Is Imitation Really the Sincerest Form of Flattery?
We’ve all heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but is it really? Lately, I’ve been having some issues with this concept and I’m at a crossroads as to what to do about it.
Without going into super-specific details, recently a few incidents have been brought to my attention. I’ve noticed someone who is a “reader” of my blog who frequently models their posts, ideas and even relationships with other bloggers after mine. Things they never did before and said they would never do, are all of a sudden being done after me. These things are not coincidences, which is what bothers me.
Yes, I realize that as bloggers, we all write about similar things. For example, one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie of Twenty Something Blog, recently wrote about leather fashion on a budget, while the week earlier I wrote about leather skirts and did an outfit post on my budget leather jacket. Quite frankly, we’re both girls who blog about fashion- this is a great part of blogging that I enjoy. Stephanie and I share a love of leather and she was so kind to give me a shout-out in her post. And yes, during Christmas we will all blog about our favorite holiday gifts, and during summer we will all post about our favorite bathing suits. That’s bound to happen and that’s normal. This situation I’m speaking of isn’t to be confused with those types of things.
In the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve also noticed one direct rip-off of my content. As in, someone took an entire paragraph of 6 or so sentences and re-posted it (they changed a few words around, but it was similar enough for me to catch it by using a website that catches copyright violators). I didn’t do anything about it and I brushed it off, but it upset me. I worked hard on that, and to see someone else using it just upset me. Then this incident I mentioned in the above paragraph happened, which led me to rant in this post.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been bothered when people copy me. It’s a weird thing, I know, but it’s just who I am. In junior high, I remember this one girl would always buy the same clothes as me. At first I thought it was a weird coincidence, but then it started to become a regular occurrence. I’d debut my new Aeropostale top (that was the cool place to shop back in the day) and a week or so later, she would magically have it and start wearing it. I knew this wasn’t a coincidence since these clothes were never seen on her before until I started wearing them. My friends all noticed, too and started making inside jokes about my “evil twin”.
Another lame example was back in middle school, when a girl who sat at my table during art started copying all my paintings. The art teacher realized this and told me not to worry because “she admires your work and this is her way of showing it”. “I don’t care if she admires my art, she should come up with her own!”, I thought.
I think the reason this bothers me so much is that I consider myself a creative and smart person. For a while now, I’ve had original ideas, an artistic flair, an opinionated mouth and the ability to like things before they are considered “trendy” or “cool”. I work hard on everything I do- whether it’s an article I wrote, a picture I drew, a Halloween costume idea, or a major life choice. To see someone take your personal form of expression and claim it as their own just upsets me to no end. It doesn’t matter that they aren’t claiming it as their own and are only basing their idea off of mine- it still hurts.
In my opinion, those who copy or imitate others have an underlying issue. Insecurity is the first thing that comes to mind. If you are secure and confident enough with yourself and your ideas, thoughts and personality, you wouldn’t need to copy others. Copying others is also a sign of jealousy. People who don’t have a certain look, talent or idea will be so jealous of others that they take other’s successes and try to make them their own. It’s pathetic, upsetting and unfortunate, but it’s something that is hard to control.
I know the best thing in these situations is to take the high road and take these situations as a compliment. People always tell me, “You should be flattered someone wants to be like you so much that they are copying you” or “They obviously aren’t as [insert positive adjective here] as you, so this is how they deal with it”. While those may sometimes be true, they don’t always help me feel much better.
I’m no beauty queen, rocket scientist or award-winning author. I don’t think that my shit doesn’t stink. I don’t think I’m amazing and that people worship me. That’s not what this is about. This is about working hard on things, only to see others trying to steal your identity.
So my question to all of you is, what would you do in my situation? Has this happened to you before? Whether it’s something silly like someone copying your haircut a day after you get it or serious like someone copying your writing (which is against the law people!), I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
I know what you mean! But keep moving forward and don’t look back at the wannabes (PS shameless plug for my blog post today -ha!) – you just do you. And those that are only imitators won’t last long – we are here for the real deal… YOU 🙂
haha what great timing with our posts! Thanks for the sweet words Heather!
First of all, I’m totally sorry that has been happening to you. Being an artist, they taught us in school that it was near impossible to create something nobody had ever seen before because there are just so many photographers out there who have probably already done it. The key is learning how to find your own STYLE as an artist and gathering inspiration from other artists rather than blatantly copying the work of others. Like you said, we’re all bloggers, many of us posting about fashion, so were bound to touch on the same trends. But the question is, how do you gather inspiration from the other posts you read to create something that’s your own? That’s obviously what this person is having a hard time understanding. I understand how frustrating it can be but just advise you to brush it off. If it continues escalating into blatant plagiarism, then you need to take some serious action. Sorry for the novel!! (PS thanks for the return shoutout and the inspiration 😉 )
I don’t expect no one to use similar ideas- we ALL do it. So I definitely see what you are saying based on your teachers in art school. This person is just doing things to try to be competitive and win some “contest” that doesn’t really exist. Insecurity is a cruel beast, I just didn’t think it would transfer over to the blogging world. I will try to brush it off like you said! Thanks Steph!
Oh my, I am so sorry. That is so scary too, there are so many blogs out there and you really have no idea if you are being directly copied. I am sorry that that happened to you. I just read another post about a food blogger that came across the same thing. She has amazing food photography, this person took credit for her images. Maybe that person should stop blogging as they don’t have anything to say??? Keep up the great, original work:)
Oh wow- nothing that crazy has happened to me (in terms of images, etc.) but it’s always good to look out for it! thank you so much for the nice comment!
That’s tough! On one hand, it’s a little flattering (if creepy) that someone admires you & what you’re doing. On the other hand, it IS creepy and wrong. If someone were nicking my blog posts, I would write a post totally outing them – name, shame and illustrate, I say!
There is a fine line between flattering and creepy, and this girl is being a little too creepy for my liking haha! Thank you so much for reading!
I can see how people directly copying your work would be annoying, and I agree that people shouldn’t do that. But if no-one ever emulated anyone else’s style or attitude then there’d be a whole swathes of the fashion and media industries that didn’t exist.
And if people are used to copying celebrities it’s not such a great leap imitating other people who they see as having a high profile, such as yourself.
I used to mentor students, and with the ones who really hadn’t got it together yet I used to suggest that they channel the person the most wanted to be like until it came naturally to them.
I totally understand. Keep moving forward and doing what you’re doing. I know it’s hard not to think of someone ripping off your work or copying things from you but know YOU are the one who will benefit in the long run, not some copycat. 🙂
Aw thank you so much! I know I work hard and have the original ideas, and someone trying to copy me just means they know that as well, right?!
Couldn’t agree more. Yes, we all blog and will all write about the same things, but it doens’t need to be the EXACT same thing! I think you’re doing amaaaaaazing! Love reading every day/week!
Exactly! Thank you so much Amy!
Rachel, I am so sorry this is happening to you. That is so disappointing. I would be devastated if I found out that was happening to me. We put our hearts and souls into each post and to have some rip it off must be so frustrating. I hope they read this and cut it out because that is just unacceptable. Keep your head up, pretty girl. I LOVE your blog! xx
Thank you Casey- you are so sweet! I should take it as a compliment that someone tries to compete with me and copy me, but it is hard to get over. I think this post helped get it off my chest!
