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The Highest Form of Flattery?

Looking back, I think I was a really opinionated little girl. Let me tell you why. When I was about seven, my Mum bought a second hand doll house for me. It was huge and it had two levels and some great furniture in it. I really loved it. However, not too long after I acquired it, along came the parents of a girl who was a few years younger than I am. They visited us to check out the doll house to make a replica for their daughter. I was furious and wanted to know why they had to copy my house – couldn’t they come up with their own. Why did that little girl have to have exactly the same doll house as me. I think much of the joy of owning that  doll house went out when a copy was made!

Is Imitation the highest form of flattery?

Recently, I’ve discovered that I have a blogging shadow (okay, an imitator). I should be flattered, no?  But I’m feeling kind of ‘doll houseish’.

Yesterday, I wrote about finding my own voice.  I cannot stress how important that is to me and to every person. The moment you try to imitate, you lose out on creativity. You lose out on being you.

When someone imitates me, I’m irritated and upset with them – can’t they be themselves and let me be me. I’m not flattered. Are you? 

May you be inspired – every day!

Listening to Imitation here.


  1. Stephany Levine Stephany Levine May 1, 2012

    Dear Corrine, WOW I can’t believe that I happened upon your blog. You won’t believe why – I am always getting book title ideas as I am working on a GREAT (if I have to say so myself – which I do right now) book. I went on Google to find out if “Finding My Voice” was anyone else’s book title. I have found two so far and then, I came across your blog. I was going to email to tell you how much I am enjoying it. I signed up for it just a few minutes ago. Then I started reading more of it and came across your blog about someone copying you!!! I can tell you that they might copy what you write, but they will never be able to copy who you are. I was immediately taken in with your blog – and now I too would like to create a blog of my own for the things I do. I feel as though I have met a friend, a kindred spirit. That’s how warm your site is. Thank YOU for sharing – yourself, your blog and your true self. It shows and it’s beautiful!!!! Steph
    PS I am adding new material to my site – it’s a work in progress right now!!!
    Stephany Levine recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues May 1, 2012

      Thank you so much for ‘finding me,’ Stephany. You made my day with your comment. Thanks too for signing up for updates. I’m looking forward to your blog being set up. Be sure to let me know when you start posting. ♥

  2. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda April 21, 2012

    You caught me — haha!

    People have told me that I have ‘blogging shadows/imitators’ and I find it kind of hilarious! First of all, how would I know someone is imitating me? I think I would just consider them to be amazingly wise and entertaining. It wouldn’t occur to me that they were imitating me.

    Now, when my sister tried to ‘steal’ my husband, kids and job, that was another story…
    Dangerous Linda recently posted..this momentMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 23, 2012

      I’m glad you owned up, Linda 😉 I shared with you already how I know what I know. I now see the hilarious side of it. And of course nothing compares to your sister – you win!

  3. Claire 'Word by Word' Claire 'Word by Word' April 21, 2012

    It’s a big wide world, both out there and on here and look at all the support you have. Your voice and your words inspire people, if someone copies or is inspired by you, let them be – they will discover what you already know, that there is something special to being unique, creative, inventive and to write from an idea that was generated from within, not from someone else. Try not to go back and look at the imitations or those who copy, when you discover something like this, it is completely natural to feel annoyed and angry – but after some time if we choose to, we can also see it with compassion and then we don’t feel so negative towards the culprit.

    You have a gift that truly no-one can copy, they can only be inspired by, whether you like their interpretation and the manner they go about it or not – the adult in you sees the little girl differently now I am sure, and as parents we can encourage our children to build their own unique dolls house, write their own stories, draw their own pictures.
    Claire ‘Word by Word’ recently posted..Summer by Edith WhartonMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 23, 2012

      Claire, thank you for your encouragement and words of wisdom. I truly appreciate them.

