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Just imagine working in an office & having a coworker sitting next to you copy everything you wear. We are 35 plus year old medical professionals seeing the same patients, but she comes from a rural area & wanted to fit in & that’s fine but has started aping me & it’s not flattering it’s plain irritating that someone goes & buys everything you wear down to sweaters, shoes, same haircut from my dresser. So how do you deal a coworker who imitates you to this extent?
 
What I've done so far (Since a year)- stopped sharing details of my stuff but now she owns everything that I wear & is literally twinning on most days. 
 
So, Ive tried to maintain a distance as its draining me & find her toxic. But that's making her clingier and intrusive she's calling /texting desperately.
 
It sounds trivial but I have to work & deal with this person daily & I love my job.  Would really like your expert advice on how to handle this hindrance.
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11 minutes ago, Redhotchicita said:
Ive tried to maintain a distance as its draining me & find her toxic. But that's making her clingier and intrusive she's calling /texting desperately.

Make sure she is deleted and blocked from ALL your social media and messaging apps. Don't socialize at or after work. Keep is professional, not catty. You both can wear whatever you want.

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Stop responding to her texts/calls.

Your work only.

Maybe start giving her the cold shoulder... that's weird behaviour. I guess you can't really go complain to the manager about her, over her clothing, lol.

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Compliment her on original things she does.  She's probably lonely and sad.  Talk about her good features. 

Unless she's copying your mannerisms, talking like you, or trying to steal your boyfriend/hubs, I wouldn't write her off so quickly.  Being passive aggressive never helps, because people with this level of low self-esteem will just cling more.  She is seeking your approval.

I would point it out even, politely, "are you trying to twin me???"   And, you can fit in, of course I like that sweater, but I thought your other clothes were cool too.

And for goodness sake, get some new threads too. 

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It's an office.  Stay in your lane.  Say nothing because it's a professional environment.  Communicate only pertaining to work related matters. There are far worse things than this.  Count your blessings each time you react by feeling stressed/irritated.

Edited by Batya33
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What does she say when she texts and calls? Do you have to have each other's numbers for work or not? If not, I might sit down with her and tell her you like to keep your business life separate from your personal life, and that you feel it's best to delete each other's contact numbers. I might sit down with her in private and say, "I noticed how you've decided to purchase the exact same x x that I have. It's a bit awkward when we come to work and look like twinsies. I'm flattered you've adopted my style, but I think it's getting a bit over the top. You're your own person and should have your own style. I bet if you challenge yourself to try on other types of shoes and outfits, you'll find a look all your own.

I don't know if you want to go that route, but it's an option. Just like with sexual harassment, sometimes as far as HR is concerned, they require you to say something to the person and let them know to stop as the first step.

What she's doing isn't something you can control or get management involved in, but the calls and texts could be considered harassment. It's always best to talk to a person about behavior if nothing else has worked. The only other alternatives are to live with it or get another job.

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Wasn't there an old saying... "Imitation is the highest form of flattery?"

I do get it somewhat... I had a friend in college that decided to buy the exact same perfume I had picked out for myself... to be unique!  

But ultimately, this is just a high form of a compliment that she's copying you.  

Acting with grace and confidence about this is wise.  She's not a threat in anyway... so don't let it bother you.

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Since you work together and there's some rapport I might have a conversation as Andrina suggested but a short, mostly neutral one (lean more towards being kind and not annoyed). I think this might benefit you in the long term in case she decides to be even more resentful towards you during work. Clear the air but do it in a kind way so that you're not backing her into a corner or accusing her of doing something criminal. Let her know that your life is getting very busy and you aren't able to text or call back but if she has any issues with work you can talk about it during work hours. 

You have to find a way to be as diplomatic as possible as this is a coworker. You've learned your lesson now if you haven't before - stay away from being too close and avoid adding coworkers on social media apps. Give yourself a few years in the company to get to know everyone's personalities before opening up your private life. It's just not worth the hassle in the long run. Save your energies towards your work. 

Hope this blows over and clears up soon. Since she already has some similar clothing I'd let those items slide. Just let that sh*t go. It's not worth getting upset about. The most you can do is now is do some damage control and ensure that your work relationship remains professional and she doesn't take further offense to you or get in the way of your work. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Well yeah she is acting weird and she seems obsessed with you. Reminds me how people do that in horror movies, but I watch too many horror movies lol The thing is I don't think you can really tell her what to do because she is actually allowed to buy all the same clothes and get the same haircut and so on. She is also your colleague so if you start fighting then it wouldn't look very professional and would just cause tension in the office and make other staff feel awkward. 

I think the best thing would just to be polite, but you definitely don't have to be friends with her. Just don't answer her calls or messages. I mean even if she wasn't copying you, you still don't have to be friends with people you don't like because friendship is a choice. I think just continue doing what you're doing and don't tell her where you buy all your things. If she asks where you get your things or got your haircut, just say calmly: "Actually I pride myself on having my own style so I'd rather not share where I shop sorry." You don't owe it to her to tell who your hairdresser is or where you buy anything.

