Recently, I encountered a peculiar animal with characteristics that are so confounding, I was moved to research it.
Here are my findings:
The copycat (Latin: Copia catus) is a fake, phony, unoriginal mammal. It has existed since the beginning of time. Copycats desperately lack confidence and individuality. In order to survive they must copy others. The hunting strategy of a copycat is quite simple–they snatch what’s meaningful to you and attempt to make it their own. Typically, copycats befriend the very people they copy, but unlike normal friends they are not equipped to give credit, say congratulations, or be truthful.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but copycats will make you think twice! There is a difference between admiration and duplication. That difference is what separates the originals from the replicas. For most people, admiration is comparable to love, and when you love someone, you tell them. You don’t stay silent. It takes integrity for someone to say, “I like your style,” or “I want to do something similar to what you’re doing, how do I get there?” Essentially, copycats are incapable of authentic admiration, due to abnormally high levels of insecurity in their bloodstream. Integrity is also a challenge for them. And rightfully so, because it’s difficult to be sincere when replication is your claim to fame.
In copycat habitats, the “It’s Cool …Now” syndrome is rampant. “It’s Cool…Now” is when a non-copycat suggests something that a copycat initially disapproves, then it turns around and does the same thing. Consider this 2004 case study on Timothy and Copycat John. Timothy moves to Purpletown. He tells Copycat John. Copycat John says, “Purpletown is whack.” Then, two months later, Timothy runs into Copycat John at his favorite bookstore in Purpletown. Copycat John proceeds to tell Timothy how cool Purpletown is…now, describing the neighborhood to Timothy as though he didn’t live there first.
Silent watching is also prevalent in the copycat habitat. Silent watching is pretty self-explanatory. It is when a copycat watches their prey’s succcesses, refuses to give them any feedback or kudos, and then tries to one up them.
Beware of what you share with copycats! Even if you’re merely Facebook friends with one, the same advice applies. Copycats will stalk your plans, follow your movements, and feed off your energy. The next thing you know, you’re scrolling through Instagram, and who do you see? Paint-by-number CC laid out in Mexico sipping a margarita. But didn’t you say you wanted to go to Tulum? You like art, all of a sudden they like art. You start a business, they call to tell you they are starting one. That is… if they call. Copycats are stealthy, kind of like snakes.
A copycat will never admit that they look up to you, nor will they admit that they are creatively challenged. If you are ever approached by a copycat, remain calm, keep your mouth shut, and most importantly continue to let your unique, magnificent light shine. Copycats may do what you do but they can never be you, which is why they never win. Keeping your plans close to the vest is the best defense against this annoying species because once a copycat’s “inspiration” is inaccessible, their boring reality emerges for all to see.
Disclaimer: No copycats were harmed while research was conducted for this report. However, reading these findings may cause pain because the truth hurts.