  4. Phoenixritu Phoenixritu April 21, 2012

    Problem with imitators is that they start getting competitive and it takes the fun out of writing or creating your own unique material. It is not very healthy

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 21, 2012

      This is exactly the feeling, Ritu. But I’m not giving in any time soon – I’m going to continue being me – that’s all I can be ♥

  5. Nikky44 Nikky44 April 21, 2012

    it is very frustrating Corinne, but although I admit it is wrong, I would just ignore the fact and smile. I would also maybe write a nice comment? Whatever happened, whether this person copied or stole ideas, she will never be YOU. I wrote today about my mother, a simple telling of the fats that happened 48 hours prior to her death. If I just give the facts to anyone verbally, he can write the story, but even the best writers won’t produce it the way I did, because they didn’t feel it. I did.
    Your post, your ideas and thoughts are yours. Many others can write about them, but it will never be as good as what you did, and they will soon realize that.
    Nikky44 recently posted..I got MY MessageMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 23, 2012

      Thank you so much, Nikky. What you say is absolutely true. Yes, I’ve decided to smile about it and move on.

  6. femmefrugality femmefrugality April 20, 2012

    This was happening to me for a week or two. It was frustrating. I felt like I had done the creative (hard!) part of the work, and then someone else was just running with my ideas. Sometimes commonalities are just coincidence, but you can tell when they’re just idea plagiarism. Hopefully this post will resolve the problem!
    femmefrugality recently posted..How We Think About MoneyMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 23, 2012

      Sorry you had the same experience. Was it someone you knew too? I’ve said what I’ve had to say, I’m not hoping for a change. Now I’m just seeing the funny side of it.

  7. Eileen Brown Eileen Brown April 20, 2012

    For me, it’s a matter of stealing from my business. And I do take this very personally. When someone takes one of my blog posts, they take my “idea” of how to advertise any given business, whether it is mine or a clients. I “out” everyone who does this. Some years ago I had designed an email campaign for Yahoo groups for a client. A lady in one of the groups took the post and inserted her name and company. I followed her around Yahoo and “outed” her to every group where she had actually “spammed” her message with MY content. It made me furious! But these people are out there. More every day too. It’s a sad commentary but these days, it’s hard to know what is happening with new users coming online everyday with copycat business. Although I stopped worrying about this a while back, I will always remember the woman who stole my email campaign (this was a looonngggg time ago) and still have bitter thoughts about her. Sad for ME, eh? Heh.
    Eileen Brown recently posted..2 Ways Bad Search Engine Optimization Can Actually Hurt Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 23, 2012

      Thank you so much for sharing, Eileen. Yes, it’s difficult not to get cross and try to get even. I tried to find the humor in this situation and every day it seems funnier to me!

  8. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick April 20, 2012

    —Oh, My,
    Corrine, will you say something to this imitator? I’ve never heard of somebody doing this…
    Is she stealing your story ideas, sentences, content?
    Perhaps, she wants to BE YOU. <3 Xxxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted..Inside The RainMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 20, 2012

      Hi Kim – I wouldn’t call it stealing but an attempt to be one- up…I won’t say anything to him. Will pretend he wants to be me 😉

  9. Sunshine Sunshine April 19, 2012

    I feel your pain. Although my situation is a bit different.
    There was/is someone in my circle who never had anything positive to say about things I did…my ideas and/or kind gestures (not that I expected praise) but then when that person would turn around and do exactly the same thing I did, it hurt. It was as if this person really was trying to compete…one up… me.
    If it was a gift I bought for a person she would buy the same thing, but spend more or buy more. If people were getting together to work on stuff, I would not be included in any details until the last minute. If it was something I did that she couldn’t compete with, she would give me the silent treatment, but not the rest of my family.
    No matter what I did, I couldn’t change the way this person treated me, so I have learned to keep a healthy distance…as much as I can. I pride myself on not being petty or getting sucked into people’s bitterness, but when it feels like someone is intentionally hurting you it’s hard to overlook it.
    I handle these type of situations by focusing on the bigger picture. My intentions are always worthy, and the One that matters knows that. <3
    Sunshine recently posted..P is for PEACEMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 20, 2012

      Thank you for understanding my feelings and sharing your experience, Nichole. I too am striving not to be petty and mean and focus on the bigger picture, while keeping this person out of my life.