I mean she is acting weird and it's not really appropriate. Even if she's from a rural area and is trying to learn the city fashion, she doesn't have to buy everything exactly the same. She could ask recommendations for stores but then buy something different there, not exactly what you have.

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Is this some kind of new thing that coworkers have your personal phone number?

I NEVER give mine out to coworkers.  My manager, yes.  But coworkers?  Nope.  They have my email if they need to contact me for whatever reason but that's it.  Same with social media; I only add actual friends, people I spend time with outside of work.

Networking doesn't require the exchange of personal information, they can email you or connect through LinkedIn or similar industry websites.

Are you in the habit of adding coworkers or exchanging personal phone numbers?  If so, why? 

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The next time she texts you, tell her that from now on, you'll have a peaceful, light, professional relationship with her at the office only.  Ask her to please honor and respect your wishes.  After that ignore her texts.  You are under no obligation to resume non-office hours contact. 

You can't control how she dresses, her haircut, shoes, etc.  'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.'  However, I know it must feel annoying.  Maintain a safe, peaceful, well mannered, respectful distance.  It's all you can do. 

Enforce healthy boundaries with others.

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12 minutes ago, East4 said:

Come to work one day dressed like Batwoman, and ask your colleague to copy that too 😉 

Now serious: I read somewhere that when another person starts to imitate your dressing style, manners, places you visit, it is a sign of jealousy. Or there might be a more benign explanation: since your colleague comes from a rural area, she has taking liking to your dress code and you are her role model. What will explain her texts/calls. She would like to get closer to you. It seems you find that intrusive, totally your right. 

image.png

Textless variant cover of Detective Comics #860 (December 2009).
Art by Alex Ross.

Hilarious East4 !!!!!  Almost made me spit my coffee out!!!!!

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On 1/28/2021 at 10:09 AM, Redhotchicita said:

So how do you deal a coworker who imitates you to this extent?

I would probably not even notice, much less find it irritating.

I just don't care about this stuff. For all I know, I've left a string of Cat-copiers in my wake, and I've probably complimented them on anything that looked familiar. That's why it attracted me, after all.

I don't feel a need to highlight my uniqueness to others--I'm confident that that just 'is'. I'd avoid replying to the woman's texts--but I'd never be snide to her. I'd counter any limits I put on my private life with her by encouraging her to develop her work focus.

I'd be KIND to this woman instead of a mean girl, and that would be more about my own personal integrity than trying to defend anything, visual or otherwise, against being adopted as someone's 'DO' model.

Have you ever mentored anyone? If not, while you may not want to target this woman, you may want to consider making 2021 a year of extending yourself to help someone who is behind you. There is no other way to learn the cycle of generosity than to become a force within it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It started off with hand holding helping her settle in .. I just didn’t realize she wanted to replicate me so badly.. when I stopped the handholding the clinginess started .. sometimes ppl are just takers they can’t be givers & it can be draining to be around such people who are so insecure in their own skin & want to constantly be you to like themselves .. mentoring such ones can be exhausting as they want to just ape you not really work on themselves but become someone else ..

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ugh... this has happened to me. you try to help the new person get acquainted and now they are like your shadow. 

Some times you just have to diss them and eventually they get the point.

You are under no obligation to her. Block her number. Only talk work. Answer professionally but coldly.

Remind yourself only you can be you and you look better in the clothes. 

Basically ignore this person and focus on your own life. Get some new things at more obscure places like on line. 

Or here's a little game..  do stuff just so she'll copy it, like a little doll you control. 

Call her out in it. Ask her if she has anything she picked herself or do you need to help her with her underwear too.

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2 hours ago, Redhotchicita said:

It started off with hand holding helping her settle in .. I just didn’t realize she wanted to replicate me so badly.. when I stopped the handholding the clinginess started .. sometimes ppl are just takers they can’t be givers & it can be draining to be around such people who are so insecure in their own skin & want to constantly be you to like themselves .. mentoring such ones can be exhausting as they want to just ape you not really work on themselves but become someone else ..

I don't think you are the right person to mentor her -is your mentor role based on what your boss wants or you just took it on? 

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Actually it started off just as a friendly coworker interaction .. she was over friendly & flattering & wanted to know things in the city so I was making suggestions .. after couple of weeks I noticed the complete aping to the point of hair cut bags & shoes birthday outfits ..I found this strange & putting off so I spaced out .. but she got clingier and wants to be best buddies while still buying what I wear & the need to completely replicate .. I may be insecure bout my identity but to keep my sanity I started being distant & realized I shouldn’t respond to the over-friendliness @ as she’s latching on & like you rightly said I can’t be the mentor here .. I’m in no position to mentor her when I’m disliking the twining so much 😞 I know it’s my issue but the only way to handle was to distance but she’s not letting go & wants to chat & socialize all the time which is the cause of the draining & toxicity which I’m feeling on my end .. again complete my emotions not adjusting to the aping I know .. maybe I need to get comfortable in my skin & have fun looking at this form of copying right? 

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16 hours ago, Lambert said:

ugh... this has happened to me. you try to help the new person get acquainted and now they are like your shadow. 

Some times you just have to diss them and eventually they get the point.

You are under no obligation to her. Block her number. Only talk work. Answer professionally but coldly.

