Narcissists brag about themselves and their accomplishments while devaluing and demeaning others.
But then they turn around and copy the behaviors of the same people that they are devaluing! Why is this?
If the narcissist was truly as superior as they claim to be, then why would they feel the need to copy others?
Many people don’t even attempt to understand abnormal and maladaptive behaviors, such as the mystifying actions of a person who is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Actually, narcissism has become so common that many people assume that these sick and twisted individuals are actually normal.
But once you’ve fallen prey to a narcissist, you’ll naturally develop a desire to understand their behaviors if for no other reason than to preserve your own sanity.
And unfair as it is, narcissists may very well copy your behaviors, mannerisms, and fashion sense only to turn around and make it look like you copied them!
Fortunately, your authenticity doesn’t need to remain at stake.
Why narcissists copy others
Narcissists often mirror their partners to give the impression that they have a lot in common and secure the relationship.
Since they lack empathy, they are not very good at intimacy and need to follow your cues.
But narcissists will also copy your mannerisms and fashion style because they’re jealous of you and want to impress others.
They have no actual sense of identity and create false personas that are largely derived from mimicking the positive qualities in other people.
There is no single explanation for a narcissist copying you. It really depends upon the situation and the nature of your relationship with the narcissist.
If you’re romantically involved, the copying is most likely to be done to make you believe that you’ve found your soulmate.
However, if the narcissist in your life is a sibling or roommate, they may buy the same handbag or outfit that you have simply because they’re jealous of you and are seeking to gain the friendships, admiration, and steaming hot partner that you have by copying your traits and style.
Narcissists lack a sense of true identity
Well, not literally.
Everyone has their own identity that is verifiable by their birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, and nowadays, their cell phone number and email address.
So, it can be hard to believe that any person, even a narcissist, could lack identity. But they do.
In addition to a person’s genetics, fingerprints, and the name on their birth certificate, everyone is also a product of their parents and individual childhood experiences.
For some reason that psychologists have not yet made clear, narcissists have damaged egos, poor self-image, and aren’t satisfied with who they truly are.
Most likely, this stems from adverse childhood experiences or brain abnormalities, but narcissists create a false self that they use to impress other people and gain admiration.
If you were to write a fiction novel or movie script, you’d need to develop personalities for each of your characters.
While some of your traits will likely be the product of your imagination, some of those traits may be based upon a real person that you know.
This is the same way that narcissists create their false personas.
Narcissists copy you to build a relationship
Whenever you begin a new relationship, you look for things that you have in common with a potential partner.
Sure, opposites can attract, but you’ll be more inclined to gravitate toward someone who has similar interests.
Even though actual IQ scores vary among narcissists, they still have enough emotional intelligence to recognize that they have a better chance of getting together with you if there are things that the two of you have in common.
The last time you hooked up with a new partner, you most likely observed them from across the room beforehand. You noticed their physical appearance, smile, and mannerisms.
You may have even been introduced to them by a friend and knew a little bit about them before making a move.
Courting is no different for narcissists except for the fact that the relationship moves forward at lightning speed.
The narcissist may have already known enough about you to deliver the perfect pick-up line and pretend to have similar interests.
As the relationship progresses and they learn more, they suddenly give the impression of having a lot in common with you and will likely copy you to prove that you’re a good match.
Narcissistic copying: admiration or envy?
Of course, if the narcissist in your life is your younger sister, she definitely isn’t copying you to win your heart.
Maybe she really isn’t a narcissist and simply looks up to you, which could also be true of a roommate or classmate that copies you.
But the motives are more sinister when it comes to narcissists.
Narcissists don’t admire anything except their own reflection.
If you really want to get all Psych 101, they really don’t even admire what they see in the mirror, or else they wouldn’t have the need to mimic others.
However, they hide their insecurities very well behind their arrogance and perceived superiority, which is why most people assume that narcissists are in love with themselves.
A narcissist won’t copy your hairstyle, outfit, or term paper because they admire you. Instead, they do it out of jealousy.
They notice that your friends, partners, professors, and employers hold you in high regard, seem to enjoy your company, and are impressed with your work.
The narcissist craves the same affirmation, so they copy you in the hopes of stealing your spotlight.
Narcissists inevitably reveal themselves
After you’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist for a while, you’ll realize that they don’t really like your favorite author.
They don’t even like to read! And even though they insisted that lasagna was also their favorite food, you’ll notice that they haven’t eaten that dish since the first date.
You’ll start to see that everything they said was a lie. You may still love them, though.
You just have no idea who they really are and have found yourself trapped in an unhealthy relationship.
But when you’re out with friends or colleagues, the narcissist will still play their game of pretend. At this point, you know that it isn’t real, but others continue to be fooled.
They’ll order a bottle of Cabernet to impress guests when they actually prefer Sangria.
And you’ll sit there with a tight smile on your face as you nod your head at their outrageous tales, knowing that it’s all a lie.
You see, narcissists can only copy others for so long. Eventually, people begin to see right through them, but they may maintain the friendship or relationship for other reasons.
This is part of the reason why narcissists bounce from one relationship to the next. They know that they’ll be found out and need to build a new audience.
Regaining your authenticity
Everyone who knew you before you met your narcissistic partner is likely already aware of who you are and what your interests are.
Fortunately, a narcissist can never steal your identity. They can destroy your reputation, break your spirit, drain you financially, and possibly even physically harm you.
But they can’t take away who you are as a person.
Don’t even fret about those little carbon-copy female narcissists who purposely went out and bought the exact same pair of Steve Madden heels that everyone complimented.
Real is always better than fake. Sure, you may have to grit your teeth for a while, but eventually, people will realize that she’s just a wannabe.
Then she’ll move on to another crowd and find someone else to copy.