  10. Amiee Amiee April 19, 2012

    Awesome post and I really like the example you gave about the doll house. Being creative and being ourselves is the spice of life. This is what makes us grow and bring out what is in us.
    Amiee recently posted..Giveaway: Food for Life Supreme BioCoffeeMy Profile

  11. nelieta nelieta April 19, 2012

    I would be very irritated Corinne..not flattered at all. Like you say we lose creativity, that is what is driving us! We are all unique, our blogs and the content. On the other hand this person maybe see you as a mentor. That is flattering 🙂
    nelieta recently posted..Finding accommodation in MoscowMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 20, 2012

      Thanks, Nelieta. I would be flattered if I didn’t know that this person certainly doesn’t see me as a mentor – to him I’m competition 😉

  12. Adriene Adriene April 19, 2012

    Hi, Corinne. On a gut level I agree with you. My first reaction when I see myself being imitated is to be irritated. As others have said here, much depends on how it’s done and whether they are influenced by me or downright stealing. But on the other hand, I’m slowly accepting that once ideas are put out into the world, others can learn and grow from them, which in some cases is why we put them out there in the first place.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thanks, Adrienne. I appreciate your point of view and I agree too. ♥

  13. The Social Frog The Social Frog April 19, 2012

    I would be incredibly irritated Corinne. There is no need for someone to behave this way unless they do not think highly of themselves. We have to find our own ways & voices like you stated! Finding inspiration in others is wonderful though sometimes I think…
    The Social Frog recently posted..Blogging From A To Z Challenge: QooMy Profile

  14. Andy Andy April 19, 2012

    Hello Corinne.
    I would be highly irritated too, but it’s actually kind of sad that this person feels she has to compete. She obviously has low self-esteem issues or lacks the confidence in her own voice. There’s nothing wrong with admiring someone or what they write, but we are all different and have our own spice to add to the melting pot so to speak. I totally embrace me and love myself far too much to want to be like anyone else (LOL). I just had a thought while writing this…you should come up with something totally outrageous and see what happens (smile). Thanks for sharing.
    Andy recently posted..Day 17/19: QUICKSANDMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thank you, Andy. Self-esteem issues, I guess. I should be more understanding, but I just got quite irritated and had to let off steam. I’m thinking of your idea and outrageous is bad! 😉

  15. Mary Hudak-Colllins Mary Hudak-Colllins April 19, 2012

    Corinne, maybe at first I would find it flattering, but after awhile it would be very irritating and annoying. Sometimes though, people do not have enough confidence in themselves to just be ‘themselves’. They admire someone, and take after their every action and spoken word. Then you have to look at is this a family member or someone that is close to you? Or is it another fellow blogger? Maybe just a commenter that came across your blog and really likes your writing style and format. Each one would have to be handled separately in a different way. Good luck to you! I rest assured that you will get it worked out to your satisfaction 🙂
    Mary Hudak-Colllins recently posted..I’m So Sorry, Baby GirlMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Yes, Mary. I think the most satisfying thing for me is to have written this and get all the great feedback from you all. Now, I’m almost chuckling at this particular person’s madness!

  16. Tapati Tapati April 19, 2012

    Its really disturbing Corrine, imitating from a blog and presenting as his/her ! I really doubt this kinda peoples whole existence. I have even experienced people imitation your behavioral pattern and it really perturbs me. Well I dont feel flattered at all, rather this kinda people are very repulsive.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Tapati this person is not copying content but it’s the intent that I am questioning and upset about. I guess we must feel sorry for such insecure people.

  17. Debra Debra April 19, 2012

    What happened Corinne? Have you approached the culprit?
    This person should at least have credited you with the idea s/he stole.
    Debra recently posted..Those Peculiar PeopleMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      No, Debra, I haven’t and won’t give the person that satisfaction. It’s kind of complicated because he was someone I was close to.

  18. Patty Patty April 18, 2012

    I’m sorry someone has gone too far, it is frustrating. I found someone who was copying material from my blog and presenting it as their own. I was able to track them since they used my photos. I sent them a polite email and the problem was solved. However, it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t find their own creative voice and vision. I hope your post will resolve the issue! Good luck!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thanks, Patty. I’m glad you did that with the person copying your material. In this case, it’s not copying content but ideas and I wouldn’t have minded except that I used to know this person!

