Have you ever had to deal with a copycat? I’ve dealt with several over these many years. A couple of them were so bad that some of their behavior contributed, in part, to my nervous breakdown. If you think that’s ridiculous, then I’m going to go with that you’ve likely never experienced such a thing, or seen the film “Single White Female.” It can be difficult not to take that sort of thing personally. I tried to give some examples a few years ago as to why it isn’t cool to do that to someone, to say the least, and what the difference is between, say, copying an outfit you see in a magazine, and copying the one your best friend just bought, and it fell on deaf ears. Last night I ran across an interview with a Dr. Robi Ludwig that really hit the nail on the head with regard to some things. Link here, and here. The last two questions/answers really struck me as I realized what I wanted to know was why, why do people do it?
So there that is, finally, the answer, they do it because they don’t like themselves. They do it to try to steal a little of someone else’s shine for however long they can. They do it to steal attention, affection, whatever it is emotionally that they believe being themselves will not garner them. That’s sad, really, when you think about it, it’s heartbreaking, that they’ve so little faith in who in they are. And, even though it can do tremendous damage to the person being copied, because as stated it can be/feel like a kind of personality theft, believe me when I tell you it can make you want to hide yourself away, ( something I’ve done more than once), it can make you not want to be yourself, and leave you looking for a new way to be in the hopes that whomever it is will stop, but, it actually isn’t personal in that the person doing the copying will ultimately copy whomever they perceive in that favorable light for whatever reasons. In other words, if it wasn’t me they were copying, ( or you, if you’ve ever dealt with such) they’d just find someone else. I’ve seen that happen.
I explained this previously, said pretty much this, and it fell on deaf ears. We’re not talking about fans of comic book heroes dressing up like them in homage, for example, we’re talking about the friend or person in your personal life who wants to sneak a look at your decor plans so they can run to the store and snag that Renaissance painting before you do. What I’m not going to do is share what all else I’ve learned from this article, from having had such experiences, because I think then we’d be getting into things that are out of my area as I’m not a psychologist and I don’t want to stray into giving any advice on such a subject. I wanted to share the link to the interview as it was incredibly helpful to me to finally have an answer as to why they do it, to understand, however heartbreaking it is, in some part what is going on with someone who engages in such. But, in the course of reading up on it, I also read that it often does lead people to finding their own sense of self, and that is a good thing. Perhaps it’s helpful to someone else.