A Compliment in Disguise

Do you remember when you were a teenager and someone copied you in some regard, and it was not a good thing? If someone dressed like you, or wanted to act like you, or heaven forbid liked the same person as you…it was an awful thing. Even though we wanted to fit in, we all still wanted to be unique and original, and known for our style.

A total oxymoron.

I remember when I was a teenager; this girl liked the same boy I did. I was not happy about it, probably because I was insecure. It’s easy to see that looking back and not so easy when you are in the midst of emotions and hormones. I remember at that time, a wise woman told me not to be jealous or angry toward this girl, because she was probably a lot like me since she had the same taste as I did. She also said that instead of feeling jealous of this girl, I should be friends with her. Her actions were really a compliment in disguise!

I really thought about this, and that woman was right. I became friends with that girl, and we became really great friends. She and I had a lot of the same tastes and many things in common. If I had let jealousy and anger take over, I would have missed a great friendship.

I speak about being a teenager, because that is when this lesson usually presents itself for people, especially girls. But I just found myself in a similar situation as a forty-something year old woman.

Things are different but still the same…another oxymoron.

Someone liked the way I was doing something with regards to my blog, and they did a very similar thing with their blog. I felt very flattered, but at the same time, I felt kind of cheated. I work very hard to make my blog my blog…how can someone swoop in and copy my creativity? My writing style shows my transparent heart and my authentic voice.

I was feeling those same feelings I felt as a teenager. I felt like someone was trying to imitate my own unique style, like they didn’t study for the test but wanted the good grade. Was I being juvenile? Why was I feeling this way? When I searched my feelings, I did not feel good about my knee jerk reaction. I really felt better once I took this person’s actions as a compliment instead of as a personal attack. Have you ever been in this situation? How did it make you feel? How did you react?

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s unruffle our feathers and realize that when someone tries to be like us, that it is a compliment. They are saying that they like us and they want to be like us. Let’s not be bitter or jealous, but revel in the knowledge that we are being a leader of sorts. If you are one to copy instead of shining your own light, try to be a voice and not an echo…we all have unique qualities to give this world!

 Because Together is Better,


  1. Great post, great perspective! I agree with Delia. No drama. I try to take the imitation as flattery and decide how best support and encourage. Now, I must admit, I’m not at a point where I can overlook blatant plagiarism, but some imitation, yes.

  2. Deanna, that’s the perfect balance. You reaching into your beautiful heart and finding love and compassion, and taking a stand for the copier to find, trust and express her own voice… So much grounded ease and love in that balance.

    Happy to have read this. Thank you!


  3. I have decided (not long ago 🙂 that I give up any drama in my life. A situation similar to yours has never happened to me but I think I’d look deep at my feelings and really seek to understand the other person. I trull believe that everybody is unique and not two people can be the same no matter how much they do anything… starting from dressing like each other to having the same blog 🙂
    You are a true inspiration and your message is wonderful, always a pleasure to read your posts, Deanna!

  4. YES! Imitation is definitely the best form of flattery! Sometimes I have to remind myself because every so often it builds up and I get annoyed and feel like someone ( people in general) are trying to steal my IDENTITY! But they’re not. They just might like a few things I am doing, and I need to accept that! 🙂

    • Gigi, you are right in that we need to accept that we are so awesome people want to be like us… 🙂 Thank you for your fun comment! -Deanna

  5. Deanna, what a great way to refocus the lens and see the situation from your heart. I completely agree with what Dr. Johnny’s dad shared with him… “Don’t feel threatened when someone imitates you, they have no one else to turn to. You are their only hope.”

    I believe that many who “copy/mimic” are doing it from a place of eagerness and innocence and are attracted to the energy and vibration that you are putting out to the world (highest compliment). Of course plagiarism is coming from a very different masculine energy and that’s for another post. Love your message… Thanks for all you do in the world!

    • Linda, thank you so very much for your encouraging words. I love to think that that person is attracted to my energy and vibration instead of just copying! Thank you for that perspective! -Deanna

  6. Excellent post, Deanna. As a former professional entertainer, (Drummer, singer, recording artist etc.) I was continually imitated by other striving entertainer. At first, I felt disparaged, as I worked hard to reach my goals. Then, I remembered my dad’s words. “Don’t feel threatened when someone imitates you, they have no one else to turn to. You are their only hope.” Well, through the years, I have followed his advice, and in fact, have been able to assist some of those who have aped me. It is a great feeling. I have also established some great friendships. Good read. Blessings.

    • Johnny, I just love this story and what your Dad told you. I think his words are very wise and I will keep them in my mind going forward. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  7. This is a wonderful message! We need more people allowing their light to shine and living their truth!!

  8. Hey Deanna,

    Excellent post. I see this happen a lot with entrepreneurs who are just starting out. They want to emulate someone they admire and often have no intention to copy them. I’ve also seen people copy webpages and special offers almost verbatim and call the content there own. Templates and guidelines are one thing, outright plagiarism is another. Cheers.