Oh what a bummer! Here’s hoping this post will dissuade future copycats 🙂
Your blog is great and well written! Don’t be bothered by others who want to be like you. You know you put such hard work into this and that’s what is important! Good for you for continuing doing what makes you happy!
Thanks Dina- means a lot! I will continue and just try to ignore those type of people.
I’m sorry this happened Rachel! I would definitely be irritated and personally offended that someone would steal my hard work and effort. It doesn’t seem like a lot of work to people on the outside, but blogging and each post requires A TON OF WORK. So to go and copy something like that to make their lives easier because you have great content is just wrong! And yes, we all blog about similar things because well we are all blogging on the same topic, but that is different from taking your copy and using it word for word (even if a few are rearranged). I majored in journalism, so hearing about your situation makes me outraged. When I worked for the newspaper at my college we had some sites and what not completely take the story without giving the paper or me credit for it. It is seriously like WHAT THE HECK?! I poured my heart and soul into the story to make it perfect in my eyes and to suite our readers and then someone just picks it up and steals it. Anyway… thank you for letting me rant on your blog about this as well 😉 Honestly I would try to talk to this person or people and just let them know that it is a copyright issue and if they want to use your content or images, etc. they need to ask you first and CREDIT you for it.
haha thanks Rachel! Oddly enough, I was more pissed off at the person who was stealing ideas and copying everything I do to be competitive MORE than I was upset about the person who copied the post and changed the words! Am I weird?
No, you’re not weird 🙂 Stealing ideas is just as upsetting! I’m a writer in real life… so the word for word stealing would really bother me 😉 But I would probably be equally pissed about stealing ideas!
I used to hate when people copy me. Once, I got mad at my cousin for buying the same chapstick as me. lol. I’ve gotten over my problems with copying now but it would suck to have someone completely copy what you wrote on your blog. I love your blog and everything you post 🙂
haha! sounds silly, but I get what you mean totally! Thanks Kacie and Happy Birthday!!!
Been there, done that. My friends and I found ourselves in that situation. My boyfriend told me just yesterday, it’s normal… we have an open book of our lives by having a blog, there will always be someone out there that will try to bring you down. In fact, they should be the reason to keep moving forward. If we are setting trends, let them follow our steps. Keep your head up and hard work, it’s always rewarded.
That is SO true! My boyfriend always tells me the same- people obviously are reading and then copying you, so you should take it as a compliment that someone cares that much about your life. This definitely made me feel better- thank you for commenting and reading!
Love this honest post. I’ve had the same experiences (when you love fashion and have a sense of style I think this happens 🙂 when it comes to styling – fashion is alot about copying and finding your own so I consider it a compliment. BUT when someone outrightly copies your content – I saw you directly address it and email them. As I get older, being direct is the best way and at least honest and open communication is there and you can only do that.
Although it is a compliment I understand it doesn’t feel that way! But know that people love to keep up with you.
I couldn’t agree more with the last sentence. That’s what this really is- it’s about someone who does everything she can to try to be like me- but not in a good way! Thanks for the advice
Ugh, that is the one thing about blogging that can be so annoying and frustrating. I totally understand why you are upset. We work hard on our posts! Personally, I might try to send this person a private email, voicing your concern. If that doesn’t work, I guess you have to just move on… but at least you tried. Don’t get too down on it though, we come here to read YOUR blog, because we love YOU. 🙂
I think if it’s direct content copying I would e-mail them. But the concept of copying ideas to try to “keep up with me” isn’t something I think I could e-mail them about. Although I would love to! haha Thank you so much- you are the best! <3
I think it’s easy to want to imitate someone who has been doing all the great things you’ve been doing with this blog. I’m willing to bet you’re blog has turned into something you may not have thought possible and that’s why you take so much pride in it, as you should. You’re a BEAUTIFUL and TALENTED individual with so many great things ahead of you. It’s easier said than done, but if you use tunnel vision to focus on you’re great success and the support you have around you from your fellow bloggers and those who care most about you, this kind of thing will start to become laughable.
<3 it already is laughable and you know more details than anyone! haha thanks 🙂
You are completely in the right to feel this way. I get so annoyed when credit isn’t given. If I’ve ever been inspired by someone’s outfit, etc, I give credit where it’s due. Sorry you are going through this 🙁
Agreed! Personally, mine isn’t about the outfit copying- but I have seen that a lot with other bloggers. Yikes!
Ohhh…I have the same problem. So I have no advice, except really, really do consider it flattery.
I once wrote a very specific post…specific title. The next day I saw the SAME post and the SAME title on someone else’s blog. No coincidence because she saw mine the day before. At first, I thought, I can’t believe she did that, but after a while I realized that my post must have been pretty dang good for her to copy me! 🙂
That’s crazy! Aren’t these people EMBARRASSED when the copy someone else? Like we aren’t going to find out or something? Glad you went through this, too- I’m not alone!
What a bummer. I’m sorry this is happening to you. It’s really unfair. 🙁
I agree, this is unfair and very annoying! Unfortunately coping will be always in blogging world:(
it has definitely happened to me; a few times really early into my blogging “career” and by a blogger who had a significantly larger following. if you’re inspired by what someone else has posted and you want to post on it too, the right thing to do is to give credit and link to that blog. i got really upset about it at first, but then i realized that getting upset won’t change anything – all i can do is to continue to be genuine and hope that people continue to follow along. i actually feel bad for people who steal content because they demonstrate their true character and lack of creativity when they plagiarize.
Oh wow that’s pretty bad! There’s a clear difference between writing a post on the similar topic (which happens to everyone- we are human and like the same things!) and doing things to try to compete or “Be better” than someone else. Thanks for your advice Ashley!
Aw, Rachel, how annoying!! I’m so sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, I think with blogging, it comes with the territory. I would probably email this girl and let her know how you feel and how it’s really bothering you and it hurt you, etc. Just explain yourself. If you’re honest, you cant get in trouble for that! Your blog is amazing and you should continue what you’re doing no matter what!!
True! I understand some similarities in the blogging world, but this one was repeatedly happening! Thanks for the kind words Julie!
Um funny you mention this actually, because I am going through this very thing at this very moment. Like direct rip offs. I keep trying to take the high road but it takes everything in me not to tweet about it (I just honestly didn’t want to give her the page views). I actually said something finally, I just made a nice but direct comment about it. We’ll see what happens now I guess. But if it’s on a continual basis, definitely say something. I’ve also been ripped off almost word for word like you mentioned above (by a different person). I was passive aggressive about it and did post on twitter, and I don’t like the way I handled it. Also because she keeps doing it (although more covertly, just taking an idea from a post and doing it herself the next week, things like that, but like you, also regularly to the point that it just can’t be a coincidence. I’ll stop now. Apparently that’s all been building up for me.
haha! I guess we’re all in this together. I want to hear more details, so I’m e-mailing you!
Props to you on how you caught that first off! And it sounds to me like your image and blog are a refelction of you and you take pride in your content. Not only that you work hard and take the time to post refreshing posts for your blog viewers. It seems like this bothers you and that’s ok. First off what this person is doing is not ethical! It seems like you have the proof that they are violating copy right. You blog is more than your facebook page. It’s your business. If someone opened up a candy shop identical to yours, with a name that you trademarked, you’d send a cease and desists letter. So there should be no hestitation here. It’s not about copy cats, it’s about stealing your work!
