I got a DM (direct message) the other day from a young lady who wanted my opinion. She wrote that her friend sometimes criticizes what she is doing or wearing or doesn’t acknowledge it and then turns around and copies her. I chuckled when I read her message because this situation sounded all too familiar.
I get it. I, too, have an associate who likes to imitate mostly everything I’m doing. I’m honored that anyone would ever want to mimic my moves. I love inspiring and have been inspired by many people so imitating isn’t the issue. I believe the frustrating thing about this is when someone habitually copies everything you do, it feels like a violation to your personal creativity - almost like they are trying to steal your entire existence.
As frustrating as a friend/associate who copies your every move may be, the truth is there's not a whole lot we can do to stop them. Some people who are chronic copycats probably possess self-esteem issues or haven't found their own lane just yet, and they don't know how to use the inspiration they get from others and tailor it to fit their swag.
I responded to the young lady and explained that I understood firsthand what she was going through. I told her she could either take it as flattery, switch her style up, or maybe address the issue in a mature way.
The one thing this young lady and all of us who are going through this need to remember is there's only one of us. People can imitate us, but it won't be the same because it isn't authentically them.
As my wise counsel once told me regarding my habitual, copycat situation – “If they are following you, they will always be behind you.” So to those dealing with this, keep doing you and doing it well; give your protege a tough act to follow.