    • Shann, I agree with you in that being inspired is not the same as plagiarism. I think I would be more upset with the latter. Thank you for your wise words. -Deanna

  9. Thanks for the reminder, Deanna. I’ve been copied lots of times and it’s still a real stretch for me to see it this way… but I know that’s a “better place” for me. Guess I’ve got to keep this one on my “work in progress” list for a while longer. 🙂

    • Andrea, I need to keep this on my list as well. I love how we can all keep working on ourselves and growing into our light. Thank you for being here. -Deanna

  10. Deanna, you have such a beautiful spirit. You reflect on life and look for the good in everything. That is you! Your unique soul signature. Isn’t it beautiful that you just inspired someone to start doing the same : looking for the good in everything they do or experience. I have not come across someone trying to copy me. I just remember being the creative leader in Kindergarden. Hahaha. All the girls always wanted to craft what I was crafting. I came up with the craziest thing. I remember not understanding it….I always thought. Really? But I let them be. I hold this strong knowing in me that I only exist once, that I am unique and a copy will always be just that – a copy. It’s okay. I wish for everybody to find their own unique light and soul signature.

    • Nadia, thank you so very much for your kind words. They made my heart smile. I love that even when you were in kindergarten, you knew to let them be and to not resist or defend. That is beauty! -Deanna

  11. Hello Deana,

    Thank you for the perspective on being ‘copied’ and taking it as a compliment. I have never been ‘copied’ in my life and was nervous when someone in my class said that she wanted to be where I was – being in a space of ‘self’-actualisation (as per Maslow’s concept). This was was not entirely true since I don’t consider myself totally ‘self-actualised’ and I was afraid of falling flat on my face! However on further reflection, I realised that I must be doing something right in my journey of growth that some one else wanted to ‘copy’ me. I didn’t realise that she could see my ‘growth’ (whatever it was that she was looking for).

    • Ming, that is so very powerful! I love that you took it as a compliment that you were on the path that this person wanted to be on. What a teaching moment. I appreciate you Reading, Growing, and Sharing! -Deanna

  12. Love this: be a voice and not an echo… 🙂

  13. I would be honored if someone tried to copy me, it means I’m awesome enough for them to want to do so! lol Granted it would be nice if when they do copy me they give me credits! Like “Check out my new outfit. got the idea from the awesome Marielle!” LOL

  14. This just keeps happening and happening to me, on a large scale with creative endeavours, and I have found it a real challenge. Yes, like anything, it will still keep happenig as long as I respond with resentment. It is really wonderful to inspire others to be successful. Understanding is the key to tolerance.

    • Mark, what a great realization you had, that this will keep happening to you until you stop re3acting with resentment. How wise you are! Thank you for leaving that comment here. -Deanna

  15. Dov Shapira says:

    I agree with you 100% Deanna.
    We must be leaders, inspired and creative or we will be missing what we are made of.
    Great reading !

  16. As a bassist on a band i actually experience this a couple of times, but i made it as a challenge. Great post! i enjoyed a lot from you blog.

    • Richard, I love that you took that as a challenge! I will keep this in mind…a challenge to be better than I was yesterday! Thank you! -Deanna

  17. Traci Henegar says:

    I am a newbie and totally draw inspiration from all of you and your amazing sites!

    • Thank you Traci! There is a fine line between finding inspiration and copying…just as Veronica said in her comment. I love to inspire people, but I don’t like to feel copied so much. Thank you for your comment! -Deanna

  18. Marjory Johnson says:

    I totally love what Diane said and couldn’t agree more!

  19. Jim Striegel says:

    I agree…sometimes others inspire us and if it’s not a direct competitor…I saw let it go.

  20. someone echoing your blog style is a real difficult one – I think I’d struggle too. I’m glad to see you’re being authentic and whole hearted about it – it’s easy to go into full on blame mode when we’re faced with something like that.

    • Jo, you are right, it is easy to blame and to feel slighted when someone copies you. That is why I had to step back and question my reaction. We are continually growing, right!? Thank you for your comment. -Deanna

  21. It is great to get inspiration from those you look up to. I know in my field of Interior Design, there is a fine line between blatantly copying something someone else did, or just using it for inspiration where appropriate. I hear that it is the highest form of flattery, but I would rather not be copied but I am here to inspire others

    • I like that Veronica, I am here to inspire others too…and maybe that is all part of the process! I appreciate you being here, -Deanna

  22. A compliment in disguise is a compliment nevertheless and you are wise to look at it that way Deanna. Perhaps there is also another dimension to this. When I was in business, some of my employees would be upset when a competitor copied a product, program or suchlike.. Provided there was no copyright infringement this bothered me not in the least. This was not because I considered it a compliment but because they were copying what we had created IN THE PAST whether that be 3 months ago or 3 hours ago. Because businesses, web-sites and people are constantly evolving, your individuality is always unique since your creativity is already focused on the present and the future while the copy cat is stuck in the past. Life does need both leaders and followers and it seems most of us are sometimes the one and sometimes the other. Your understanding attitude will serve you well in any scenario.

    • Paul, I truly love your take on this. You are right, in that those ideas are in the past…how refreshing to think of it like this! I always look forward to your wise words, thank you! -Deanna

  23. I definitely agree! I’ll try to use your Take Action as I experience situations like this. Great advice, thanks for sharing!

  24. Diane Morrison says:

    If we all had only ONE style of jeans to wear, and that style was one size fits all, that same pair of jeans would look different on each of us! Your uniqueness shines through NO MATTER WHAT similarities we each have! Wear YOUR jeans, De! They look GOOD ON YOU! The “others” are all knock-offs! MUAH! Keep on keeping on…!!!

  25. I completely agree with you! It’s hard not to feel threatened when someone else tries to copy what you did, but like you said, it should be taken as a compliment. Great post!

  26. I agree to this one.. Thanks!

  27. It is certainly true , it is the highest form of flattery but can make you feel cheated, as you stated you took it as such and moved on and that says a lot about you. No need to worry about me copying your blog:) I can hardly figure mine out (lol). keep up the good work

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