Very true! If someone copies my words, I will definitely call them out. When they are just copying ideas or basically everything other thing but the actual words, I’m not sure what to do. Thanks for your advice and kind words!
Lol I know what you mean girlfriend. Not with blog content because pshhh who’s going to copy off little ole me! But in life when people do things that clearly seem in line with what I’ve done or when I feel like they’re “taken” an idea of mine, I get really defensive instead of flattered. I’m not sure why but I’d be mad as hell about the person who’s ripping off your blog! These are our souls on the web people, not to be taken lightly!!
haha oh stop- people would definitely copy your creative ideas! I get defensive instead of flattered as well (which was obvious in this post), so I’m glad I;m not alone!
This is a sticky situation…and really stinks!! Honestly, I’d just consider it flattery and ignore it…unless she starts copying your actual words. Then it’s time for a conversation.
Thanks Annie- I am trying!
haha this makes me laugh because I know exactly what you are talking about! It is so frustrating and people ALWAYS just tell me to look at it as a compliment… but you can only take it as a compliment for so long! When you decide what you are going to do let me know cause I need the advise!!
God I’m so glad someone else feels the same way! I think I’;m just going to try to ignore it- although its hard when my fellow bloggers give her nice comments and I just want to say “THAT WAS MY IDEA!” haha
Oh gosh, I definitely know how frustrating this all can be. Sometimes we put a lot of time and effort into our posts – we put our heart and soul into what we are typing. And to see them just get stripped so easily from someone else without a single recognition can be disheartening. The truth is, it stinks. But as long as you always rise above it you will be the better person!
Thanks TJ- I am trying!
This is definitely something that’s close to me too! Unfortunately, I didn’t copyright my blog name and since then MANY people have stolen it for their own blogs. It upsets me because not only did someone who’s not a passionate blogger steal my domain, but they took something I thought was witty and personal and totally ripped me off. It boils my blood just writing about it!
But from what I’ve learned I need to just focus on myself and be positive. Bring positive energy and in the end, what you bring out will come back to you. Just take it as a form of flattery and realize that this person is not inventive or artistic enough to write their blog on their own. It’s sad, frustrating, and obnoxious, but it’s something that will always be around!
Ugh that is TERRIBLE about the blog name! It’s the most important part of your blog basically- especially if you want to make it a .com!
Your wise words have helped Ashley! I am trying to take the high road now that I have vented about it.
I actually have a friend that does this to me all the time. I completely understand your frustration and the inability to articulate perfectly how it makes you feel. The cliche response of flattery is almost of frustrating. If it were me, I would shoot an email to the blogger nicely reminding them that they should link back to your site when they use your content. It may be that they really just don’t know its wrong! If you have legal rights, you may have to eventually exercise those or report their site :/
Thanks! Glad to know I’m not the only one who hates it haha
I have definitely seen certain bloggers who’ve ripped off other blogs posts. It’s always really put me off reading their content or even visiting their blog because it just shows the lack of creativity, which is something that keeps me reading a blog. I work really hard on my blog, it’s a passion for me so I hate to think someone would rip off content, let alone actually copy an entire paragraph – good grief!
I’ve seen this happen before and it’s sad. It’s one thing to be inspired by someones post and write about the same topic, but it’s another thing to completely rip them off. Obviously there’s going to be some overlap and getting inspiration from other bloggers is great, but if people do, they should at least give credit to the original blogger for inspiration!
I also think sometimes people subconsciously copy others. I know when I design blogs, sometimes I come up with an idea and then I realize another blogger has a similar design. At the time I don’t know I’m copying, it just happens (and when I catch it, I always change things up). I know that’s not the case for other bloggers all the time. Sometimes it’s definitely blatant.
Yeah there is a fine line between doing it on purpose and not- and we all can tell which is which. Thanks for reading!
There is definitely a fine line between using someone as inspiration and just plain using someone. It’s unfortunate that you had to deal with the latter. As a blogger, I have definitely done posts similar to those I’ve read on other blogs, but the key word is similar. I sometimes take inspiration from other bloggers but still speak with my own voice and opinions. Hopefully this person stops taking your content!
Thanks Jackie! You’re so right.
Oh girl, it’s such a hard fine line. I know imitation is the closest form of flattery, but copy and pasting is a whole different story. I don’t think there would be anything wrong with sending her an email or a little not letting her know how you feel – sometimes I subconsciously buy something and later realize I loved it because it was styled on something I had seen (totally have that oops moment!). But that’s why blogs are so great too – you find inspiration and products from people you grow to revere…but it sounds like this is taking it a step too far.
Hope things get better – maybe she’ll get the hint 😉
Also, I wrote an article for a fashion magazine once (actually 2) that were ripped off by the editor and changed the name of the authros friend. I know that there is NOTHING more infurating than seeing your hard work lost, or ruined. But, it all comes back around – Karma usually settles everything. xx
Thanks Maya- you are so right!
Thanks- here’s to hoping!
Aww, I’m sorry lady! I know how you feel. I hate being copied and although it is looked at as “flattery” I think there is such a fine line and it can be so frustrating when someone crosses it. If I were you I’d email the person and let them know how you feel. Maybe they’ll apologize and cut it out! 🙂 Your story about the “evil twin” made me giggle a little because I had a similar situation back in Jr. High that revolved around someone copying my jeans from LimitedToo! 🙂 Good luck with the copying situation!
Oh Limited Too hahaha I definitely loved that store, too!
Limited Too & of course “platform sneakers” hahah Can you tell I grew up during the Spice Girls age? 🙂
As off-putting and wrong as it is (plagiarism), unfortunately I have had it happen to me, and I know several of my blogging friends who have gone through it as well. It’s never okay to copy directly, in my opinion. I agree with Michelle’s comment that there is a fine line. It’s flattery only when people link back to me after they select and ask me permission to use something from a post I’ve done, and that’s when it’s okay because they “asked” to use a quote, etc., and linked back. Certainly, people are often inspired and influenced by others all of the time on every level, (think, mint colour and oxblood posts of the seasons), but making it your own is essential, and being original in your text is … the only way to go! Perhaps you should contact the person, especially if they used your exact copy. /Madison
I do think imitation can be flattering sometimes, but there is a fine line between being inspired by, and blatanty ripping off and idea.
Plagiarism and intellectual property is serious business. It’s stealing.
I can’t imagine how annoying that must be for you. I’d love to know what web site you used to track it – I need to start to look into mine too! As a law student, maybe I’m a little overaggressive – but you can send a cease and desist letter for copyright infringement. Or just ignore it. You’re brilliant, your imitator is not.
Yuck. I’m sorry you’re going through this! I know exactly how it feels. I’ve definitely had an IRL friend or two who started to buy the same clothes as me and even start talking like me, which was just all sorts of weird. My mom of course would tell me I should be flattered, but more than anything it was frustrating. It’s almost like I felt less like me.
