Punchy AdviceArchives

August 17, 1995

"The Good Twin" asks Ooni:
My friend copies me all the time. When I tell her to stop, she says we just have the same taste in things. In that case we are the exact same person! Help!
Ooni Ooni answers:
Nobody copies me.
Kauli Kauli concurs:
Me either.
Alphonzo Alphonzo suggests:
I hate when people do that. Charge her ten cents a copy. You'll make a fortune!
Punjabi Punjabi
Your friend admires you, and she wants to be like you. A little of that is a normal part of growing up. We learn by imitating other people.

But taken to extremes, this habit can be most distressing. I would venture that your friend has very little self-esteem, and too much esteem for you. You like yourself well enough to enjoy your own style. Your friend would be better off copying how you feel about yourself inside, instead of copying how you look and act on the outside.

You cannot repair this person's ego, but you can help by letting her know in little ways that you think she is perfectly wonderful just as she is. Be most curious as to what she likes and does not like. Allow her to discover that she does have most excellent opinions of her own.

Kelsey Kelsey answers:
I like that, Punjabi. But this story reminds me of me. I'm ashamed to tell it, but what the heck — it was a long time ago.

When I was 12 or 13, there was a neighbor girl named Anna who followed me everywhere I went, and bought all the same albums I did, and liked all the same boys. It drove me crazy. It made me feel like a stand-up comic whose act is being stolen.

When I was years older, I lost track of Anna, and I got to wondering — if she drove me so crazy, how come she was my best friend? I shuddered to realize the obvious: I liked her because she admired me! I was so shy in those days, it felt good to have someone around who thought I was cool.

So my advice is, dear Good Twin, if you don't want this person driving you crazy, make sure you aren't secretly enjoying the attention. Good luck!

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