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Repeating Phrases As Her Own

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

I just want to say this on here so I won’t say it to DH. (I’ve already said it enough when I’ve been angry.)


His daughter creeps me out. She is downright odd. Ever agreeable, she repeats nearly exactly what others say within hours of them saying it as if it is her own idea or something that has just occurred to her. It is like she lacks a mental boundary or basic selfhood. Here is an example. 

The family is enjoying pizza for dinner and someone says “Yup, I’ve got to say pizza is really my absolute favorite. Even when it is burned, it is still pretty good. You can’t go wrong with pizza. Then again, I do like spaghetti.”

Later, someone might ask SD13 if she enjoyed dinner. She’ll say “It was good. You can’t go wrong with pizza. Even if it is burned! Spaghetti is good too.”

She isn’t three or four. She is 13. It can’t be normal that she repeats others’ thoughts as her own without hardly any change or addition to the original thought.m, right? I mean, right?! 

IT CREEPS ME OUT. Oh God, help me to ignore it.




Chmmy's picture

Annoying? Yes!

I think she likes the idea she hears and repeats it later. Take it as a compliment she likes your ideas. 

Jen_Jen's picture

Is she autistic? There is a form of verbal autism where the child takes words, phrases or even whole sentences or paragraphs and repeats it verbatim because it has some own internal meaning  to them.

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

It is not mockery or flattery.

It isn’t disrespectful or toxic.

It isn’t significantly different from how we all work socially, but... it is different. 

Very different! It is aa if she doesn’t have many thoughts of her own, or as if she is putting on a face to blend in. But this isnt the typical adolescent crap because she is GOOD at it. If I hadn’t had issues with her stealing from me and telling awful half truths about me, I would think she believed I hung the moon and stars. 

It makes me uncomfortable because there is something very not right about it. I just wish I knew what it was. I already know why. Her mother is someone who lacks real empathy. Everything is a sale. Every interaction is an exercise in determining what can this person do for me. 

I talked to a therapist about SD13’s behavior. She suggested I research BPD. But it does not seem to fit either. 

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

she also does this thing where she butchers pronunciations of pretty basic words. Or she will say something that makes absolutely zero sense logically. I’m not talking about complicated points. I’m talking about basic sentences, she will end up saying a sentencd that means the opposite of what she intended.

Siemprematahari's picture

Does she seem insecure when she tries to express herself verbally? So instead she feels better using other phrases that she's heard? Have you and H had her evaluated and got an expert opinion as to why she does this? Was she ever critized for her thoughts and not able to adequately communicate?

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

Literally every thought and action she has had since she was a baby has been criticized by BM u less it flattered BM or supported the image BM was building of their life.


so yes, SD13 is exceptionally insecure.

Jojab1636's picture

I am not saying I have the answer to what is going on but I hear you explaining her actions that might be "Aspergers like".  People with Aspergers struggle with socializing.   Someone with high functioning Asperger's can seem "normal" most of the time but there are little oddities that are done or said that don't make sense. People with Aspergers mask  the lack of socializing skills by repeating what others say to try to fit in and feel comfortatble because they see that it has worked for others in other situations. They also lack flectuations in the way things are said  or may appear monotoned when they talk. I'm not in any way saying this is what this issue is but I would have her tested by a behavioral therapist.  There could also be something cognitive going on...

Major Blunder's picture

Totally agree that there could be something cognitive going on, evaluation is the best idea, once everything is ruled out then it just comes down to being a weird kid  lol

Blue Moon's picture

My mother has a friend in her 60s who does that. It is indeed annoying. The friend is in no way autistic, she is very gregarious, and maybe unsure of herself. I agree with another poster that it may be a way to fit in.


I hope yous SD loses this habit.

classyNJ's picture

My exH used to do this all the time with jokes, statements, even things I have done.

For example, one day I raked the entire yard and bagged the leaves and carried them to the curb. Big yard so it took all day.  He sat inside and never once came out, even to offer me a cold bevvy.

Later that night we had friends over and they said how nice the yard looked - he said -Thanks it took me all day and I got all the bags to the curb for pick up.  I was so shocked I couldn't say anything.  Later I asked him about it and he just shook his head.  

He would to the same with jokes.  I would tell a joke and if anyone laughted he would later repeat the same joke to someone and tell them he told so and so earlier and they laughed too.  

Freaked me out so much.

Ispofacto's picture

Thanks for the post, I thought I was the only one who felt this way.

Killjoy14 does this, and it creeps me out too.  She never has an original thought, and is incapable of critical thinking.  She is emotionally cold, and lacks empathy.  She tries to schmooze, and it just gives me the chills, because her face is always belligerent.  She actually sometimes repeats suggestive comments DH makes to me, to me, in the same flirty tone. 

BM is cluster-B (symptoms of all the disorders) and very controlling, engulfing, and has no boundaries.  Killjoy has no identity of her own.  

They say sociopaths observe other people to see how they have to "act" to fit in.  Even at a young age, they know they are different.  Killjoy also lies and steals.

It reminds me of the expression "They know the words, but not the music."


nengooseus's picture

BM is unquestionably Cluster B.  SS isn't allowed to have opinions unless she issues them to him, so there's just nothing there.  It's creepy to be around.  In fact, I refuse to be around him if I'm alone.

Jcksjj's picture

SD7 and BM are the same as what you described. They both just happen to like the exact same things as whoever they are trying to flatter and I honestly have no idea what SD has for actual interests because I've never seen her show interest in something on her own because it just changes to suit whatever purpose suits her that day. BM is the same way, we could tell whenever she was dating someone new before SD even told us because her personality completely changed whenever someone new came in or left the picture. I find it really bizarre. I've noticed SD spends a bizarre amount of time watching other people and trying to figure out what the "right"thing to do in each situation is. Like she has no emotional reaction to it herself shes just very flat and will say or do the "correct" thing with very little emotion or else over the top obviously fake emotion. It weirds me out.

As far as the copying, OP, my SD does alot of the same thing. For instance she read in my youngest DS baby book a quote that my ODS had said about the baby and then said the exact same quote to me that she had read for an aww reaction. It's really annoying because it's so fake.

silversong's picture

Does she spend a lot of time online/Youtube?  My SS10 says a lot of thoughts/opinions/jokes that we can tell are being repeated from someone or something he heard in a YouTube video.  It's really obvious because the phrase is usually more mature than his normal pattern of speech and/or his delivery isn't "natural", if that makes sense.



amyburemt's picture

could be something more. Mimicry and copying are also ways girls with autism adjust socially and that is why it is missed so much more in girls than boys. 

Simpleton21's picture

My SD does this as well and I have always found it very annoying.  Most of the time it is after my son says something funny or clever....she will then say the same thing or super close to the same thing moments later to try to get the same reaction as he did.  If it is slightly different she acts like she was so creative in coming up with the joke or whatever it is she is copying.  I do feel like she has no actual personality or thoughts of her own.  No originality at all!

Forthelifeoftheparty's picture

Not Aspergers.

Not Autism.

Possibly a cognitive thing.

I’m thinking a cluster B personality disorder though, earned from years’ of mental and emotional abuse by BM.