I always tended to just ignore the situation and silently fume, but now that I’m a bit older I would feel more confident saying something. Perhaps this person really doesn’t realize it? I’d start by mentioning it in a joking manner like, “Oh geez, I just wrote about that. No really, the exact same thing yesterday. Weird! (Link included here). ” Once or twice and I’d hope the point would be made. Good luck, Rachel! I think you’re awesome. 🙂
I’m glad I’m not the only one who this happens too- especially in real life! Thank you for your sweet comment Lauren!
Blogging can be a lot of work, I can definitely understand why you would be upset. You’re not the only person I’ve seen as of late who talked on this subject; I know of at least one other blogger who had her entire blog post copied 🙁 It’s definitely a fine line, but copying someone’s content word for word and not giving credit is just flat out plagiarism, and unfortunately that is something that is happening a lot now with the invent of the Internet.
Thanks for your support and comment, Melanie!
Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt.
I never accepted any forward nor backward logic between blatant copying, either. I am also aware that all our ideas that all of us have are an amalgamation of external factors and our own mixes, but “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” just doesn’t make sense. It belittles the raw effort put into a creative work, and make the culprit look like the victim. It’s not right, and should never be. Not to mention, flattery, sincere or not, is not exactly a good thing in itself. (You can never go wrong with a whole-hearted compliment, because whole-hearted compliments don’t have hidden intentions to steal.)I’ve been blogging ever since 2001, and I’ve had my share of “flatterers”. I’ve been shocked to see my own designs appear on someone else’s website without my permission, and on one occasion, saw months and months of my blog posts appear on a Blogdrive account… but with names and locations changed! The scary part about the latter was that it was from someone I knew personally! I’ve also had some offline incidents, and “creepy” doesn’t even begin to describe the situation.My sympathies go out to you, and what you’re going through. I do hope that your copier gets the hint, and confronts their insecurities more constructively. For the while, continue to take pride in your creative work, because you should.
I’m glad I’m not alone, Maria! I can’t agree more that “flattery” isn’t necessarily a good thing, and I;m not sure HOW people can say that it is. I’m sorry that you have had so many incidents over the years of direct copying-for me, it’s more the copying of ideas and whatnot. Thank you for the nice comment!
I so understand what you are saying, however, recently a new friend, who is now not in my life any longer is constantly accusing me of imitating her. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I could give a shit less what this woman is doing and if she does not want to be my friend, then I am fine with that. I have left her alone and stayed out of her life. I NEVER discuss her, until this post with anyone, however, it has come back to me that she has been telling multiple people that I know about why she doesn’t like me, why I am impossible, and how I am trying to be her. The truth is, that we share very similar views, opinions, practices, likes and dislikes. We both have children and you know that sometimes children will have similar interests as well. I am so very tired of avoiding her, not having anything to do with her and yet I am bashed and every creative idea I have, every little thing I do is criticized, judged and compared to her. How can I be copying when I have not spoken to you or about you in about 3 years? It is exhausting that ideas, and hobbies and past times and things that I’ve been interested in and loved to do all my life are somehow because of her? Why should I have to defend myself that I do not mimic her? In the case of blogs and etsy and people’s small business pages, I think that we have to understand that some people may really be inspired by the other and are in fact copying or trying to expand on their ideas, but others just may realized that there is a market for a service they provide or something they are good at and they just want their fair opportunity to be chosen to provide their product or services to others.
I also agree, that blatantly stealing from someone else, without giving credit or a nod for the idea is not right. But, what I am getting at with my above statement is that I have been on both sides of the issue. I have had plenty of friends who ran out to make they bought or had the same product that I just bought or question “o, where did you get that? I didn’t see that. Why didn’t you tell me that you found those?” and I’ve also had experiences where great minds think alike and do very similar things and are on the same wavelength, however, the other person goes out of their way to accuse the other of “copying.” I agree that there are times, when it is clearly a case of stealing and copying when it comes to seeing your own words credited to someone else, but there are also times when sometimes great minds really do think alike.
Hey Rachel, Thank you for writing on this topic. I am a yoga teacher in San Diego, and I I recently got hired through a large chain studio in the SD area. I’m glad you feel this because I thought I was the only one- it really bothers me when the studio manager (no names) takes my classes, and then I take her class and she uses every single word I use in regards to how I describe and instruct my students to get into a posture. When I teach my classes, it’s almost like a story unfolding when I tie a theme in , and when this particular teacher does the same thing with her theme, i’m immediately just turned off. Some can argue that it’s yoga, so no one owns anything, I get that, but why must a certain person/teacher try to sound like me and use the same language as me to teach?. I would say, I’m ok if another fellow yoga teacher likes certain things I said in class and uses it in her own classes, but when the ENTIRE class starts to sound like yours, it really does get annoying. Like you, I work hard, and I am smart and creative with my language and metaphors, and that’s the thing that sets me apart, but how do I have any room left to stand out when all this instructor does is steal my ideas, my phrases, and I feel as though there’s no room left for me to shine… I just wanted to share. I just got home this morning and decided to google on this matter, and your blog came up. *sigh* I feel as if now … when she comes to my class, i’m going to have to tone it down to save my identity, so she doesn’t try to sound like me. Sounds bad that i’m saying this, but it does such when you work so hard and not shine because someone is trying to be like you, sound like you, ….. 🙁
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed
I stumbled upon this blog while googling for this precise subject. I have a copy-cat friend. People around me also told me the cliche – it is the ultimate form of flattery, your friend loves you, so you should be grateful. Well, it is very difficult to feel that way. I feel as though when I do something special for myself, the special-ness is ripped away from me when copying occurs within days. What bothers me the most is when she buys the same things that my boyfriend gets me (because gifts are special!), or if I talk about buying something she beats me to it, which makes me not want to buy the item anymore even if I want to, and had wanted to. And it is not just items anymore, it is the events I attend, it is the places I travel to. It is even frustrating to complain about this, because it sounds quite juvenile (she bought what I bought!.. sounds like a kid!) – I have somewhat withdrawn myself from her, but cannot completely avoid her until graduation. When I see this girl, I feel that I am seeing a mini-me and I do not want one. I am just praying to finish up school so I can move away from her. Ive become to fear that she may even want to move close to me and continue to copy me in every possible way (she even copied some of my home decor). I could not really describe my feelings about it, but you put it just right, I feel that my identity is being stolen. My plan of action is once the situation allows, I will keep my distance from her. I dont need friendship that makes me feel horrible. If a stranger copied my writing, I would seek an organization where I can report copyright violation- it is a serious offense in my field. Thank you for your blog.
Lol I had this problem then I started boxing i asked my mate if he wanted to come well copy cat that he is of course he wants to come for a week I got to beat him up in the ring we argue now about music every thing we have nothing in common any more the reall funny thing is he is probably my best friend now
I’m a caker and I just came across someone doing the same thing…..I wasn’t the least bit flattered, I was annoyed. Yes we all get inspiration from somewhere but it was way toooo similar to go unnoticed. It’s not even one cake it’s dozens!
