Thousands of internet commentators were left suspicious after one woman detailed examples of her sister-in-law blatantly copying her every move.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/lemonsandwine (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said the mimicking behavior has gone on for years and explained how a recent attempt to stop it ended in hysterics.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for telling my SIL to not buy the same shampoo as me and causing a scene at dinner?” the post has received nearly 9,000 votes and 1,700 comments in the last ten hours.
Beginning with the disclaimer that she felt “weird vibes” from the moment they met, the original poster said her sister-in-law shamelessly bases every purchase on things she’s already seen.
“She asks me where I got a certain piece of clothes or jewelry then buys the same exact ones,” OP wrote. “If I dye my hair, she dyes her hair THE SAME colour. If I post on Instagram about a certain restaurant, she will go there the next day.”
“I’ve had people tell me they…thought she was me because we [dress] so similar and have the same hair,” OP added.
Recently, OP said tensions came to a head when her sister-in-law inquired about what shampoo she uses—and the original poster refused to tell her.
“The other day she asked me what shampoo I use and I refused to tell her because I knew she was just going to buy it,” OP wrote. “But she started crying and my husband just told me it’s no big deal so I told her after she assured me that she wasn’t going to buy it.”
“Yesterday we went over to their place for dinner and I used the washroom and decided to check my suspicions so I looked in the tub and saw she had bought the same shampoo!” OP continued. “I brought the bottle to the table and in front of our husbands told her that…this s**t has got to stop or else I will cut her and her husband off.”
“My husband said I embarrassed him and she started crying and we left,” OP added.
Surprisingly, stories of obsessed sisters-in-law are common across the internet.
In family forums like Mamas Uncut, other forums like Quora and Reddit and a 1994 article in the Chicago Grandstandnumerous women have lodged complaints about their husband’s sisters and brother’s wives and their burning need to copy every inch of their lives.
From furniture and other interior design pieces, to social media posts and bottles of shampoo, the alarming parallels stir suspicions and spark uneasiness among the women whose minds are seemingly being replicated in real time.
And while Psychology Today reports that mimicry is natural among humans, and even has some social benefits, those who are copied sometimes feel their individuality is compromised.
However, in more severe cases like the one described by the original poster, debates about individuality and uniqueness take a back seat to the overwhelming feeling of being followed, stalked and generally obsessed over.
Throughout the viral post’s comment section, Redditors loudly agreed that the original poster’s sister-in-law crossed multiple lines and assured OP she was justified to call out the behavior in front of her family.
“I think you need to bring up with your husband that this isn’t simply a copy cat issue, because it’s not,” Redditor u/SlammyWhammies wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 10,000 votes.
“You’re setting boundaries, aka, ‘stop copying everything you see on social media and in person about me’ and she is in this case PROMISING not to do what you have asked her not to, and then doing it anyway,” they added. “This is viscerally uncomfortable.”
Redditor u/Scotsgit73, whose comment has received nearly 9,000 votes, echoed that sentiment.
“She starts crying because you won’t tell her what brand of shampoo you use?” they questioned. “She is someone you need to get away from, she sounds like she’s obsessed with your life to an unhealthy degree.”
“I do NOT see this copying as benign,” Redditor u/cris_marny added, receiving more than 1,500 votes. “It is a form of harassment. It means you are being observed and studied all the time.”
Newsweek reached out to u/lemonsandwine for comment.