  19. Myrna Myrna April 18, 2012

    I can accept some imitation as flattery. But, hopefully your imitator isn’t stealing your ideas or your topics. I almost can’t imagine someone stealing your unique style. Wonder if you’ve confronted the culprit. Is it possible s/he isn’t fully aware that s/he’s copying you too closely?

    I do understand you frustration. But rest assured – there’s no other you.
    Myrna recently posted..GRIEFMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thank you so much, Sangeeta. Your comment took away all my annoyance! ♥

  20. G Angela G Angela April 18, 2012

    What you say is true, unconsciously when we like some one, there is a tendency to follow that person, and I feel its fine as you are also empowering the other person to find their truly identity as persons. But I also strongly feel that Each of us are only one in this universe, and each one of us must find our own path in finding ourselves, even if they copy – they can never be YOU !

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      When someone does it unconsciously, Janet it’s absolutely okay. I think I would be pleased too 😉 But this is not the case here. Yes, we must each find our own path. I guess I must feel sorry that the other person is missing out on following their own true path.

  21. rimly rimly April 18, 2012

    I would like to know who is this person aping you, Corinne. Would like to give a piece of my mind. I have had my share of people copying me, especially when it came to dressing. It does irritate me.
    rimly recently posted..A Blooming BudMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thanks, Rimly – I’m sitting here smiling trying to imagine the scene of you giving this person a piece of your mind! I can imagine people trying to imitate your style of dressing but don’t they know they need your panache too – which cannot be copied! ♥

  22. Jan Neel Jan Neel April 18, 2012

    This is difficult to admit, but as I look back at my first writings I discover that unintentionally I was “mimicking” 2 other writers that I was reading. I have always tried to be real and authentic in what I say, but it took me awhile to get there. I have to say, they were 2 writers that I admire very much and still do, it is embarrassing to me that I so blatantly “stole a style”. With one the subject matter was even similar, but I grew and found that what I had to say came from my heart and didn’t need any one else contributing (albeit unwittingly) to what I was attempting to express. I can feel for you Corinne, I would be very disgruntled, to say the least. I have one commenter who has always been where I am or is there now, so she/he has nothing to contribute other than, “oh I hate it when that happens”. Bull crap!!!!
    Jan Neel recently posted..Friday MomentMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Oh, Jan I cannot imagine you being anything but authentic. As many of the comments have said, when we look up to someone we unconsciously mimic them. I did that at the start too…Pardon me but you I’m laughing about your mirroring friend who goes through every experience you do…Let’s throttle him/her together 😉

  23. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah April 18, 2012

    My thoughts echo Pearl’s. How did you find your imitator? And, it depends on the situation for me. Imitation is okay but plagiarism is not. Maybe the person could imitate me but if the person steals content, then I would be livid. Sometimes one likes to be unique and hence imitation is not taken to very kindly but if one considers originality, then no content is original. Everything is twice removed from reality.

    Well, hope you are kind with your imitator and appreciate the fact that your work is worth so much that it has become a model for someone else. Corinne, see it this way — You have set a style and there are many who want to live it up like you. You should be flattered.

    Joy always,
    Susan Deborah recently posted..The state of the STATEMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      This is NOT a case of plagiarism, Susan – although that too can be pretty simple to spot if you want. I would be flattered if I didn’t find it so silly because of the circumstances. Playing the ‘one up on you’ game is one I have no desire to participate in.

  24. Kathy Kathy April 18, 2012

    I think it would make me feel frustrated in one way, Corinne, but in another, I would realize that no matter what others try to copy, the world is full of musicians, construction workers, authors, teachers, bus drivers etc and yet each is unique in his/her own way.
    Another can mimic…but you are the original.
    Kathy recently posted..From S.O.S. to T.N.TMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thanks, Kathy. That’s a great perspective and one that I’ll keep in mind whenever I start getting cross with this person ♥

  25. Everyday Gyaan Everyday Gyaan April 18, 2012

    Thank you, Martha and JimiAnn.