Remind yourself only you can be you and you look better in the clothes. 

Basically ignore this person and focus on your own life. Get some new things at more obscure places like on line. 

Or here's a little game..  do stuff just so she'll copy it, like a little doll you control. 

Call her out in it. Ask her if she has anything she picked herself or do you need to help her with her underwear too.

👍🏼

 

On 1/30/2021 at 11:23 PM, catfeeder said:

I would probably not even notice, much less find it irritating.

I just don't care about this stuff. For all I know, I've left a string of Cat-copiers in my wake, and I've probably complimented them on anything that looked familiar. That's why it attracted me, after all.

I don't feel a need to highlight my uniqueness to others--I'm confident that that just 'is'. I'd avoid replying to the woman's texts--but I'd never be snide to her. I'd counter any limits I put on my private life with her by encouraging her to develop her work focus.

I'd be KIND to this woman instead of a mean girl, and that would be more about my own personal integrity than trying to defend anything, visual or otherwise, against being adopted as someone's 'DO' model.

Have you ever mentored anyone? If not, while you may not want to target this woman, you may want to consider making 2021 a year of extending yourself to help someone who is behind you. There is no other way to learn the cycle of generosity than to become a force within it.

Actually it started off just as a friendly coworker interaction .. she was over friendly & flattering & wanted to know things in the city so I was making suggestions .. after couple of weeks I noticed the complete aping to the point of hair cut bags & shoes birthday outfits ..I found this strange & putting off so I spaced out .. but she got clingier and wants to be best buddies while still buying what I wear & the need to completely replicate .. I may be insecure bout my identity but to keep my sanity I started being distant & realized I shouldn’t respond to the over-friendliness @ as she’s latching on & like you rightly said I can’t be the mentor here .. I’m in no position to mentor her when I’m disliking the twining so much 😞 I know it’s my issue but the only way to handle was to distance but she’s not letting go & wants to chat & socialize all the timewhich is the cause of the draining & toxicity which I’m feeling on my end .. again complete my emotions not adjusting to the aping I know .. maybe I need to get comfortable in my skin & have fun looking at this formof copying right? 

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14 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I don't think you are the right person to mentor her -is your mentor role based on what your boss wants or you just took it on? 

Actually it started off just as a friendly coworker interaction .. she was over friendly & flattering & wanted to know things in the city so I was making suggestions .. after couple of weeks I noticed the complete aping to the point of hair cut bags & shoes birthday outfits ..I found this strange & putting off so I spaced out .. but she got clingier and wants to be best buddies while still buying what I wear & the need to completely replicate .. I may be insecure bout my identity but to keep my sanity I started being distant & realized I shouldn’t respond to the over-friendliness @ as she’s latching on & like you rightly said I can’t be the mentor here .. I’m in no position to mentor her when I’m disliking the twining so much 😞 I know it’s my issue but the only way to handle was to distance but she’s not letting go & wants to chat & socialize all the timewhich is the cause of the draining & toxicity which I’m feeling on my end .. again complete my emotions not adjusting to the aping I know .. maybe I need to get comfortable in my skin & have fun looking at this formof copying right? 

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44 minutes ago, Redhotchicita said:

.. maybe I need to get comfortable in my skin & have fun looking at this formof copying right? 

Yep. Challenge yourself to notice it less and not feel so threatened by it.

Clothes are just ...clothes. Sure, they're fun decorations, but they only hold the meaning that we want to assign to them. So if you're assigning the kind of meaning that makes you territorial and miserable, why not change your focus so you can enjOy setting trends?

The best way to thwart overly friendly people at work is to be kind-but-busy. I deflect by setting a 3 PM walk time. Then I can shut them down throughout the day by saying we can discuss it at 3. I ended up collecting a whole group of people who join me for a fast paced walk outside. This has served me well because they can all gab with one another when I feel like being quiet, and the relationships they've formed with one another have taken the focus off of me.

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1 hour ago, catfeeder said:

Yep. Challenge yourself to notice it less and not feel so threatened by it.

Clothes are just ...clothes. Sure, they're fun decorations, but they only hold the meaning that we want to assign to them. So if you're assigning the kind of meaning that makes you territorial and miserable, why not change your focus so you can enjOy setting trends?

The best way to thwart overly friendly people at work is to be kind-but-busy. I deflect by setting a 3 PM walk time. Then I can shut them down throughout the day by saying we can discuss it at 3. I ended up collecting a whole group of people who join me for a fast paced walk outside. This has served me well because they can all gab with one another when I feel like being quiet, and the relationships they've formed with one another have taken the focus off of me.

Nice! I’m trying to do something similar get her to Mingle with others so she can get off my back .. although others are also busy & aren’t giving her the attention she’s demanding.. plus since I’m next door I’m often the target & get asked for stationary & meds / sanitary all the time 🤦🏻‍♀️ Either she’s genuinely disorganized or is totally dependent on others for her needs like shes not comfortable with her own company is the feeling I get .. that’s why the desperation & intrusiveness 
But yeah ,  I’m surely changing up the wardrobe as much as as possible too 😀.. but that’s the least of my concerns nowadays.. 

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