I’m a grown woman and for most of my adult life, my high school bestie (that I still talk to) will copy everything I do. It’s making me nuts. We are complete opposites. I’m single, no kids, University educated and work full time. She hasn’t ever worked for more than a year, has been married twice, has 5 kids and didn’t finish high school. Now, if I book a vacation to some hot spot, then she wants to book a trip, too. When I bought a new aquarium, she went out that day and bought one, too and she doesn’t even have any interest in fish or know the first thing about them. These are just a couple of examples. The worst was when I met my boyfriend online. He lives in Colorado but is from Maryland. Her and I live in Canada, different provinces. He and I would fly back and forth to see each other. I am Caucasian and he is African-American. So, she goes online and searches for black men in Maryland. Finds some guy 10 yrs younger than her and flies from the west coast to see him. Then because we were talking about getting married and what it takes to get a fiancee Visa, suddenly she’s sending her guy $500 USD to file the paperwork for a fiancee Visa for her! Her guy was a broke loser who lives at home, no car and doesn’t pay child support. My guy had his own place, Gov. Job, a car and motorcycle. Her guy got the money she sent and spent it. Serves her right. What is wrong with this chick?? She really needs to live her own life. We barely speak for this reason.
I’m a grown woman, but have had this problem all my life with different people….it is NOT the highest form of flattery. I even had a friend copy my hair style, and started buying the same type of clothing. I’ve always been an independent person, confident, and do not need to be surrounded by women friends and people….I need my alone down time, rather love it…but for some reason, I’ve always had this problem with women trying to copy me, it is a form of stealing someone else’s identity and very annoying….these people are not original enough to come up with their own ideas….a life time friend even took my dog’s name for her dog, can you imagine, she went out and bought the very same type of dog? I ended the friendship, as it was always one sided anyway. But I find people who copy are insecure and need to look to others for approval for decissions they make.
Exactly!!!! OMGosh…reading your post brought back so many memories. I had a friend copy my haircut(s), clothing style…she even when as far as to putting herself in horrible debt just to purchase the type of car I had said I always wanted. And your story about your dog… my sister did the same thing!!!! I was so hurt b/c you can’t comprehend that as flattery acts like that, to me anyway, come from a much darker sinister place. Jealously, maybe? I don’t know but I couldn’t agree with you more… it’s a level of insecurity that is low.
I have the same problem, we’ve been friends since we were kids, we’re now approaching 40. She’s always done it but now it’s getting ridiculous. It’s all there, my haircolour, music etc it’s never really bothered me until recently. I started getting more tattoos and suddenly there she’s posting new tattoos all over facebook, everytime I have one a day later she has one too, it’s quite bizarre being that these are permanent!! I write poetry as a form of release, within a day of me posting a link to a page of my poetry, she had joined the site and started posting poems of her own. It drives my husband crazy as it’s been going on for so long, even down to her obsession with the amount of “likes” I get and putting up similar posts to gain the same amount. It’s a very strange way for a grown woman to behave and is wearing me out because I don’t get it!! I’m not sure that I want to be me, so I definitely don’t get why anybody else would!!!!
I’ve had the same issues with an old “friend” and still have a few family members that still do it. One going as far as to reuse my childhood memories as her own and forgetting they were mine while recounting them to her friends…in front of me. I currently have a relative that covets my FB page and mimics most of my interests/styles/sayings, etc. I used to get really upset about it but now it’s just really really sad….especially when out of all the people in the world they’d choose my life to try to mimic. That in itself it sad… lol
hi Rachel. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have this problem too with my sister. She doesn’t exactly copy me often or so it is obvious. As a Person, she comes across as someone with very much of her own style and personality (which is not true when you get to know her more, i feel), Like she steals things from me like … especially the things I love the most, Or things that had meant very much to me at one point. Like my favorite Record from teenage days that I then bought as Vinyl, she now lists as her favorite in her FB Profile… or, another example, when I once told at a table talk to family, that I found a certain ARt History book, that is absolutely smart and well written and sort of a Bible of Art History, ( I studied art in college and my teacher listed that book, that is how I got it) She went straight ahead and bought that book for herself too (she never told me, I saw it in her shelf). So, she would not like ask me to borrow it from me, or to ask me on Art history, but instead, she wants to BE ME, she doesn’t LET ME BE ME and is good to me, no, I would have given it to her gladly NO, she wants to possess it, because it is a smart book and because I love it and she is jealous of me) … and such examples on and on. Also with smart or interesting things I say, the next time many people are together, she will say the exact same thing that I said maybe a week earlier, and say it just like it was something she came out with… and I sit there in misery, feeling just so … realy stupid, cannot say. ……Therefore, whenever it happened, I found myself angry at her, (like someone stole my things, like she takes something from me without asking, like being robbed…) but at the same time, I always felt ashamed for my feelings of anger towards her and most of the times, it was me ending up in finding explanations for her, and telling myself to be generous and to question myself whether I AM THE ONE that is jealous of HER. (I am an introvert, she is the extrovert… she has very many friends (but I think many of them are superficial and not deep friendship – but still, I make probably the impression of being the weird one while she seems to be so smart, but when you look closely, it might not even be that way) Really, it has an issue for me since childhood days… And it was and is confusing and a painful thing for me. So what I am pointing out here is:
– yes, I too find copying somebody/imitating them IS a form of abuse (it hurts the one being copied by feeling robbed)
– for me, it was for ages something that I wondered if I AM THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM (–> somehow, this all was and is confusing, leaving me with the negativity my sister might have issues with… like a mirror)
– my policy with it was to stay cool, to take it, to let her do it and not say anything for many years.
– I thought for many years that I am the mean one of us to for being angry at her (because she steels and takes from me)
at one point in my life, 4 years ago, I got sick and my relationship to my man ended and my hair went gray basically over night, and I gained a lot of weight (like my life crushed and I had a huge depression, and I might be a childless woman…. so huge dreams got killed……). When that happened, my sister NEVER ever asked me how I were. Instead I felt that she is happy that I am miserable and whenever we met at my parents, she would tell everybody how well her life went and what all she accomplished and how she is celebrating success and how happy she is, like she never was before, and that she finally found cure of herself… ….
She only said once something to me and my loss, and that basically like: “dedigitate”… and that I should stop self-indulgence and work harder.
And of course if I would ask her straight “please tell me truly what your problems with me are and be open with me…., she would never admit that she is deliberately mean and hurtful to me. I am pretty sure she would not be honest. So no point in asking her directly and talk it out…
Really, I asked myself many times wheter that is a mean thing to think of her that she is happy that I fell and that I lost health and some prospects in life, but since I really felt that from her, I think now that my feelings might have been right – or, if they are not and I do her wrong, what can I do if I feel it that way other than wait til she proves me differently.
Anyway, it was the point in my life where I sorted strictly out the people in my life that I feel are a drag for me or people that I feel are not really good for me, and also bad habits (I quit smoking then, which was also the main cause for my sickness) because really with so little energy I had left, I had to make my world, my dreams, my circle small and kick out many ideas of what my life will be like.
–> this is when I changed policy towards my sister. I basically kicked her out of my life too.
Like I said that of the most valuable things one can give another person is
– being deep, honest and serious with them and giving them feedback and show them your soul and heart.
So I will stop being deep, honest and serious with her.
I will be superficial and basically I count the words I talk to her each year. It will basically be “happy BDay” “happy Christmas” ” happy Easter” and a few “hellos” and goodbyes” when we run into eachother.
