live your whole life copying someone, you’ll never be truly happy.

Make sure they know.
Whenever you’re upset, the other person deserves to know. You can’t keep it in and hold it against them, that’s just not fair to them. Be gentle, be kind, but get to the point and tell them that it’s really upsetting you. Let them know that it’s hurting your relationship and your friendship may end if it continues.

But you know what? Above all, be a friend. This friend sounds confused and like they’re unsure of themselves and nothing is worse than that feeling. Put your feelings aside (not too far aside) and help them blossom into who they are.

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XORelatable

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