How to Deal With a Copycat


Many say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but anyone who has dealt with a copycat knows that it's much more than that. Dealing with a copycat requires the utmost care. You have to figure out how to stop the copycat behavior, while keeping everyone's egos intact. It may not be easy, but it will make your life much easier if you deal with the problem head-on.

  • Make sure you really have a copycat on your hands. Just because a coworker shows up in the same outfit you wear, it doesn't necessarily mean that she's trying to imitate you. Pay attention to the coworker over the course of a few weeks to make sure that she is indeed trying to copy your style. Red flags include a similar haircut, starting similar hobbies and possibly even buying the same vehicle.

  • Call in reinforcements. If you have a mutual friend, try to enlist his help before calling in the big guns. Ask him what he'd suggest, and discuss the possibility of having him broach the subject with your coworker. He may be able to gather some good information on why your coworker wants to copy you so much.

  • Mix things up. Another way to deal with a copycat is to make her job more difficult. Avoid buying mainstream clothing items and accessories; stick with one-of-a-kind pieces that are impossible to duplicate. You may find that over time, your coworker moves on to copy someone else who's easier to imitate.

  • Call him on it. If nothing else works, simply broach the subject with your coworker. Ask him why he feels the need to be a copycat and then ask him to stop. He won't expect it and will likely back off.

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