I will not tell her what makes me happy, what I find good or what I love.
Nor will I ever tell her what makes me sad, and how I truly feel inside.
I will not be her mirror anymore. I will close the window to my soul for her.
I will not help her.
I will not support her.
I will not ask her ever again how she is, like other than in the superficial way.
I will not go to any invitation from her, except if it is for other people, like my mom that wants us to be there toghether or so
I will not feel joy with her, when she has success or has good things in life happen to her – I will just be, well I won’t ever care again if she is happy or not.
She will not be able to make me feel guilty ever again (she had a huge thing between us that made this always and very easily possible)
I tolerate her, but I don’t give her my best (my love, my time, my thoughts, my honesty, my help, my friendship) ever again.
She might be the one that is sick (mentally) (actually, really, she is seeing councellers for that (Borderline and Bipolar) not me.
Because she is sick, she IS THE AGGRESSOR and when i feel aggressive towards her, it is healthy, because SHE is hurtful to me, not I am hurtful to her.
Because she might be sick, I won’t be angry with her for being hurtful to me, but I wont let her hurt me neither.
I go away when she is around.
I will eventually chose another woman as my sister and feel sisterly. (Because this all destoys my sisterhood) But I will be polite to my real sister because our lives are tied together, because we are sisters from blood. And also because she might be really sick, since she is abusive. Hope for her that she will heal.
And in the end, I will not lose much energy in all of this again, and concentrate on my own life, because, really, I need myself badly.
All of this does make me sad, but at the same time, I know now more than ever that my love, my goodwill, my heart, my soul, my knowledge, well any of me that is enriching and good and nice of my character (I do have bad sides too, sure!!) is not just for free and sure not for abuse.
I ll give it when it is treated with respect, else I will not give it.
If she is smart she will see that I changed, and If she is really smart, she will figure that it is something that has to do with her – and that I do have my good reasons for that I have changed. And that will be the most valuable thing for her, SELFREFLEXION.
Thanks so much for your post! I can relate to u in many ways. I appreciate that u can put ur experiences with copy cats out there so ppl like myself know we are not alone:)
I have certain ppl in my life that I can’t completely get away from. These ppl are a huge burden on my otherwise amazing life. I too think it’s somewat identity theft! Copy cats are energy vampires, and inconsiderate . I have a few women that copy my overall style. The clothes I wear, the way I decorate our home, the way I dress our children, our vehicles, party’s we host, it’s endless. Somedays it really drains me and really takes over. This is when a wise family member suggested I work on my spiritual and emotional wellbeing. It’s so very important that we original creators feel completely content within ourselves to the point where the copy cats can no longer effect us. I am currently on my own journey of finding my place of complete contentment within
And absolute gratitude that I have been blessed with a creative mind. Meditation, regular excercise( yoga) , balance diet, spiritual and emotional wellbeing are all apart of my getting closer to letting go of wat I allow the copy cats to effect in my life . I wish anyone in the same or similar predicament the very best in their journey of finding peace with this issue. After all we are certainly the lucky ones, being original is truely a great gift, we just need to learn how to deal with the not so originals and allow ourselves to be ok with them. It’s for our own benefit after all xx
Thanks for that! That’s awesome! You know.. I just realized it a few hours ago and I told my self something similar, and actually thought of making a list of the positive side of my situation, (I know there are some) After all what can we do.. we’re born originally cool 😉
Hello ive been crying about this all week. I am very unique person and don’t copy nobody ideas. I always try to think outside the box, and I thought something was sincerely wrong with me for this. Someone copied my wedding and all my ideas for the wedding the coordinator did for the same people wedding in a different color. I am extremely hurt. I was crying all day and praying to God to help me understand whats wrong. I here it all the time to be flattered with copy cats but if people are using your ideas and getting paid off of it then that’s not good at all. thank you for this forum!!!!!
Yes, I too experience this. I had friends throughout my school years copying my clothing, hair styles etc. Now its my husband’s sister in laws. They aren’t the sharpest tools in the tool box and I have done very well academically and professionally. Now they imitate everything about my style, the way I walk, sit, etc. It infuriates me and at the same time, they hate me more than words can express, so I do struggle to understand why they would imitate me. I’m not sure if its jealousy or just a lack of creativity. I think it could be jealousy as they are trying to mimic your style, have what you have etc.
imitating, copying a recipient or another person is all in the name of plagiarism.
it is understandable to be upset because we are the author of the work meaning we have put hard work and have grown a pride in the work. although plagiarism is an unethical act, we will never know why really they plagiarise (or copy you).
usually, you represent everything they want to be which means that they have a jealousy and an insecurity. they don’t know themselves and feel lost and usually feel inferior.
the best way to deal with it, is to make sure that you’re ok, this is done by being proud of who you are and don’t be too cocky. it is obvious that people like you for the things that you do. bear in mind that there are people who have deluded themselves to become you. let them. at the end of the day, they don’t live 24/7 with you.
cut those who are jealous of you off your life.
Yes, my husband’s ex-wife copied me relentlessly. She would “borrow” my hair color and style, from her normal short straight brown hair, to my long, wavy blonde, decorated her house in the same themes as mine, took up the same hobbies, became an animal activist, etc. Back in the days of Myspace, she copied my profile verbatim.
Hubby’s ex also copies her new husband’s late wife. I won’t get into how she does that because it’s just so disrespectfully creepy in my mind. Every time I had to be around her for kid things, I would catch her staring at me several times. Just ewww. I feel the same way you do about it. Get your own personality, figure out who you are and leave me (and your husband’s late wife) alone.
so I have more of a rock/skater/preppster look as to my friend who was full blown out cowgirl. And also preppy that only shopped at American eagle and such.. I would never be cought dead wearing things from stores like those. Opposites attract, i liked that she had her own style yet our personalities together were trouble together. Anyway it started with her CONSTANTLY borrowing my beanies. And she slowly stopped wearing her cowboy boots. She and her roommate always complimented my style, she started asking me for advice on outfits, which I gave. Then recently we went to the mall and she bought the SAME shoes I was wearing there on the spot.. Then we went on to the stores I typically shop at such as zumiez and pac sun. She doesn’t shop at those places.. She likes american eagle and whatever.. She bought herself a few outfits from the stores I like and the outfits she chose were outfits I’d wear. We went home for the holidays and she texts me, “my mom bought me a leather jacket similar to yours, cool huh” -.- I love her but I think someone’s style is representing who they are as an individual. If she takes this from me, she’s taken who I am and called it her own. Maybe I’m the crazy one… Idk but it’s really irritating. I loved her for being my opposite and still being able to relate on a different level. There’s more to the copying but what I’ve shared is what cought my eye the most. God, I don’t want people to think we planned to dress the same. After all, we arnt twins or school girls.
Well how about a situation like this for instance; a person announces they sold their house and already building a new one, (Happy News) and someone very close to that person decides right way (2 AFTER) to sell their house a build the same new house (SAME FLOORPLAN) at the same place…? Is that normal? However the person is prying for God to work goodness inside and be happy and overlook what goes on around… I’m pretty sure is hard..