  26. Hi, Corinne! I think that depends on the situation and the person involved. When my nephew came to our house for a vacation two weeks ago, he was at that stage of imitating people, and I’m one of those he imitated the most! 🙂 He was so cute in doing so, and I felt happy about it. One of my reflections was that sometimes people pass through this stage of wanting a model to emulate so they can learn better. After which, they go to that stage of innovating and applying the things they learned in order to make something new and unique for themselves.
    Joyce at I Take Off The Mask recently posted..5 Things to Remember When Reaching for Your DreamMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Joyce, I really value your perspective and would be pleased to have someone use me as a model. However, like you said it depends on the situation and in this case, there’s an almost willful attempt to be one better!

  27. melissa melissa April 18, 2012

    Perhaps that person has not yet established his/her own style of writing. It would be good, however, to point out to this person of his/her originality and help her come out with an inspirational blog of her own.

    I think the point is always to ‘win back’ a person. If he/she listens then that’s good enough…but if not, then there must be another way to let the person know.
    melissa recently posted..Towards the Road of LoveMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Melissa, sadly as I explained in the previous comments this is an established blogger who knows me and is trying to compete in a bid to outdo. Or at least that’s how I see it.

  28. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl April 18, 2012

    How interesting! I remember another blogger writing about a similar situation last year. How did you find your imitator?? Maybe many of us have them out there, but we don’t even know it. And did you have any direct communication with this person? I’m not sure what I would do, or how I would feel about it. Your post here is very gracious and generous. I’d like to know more!
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Forgiveness Sometimes Just HappensMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Thank you, Galen. As I explained to Ron this is someone I knew, who seems to be willfully copying ideas in order to compete. I’m no longer in correspondence with this person and since it’s not plagiarism there’s not much I can do…except be a little put off. However, I all I can do is wish that the person, who is truly more talented than I am, would learn to be himself.

  29. Magali Magali April 17, 2012

    I definitely don’t find it flattering either, & it seems to happen a lot both in real life & blogging. Have you tried asking them? Or making these kinds of things public always helps. I appreciate you positive words on the matter but I find copying shameful & inexcusable.
    Magali recently posted..Lavasa at NightMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      Magali, thank you. I know how strongly you feel about this with the past example of SP and how shamelessly he behaved. In this case, it is someone I know and it’s not copying of content. However, it doesn’t make it any less shameful, to my mind.

  30. Ron Ron April 17, 2012

    A very interesting post! Semantics I suppose, but if we are to teach lessons, even if those lessons are free thought, originality and creativity, are they not taught as examples to follow? I would not want someone stealing and idea, or mimicking me exactly, but if I had a thought or contribution of value, I would want someone to claim it and follow it.

    I know I am being the devil’s advocate here, but Corrine…I hang on all words of your teaching, learn and try to live them as examples in your reflection. Am I copying you, or learning something of value and living it.

    Be well,

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      I so appreciate your comment, Ron. I would agree with you completely if it wasn’t for the fact that this person was known to me (in the past) and the attempt is to compete and outdo – which takes away all the good feeling I might have about me inspiring someone. I hope that makes sense 😉

  31. Janaki Nagaraj Janaki Nagaraj April 17, 2012

    I am with you Corinne…it would irritate me too.

  32. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando April 17, 2012

    No, I would not be flattered, but frustrated just as you are feeling now. As you said in yesterday’s post, we all have to find our own authentic voices and be true to ourselves in our writing. Ironically, I would think it would take a lot more effort on the imitator’s part to copy a style instead of working on her own.
    Blessings, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Home Is Where the Heart IsMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      I’m glad to hear you would feel the same, Martha. I wondered if I was being selfish and childish. Yes, in many ways I’m sorry that this person who is very talented chooses to be a clone of sorts!

  33. Elizabeth Young Elizabeth Young April 17, 2012

    Absolutely not Corinne! Each voice is authentic and unique. Copying one’s voice or work is stealing, in no uncertain terms, and people who do this should be ‘outed’ without discrimination!
    Elizabeth Young recently posted..THINGS THAT TRAUMATISE USMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues April 19, 2012

      The copying more of the ideas and not content, Elizabeth, so it’s difficult to ‘out’ this person. Thanks for you support though. Always appreciated.

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