It happens on youtube too, i have a fairly successful channel and this sicko always tries to compete with me in everything, copying left and right, trying to make the same friends as me, writing and saying the same stuff as me when he was TOTALLY different before, he always tries to one up me in everything, is so draining, and if i say i’d like to record something he goes and tries to do it first
But he always ends up doing some mediocre crap so i have the last laugh, but its annoying still.
This happened to me. Someone competitive who used to be my friend copied stuff I did, for example in geography I decided to do my presentation in a pretty original format, and she copied mine, and also she copied phrases I said a lot until it got the point that one day someone noticed that she did something ‘cool’ to her desktop and she started explaining to them how she did it as though she had found it out. Although really, she found out from me.
Being copied so much feels terrible. It made me feel like I wasn’t unique or original.
I have been dealing with an online emulating plagiarist for over a year now. I was researching abnormal psychology journals, links, articles, etc., when I ran across your page. I have a social media stalker who has colored their hair, changed the style, and cut to be almost exact to the ways I have worn my hair (over 5 different styles). My hair grows very fast, so, when I changed my profile pic, recently, with my longer hair, they immediately got hair-extensions. They have had procedures done to their face, to make them look more similar. This person has tried to recreate every photo of me on social media with almost identical background, as near as possible, similar clothing, pose, etc., they have plagiarized entries on two social media platforms (within hours of my posting, initially, then waiting a week or two after contacting them about plagiarizing copyrighted materials), they copy even my mannerisms in videos, voice cadence, colloquialisms, witticisms, graphics I have made, even recreated old photos of me from the 80’s and 90’s from ‘Flashback Fridays’ with hats, umbrellas, things that are very specific and no longer in style.
When I first encountered the individual, she was blond, dressed in all lace, sequins, and wild pastels and neons, huge earrings, blue eyeshadow, pink frosted lipsticks, high heels, spoke in business professional tone and had business posturing and a strict range of business topics with a little faith mixed in here and there – complete opposite of my style. I wear little makeup (natural tones), natural curly auburn hair, I am very tall and dress in a very eclectic comfortable way, flats, sandals, boots, etc., – I write on topics of life lessons, aphorisms, biblical etymology, biology, and personal life stories, I am quirky and even a bit goofy at times, but also have strong opinions on political/social topics…And guess what….She now does, too!
This level of mirroring is actually a personality disorder. It goes way beyond petty jealousy, envy, and competitiveness or even admiration. These people have no self-esteem, no personal identity, and they have to latch onto someone to emulate out of a really creepy sense of entitlement.
I have posted maybe 30 photos of myself in the 6 years I have been on social media, and they have recreated over 20 of those pictures – immediately after they colored their hair, and in reverse chronological order of my photos in my albums/feed.
Angela, what you describe is really disturbing. I have someone in my life who does a few of the things you mention, but it doesn’t come close to this.
Can you sue??? This is horrible!!! Oh I feel so horrible for you. Wow, I was upset over a copied wedding. You’re really dealing with a psychopath.
I have the same problem, but it’s in a mean spirited fashion. My sister in law, who is the most organized person, sabotaged my baby shower, she forgot to invite people, got married months later where my husband and I did, but fancy, which she’d pointed out. Only was my friend when I watched her child, she’s always hated plants/gardening, but after we bought our house n we established a garden n I have…a LOT of indoor plants, she’s now into that as well. When pretending to be my friend she’s leaked my insecurities to her friend who’s always picked on me n gave her more fodder against me. There’s more but, I can empathize.
It happens to me all the time. My sister copies everything I wear or buy. She is 11 years older than me, she has done it all my life and it’s really annoying. Everything I buy even books she will rush out and buy it. I had a watch come in the post which was only cheap and when she saw it she immediately ordered some which were almost the same
I just had an EX friend copy my wedding exactly, this past weekend. Down to the dress, decor, cake, setting, EVERYTHING. It’s not acceptable, EXTREMELY pathetic, and uncouth. The worst part is seeing the compliments on her “beautiful wedding.” Gag. She is a sheep and I have always been a leader. I understand there are two kinds of people in the world. However like you mentioned, as flattering as everyone says it is to be mimicked…I believe it is offensive and audacious. Hurtful at the very least. Thank you for this article. I’m tempted to share it to my Facebook wall along with pictures of my own wedding. Ugh I won’t but God I wish I had the balls.
I was feeling sorry for myself and decided to Google whether being copied by another adult was a real thing. And now I don’t feel so petty. I have a “friend” who lives across the street from me. For over 5 years everything I did was stupid, gardening, upcycling clothes, you name it, I/my family was stupid for doing it. I started distancing myself and things got bad, too much to list here. I’ll just say she’s can be reeaaallly scary. But now since I’ve started my sewing/vintage resale business and distancing myself, she’s following me around online. All of a sudden she’s starting what was previously “a stupid way to make money” business selling crafts online. I start a diy themed fb group related to my business and 5 minutes later she’s started her own and gone through my friends list and adding them to her group. And of course, it was her “idea and it’s so much better” than mine. But oddly, the thing that got me searching about this is NOT because I spent 5 years listening to how stupid I and my family are but because she’s ripping a part of me off. It really hurts and not because I think I’m some creative genius, I dont, haha. I’m afraid to post or say anything online anymore because no one hears me, it’s always “oh well look what she posted or did” and I want to say yeah those are from my group or from my wall, or that’s MY actual work but I don’t know how because it always gets turned around into me being the attacker. it’s insane and while it doesn’t make me happy to know others go through this, it does make me feel a little less alone. Thank you so very much for posting this.
Well i exactly understand what you are saying !!! Sometimes if you complain about this thing to others will not understand you and maybe feel the opposite that you are the jeloussss!!! Oh no !!! That’s why i understand you and yes it is something silly to say for some people !!! But as for me it is something very important, because most of the people who imitates you try always to let you down !!! This is the bad thing !!! I face this problem with a girl i know , she imitates me to the end ,she imitates my way of talking , my clothes , my style, my ideas even a silly bracelet that i wear …….. Etc. the thig is that i personally try to help her whenever she is in need , i never hide anything i really try to help from the bottom of my heart , but what pisses me of , when she Disrespect me !!! Why !?? Why do you copy me if you don’t want to be kind and respectful !!! That makes me want to tease her more and more and i know that she got pissed off ???? I sometimes make my self blind and as if nothing wrong but sometimes the bad
side get out with such people !!! On the other hand i really feel happy from people who imitates me and give you a very simple thank you in their way !!!
I’m so glad I found this post. I’ve been dealing with this issue for the past couple of months. I just switched over to writing fiction, and I’m working like a dog to get my work promoted and find readers. I have a male aqaintence who has apparently gotten the idea that he’s my onine boyfriend, and that my new business and my new success is partially his. He’s got a bit of an entitlement complex about it, and when I post a Twitter or Instagram post to my “Professional writer” accounts, he’s the first to jump on it, “like it” and comment on it. I had to delte two, one that was along the lines of “Great going, babe!” and the other a “Well, HI there!’ flirty comment on a picture I had posted of myself.
I’ve built this business from the ground up, and I did it all on my own. Nobody helped me write my stores, edit my work, plan out an author platform, or create a brand. NO ONE has the right to claim ownership over it, but there he is, horning in on my success. If I post a Jon Stewart quote on Twitter, an hour later, I see the same thing posted on his FB page.
While I realize part of it is his desperate tries to make me his romantic interest, I think the most offensive thing is that he can’t get an original idea his own. He co-opts mine. Dude, get an original idea, fer God’s sake! Course, this same guy’s supposed “art” consists of fanfiction and drawing sketches of comic book characters. It’s derivative to the nth degree.
No, I’m not flattered. I’m offended and more than a little annoyed.
Ugh…this has happened to me. My husband’s ex has basically just carbon copied our wedding! This bitch is fucking annoying! Its not the first time she has copied me either…anyone would think she is trying to be me!
When people copy you, it is extremely annoying, and I believe it is rooted in jealousy, envy, insecurity, and frankly, a subliminal dislike for you. Also, I believe it is a sign of immaturity. That said, I know someone who is doing/has done these things to me, buying jewelry I have bought, purses, etc., and it is outrageous. I personally, have absolutely no desire to per se copy exactly anything another woman has, either her words, her clothes, her jewelry, even the color of my car was copied and turned around as “oh you have the same color car as I do”, when I had it first!!! At the end of the day, it is a sickness of the heart and spirit that likely the person in your situation is enduring. However, in your case, it is certainly an infringement upon your intellectual property and subject to prosecution…..I hope this was helpful in some way!
I’m so glad you shared this. This is an issue that has been bugging me for quite a while now. And you’ve nailed how I feel about it, and what I truly suspect it of being: jealousy, dislike, insecurity and enviousness.
That is exactly what my situation feels like to me. The imitations are fueled by a sense of competition, and enviousness. Like they’re constantly trying to prove they’re somehow ‘above me’. Like I have no right to be my own person. Like if I get something, they have to get it to. Kind of like a “keeping up with the Joneses” thing.
I’m amazed at how you nailed it so accurately. This is actually what my situation feels like to (the ones who copy in my life are my parents and other family members), and it is definitely annoying.
It feels invasive to me. It’s like I’m dealing with body/identity snatchers or something.
Words that describe my experience best are: imitation, infiltration and invasion.
Does that make sense?
Best advice I could give in regard to this, is to work on creating and maintaining a strong sense of Self & identity.
Create it from within. Focus on you, and do your thing. Release anything (and anyone) who isn’t a healthy match for you or your life.
Our happiness does not have to be dependent upon what others are/aren’t doing.
We can choose to be happy (regardless of what others are doing).
If I knew someone had issues like these, I wouldn’t mind inspiring them to “find” themselves. I have done this before. I can understand and empathize with feeling insecure and not having a strong sense of self. My heart goes out to people who feel this way, cuz I know what it’s like to feel this way, and I also understand (and believe) that it’s not rooted in the need or desire of wanting to destroy someone else.
What I am dealing with is something far more insidious and seems more like a roundabout and passive-aggressive way of stalking.
It’s meant to be subversive. The people I deal with are family members who have this excessive need to prove something. Like they’re better or above me or something. These are people who simply won’t allow me to be me or be my own person. Whenever I try to expand beyond my comfort zone in some way, they try to “measure up” and “catch up” somehow, and this is done in an unrelenting manner, which just doesn’t feel or look natural.
I believe their behaviour is most definitely rooted in pathological enviousness. And that denotes… narcissism. That is why it feels so annoying (in my case).
People like this feed off of others’ life force and simply can’t be their own person. They energetically leech off of others. They need others to exist.
It feels very taxing.
Look it up ;).
“Normal” people don’t go to great lengths to imitate others, and like you said, “normal” people or insecure people don’t do this with the intention of undermining others. Or “one-upping”.
I’m actually trying to understand this concept of copying/feeling copied by reading about it on the internet as it has never really come into my life (but currently writing a character who is dealing with it and need to understand her).
Not sure I fully understand yet…..but as for how to deal with it, I think I probably can help. In all of the articles I’ve read so far, there has been this odd dichotomy between either ‘flattered’ or ‘annoyed’ when there is a third possibility that is actually the first one that springs to my mind: Compassion.
You say yourself that it seems a person copying your sense of dress could be a form of low self esteem. This is not something they are doing ‘to’ you, they are simply trying to feel better about themselves because they feel unhappy. Anybody who is unhappy tries to feel better. That’s normal. This is just the way they’re trying to do it. Perhaps remember a time you felt low and empathise with how they feel first. Recognise you are not being attacked. Unless you’ve mentioned it, it’s unlikely they have a clue that it affects you. They’re just trying to feel better and it really has nothing to do with you.
Then, talk to them. The best way to talk to someone about this stuff is to show you recognise their pain first. You could say that you have noticed they seem a little less confident about their own abilities in xyz and that sometimes it feels like they look to you for what to do. Then go on to say that although you’re aware they’re not doing these things to upset you, you have felt a little bit upset because you have put a lot of work in. Share your feelings without accusing them of anything. They haven’t actually done anything to you, remember, and they don’t know you’re upset. If they’re a decent person – hopefully they are – they will empathise with your pain too and you will be able to talk together about the situation maturely. Hopefully they will feel comfortable to explain to you why they have “copied” – perhaps they feel like an outsider and they just want to feel accepted by the larger group and that’s something you could talk about together.
Now, if it’s a copyright issue, then that’s another matter. To people who still your intellectual property, a warning email letting them know you have seen them and will publically name and shame them if it continues/will take legal proceedings if necessary should so the trick.
As I was reading this post, I felt like you were directly putting my situation into words. I personally put a lot of thought and effort into being myself, and making myself an original person. I feel like my appearance should express myself. So whenever I change something about my appearance, it’s as if I’m finding another piece of myself. But lately several people close to me have been imitating me – my hairstyle, outfits, etc – , which is kind of like undermining my style and showcasing it like the “latest trend”. I find that extremely degrading. And not only that, but all of a sudden I see it on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Now, I’m not the kind of person who likes to showcase my life on the internet, so at this point I haven’t posted anything about my recent change. So, my imitators get it up for everyone to see before I do. So now my original idea isn’t mine, since it hadn’t been documented first, and therefore I am the copier to everyone else.
I don’t necessarily care about other people’s opinions of me, but it is extremely annoying when you hear “Oh so you wanted to look like so-and-so.” NO. I didn’t.
I’m also a bit insecure, as well, so sometimes it irritates me when one of those people actually look better than me when they copy me. It’s like “Thanks, now you ruined that for me.”
I don’t know what happened to having your own ideas. Why does everyone want to be clones of other people?
What a timely article this is! I have experienced this on so many levels and as a creative person and a writer, it is extremely frustrating and annoying. I have had people copy my personal style and taste, my online antics and commentary and even my dreams as a writer I have people competing with me. I have been writing creatively since 13 years old. And it is extremely annoying because it feels like you’re being cloned. I like what you said about working so hard on something and having someone riff off it. It has gotten to the point where I almost don’t want to share any of my ideas with everyday people and am almost leery about submitting my writing anymore for fear that someone will steal my idea and try to make it their own. To be honest, it’s simply maddening. Especially if your creativity is your passion and outlet…it starts to feel like it’s not a safe place not to mention that copy cats seem to have no pride and don’t realize that the person they are imitating notices what they are doing – as well as others.