We all tend to copy/imitate other people’s personalities, body language, sayings, behaviors, and so on. You should not feel bad about copying others as long as it is not too much and you keep a good part of your own personality.
Sometimes it is hard to realize your personality since we are influenced a lot by the people around us. It is pretty obvious to other people when you copy one person too much, but it is not as easy to notice when your personality is the result of copying dozens of people that influenced you in life.
So in this article, I want to talk about why we do that, how to stop copying others, and whether it is a good or a bad thing that we are doing it.
Why do we copy other people?
The chameleon effect is well-known and studied, and it describes how people tend to imitate other people’s behaviors, body language, expressions, and so on in social interactions. We copy other people’s personalities to be more like them because we consider them better than we are or to fit in a group.
When you spend more time with someone, especially if you admire them, you will tend to pick up their behaviors and use them even when they are not around.
We can also copy and imitate people that we didn’t even interact in real life with them, this is why many people act like their favorite celebrity or influencer.
This is in our human nature, so it is not something that is bad by default, but it can become harmful for you and sometimes for the person you copy when you go too far.
If it is in your circle, the person you copied might feel like their authenticity is compromised when they notice that someone else is copying their personality.
So while we are all doing it, there is a limit where you should stop copying others and try to be more authentic since not everyone is the same. We have different strengths and weaknesses, and other people’s personalities might not work in your favor.
6 Tips that will help you stop copying others and be yourself
1. Understand that the other people around are not perfect
We tend to imitate/copy people we admire because their life seems much better than ours, and we want that. You have to understand that no-ones life is perfect. Most of the time, you see only what they want to show you, so it’s easy to believe that their life is better in those circumstances.
When we talk about influencers and celebrities, it is even harder to realize that their life is not perfect since you don’t interact with them daily and don’t see their casual life.
When it comes to friends that we imitate, it is more because we want to fit in a group and be on the same page. It might also be that we admire one or a few specific friends from the group, and we want to be like them.
2. Your personality can be likable
Any personality can be likable if used well. You don’t have to change your personality to be better and more likable, you just have to use your personality better.
As I said in the article about, is being an introvert a weakness, it is not about what personality you have but rather about how well you use it and if you know where your strengths are appreciated. I say this when I talk about jobs, most people try to find the best job, the one that pays better, without realizing that any job can be good as long as you are very good at it. The best chef in the world earns way more than a mediocre doctor or lawyer. It applies to your personality as well, if you find what you are good at, what you like to do without copying other people, you might be way better of than being a mediocre copy of someone you admire.
3. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses
You might not know what you are good at without taking the time to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing this lets you think more clearly about what would be a good environment for you to shine.
When I was in college, I had a hard time making a girl like me when I went to a club, but it was much easier if we were at a bar where we could have a drink and talk about all kinds of things.
Knowing this, I did my best to find a group or to ask my friends to go to bars more often than clubs, and it worked for me to have a good time in college. Yes, I also went to clubs because sometimes you have to do things for the group, but I knew that it wasn’t an environment that would help me that much.
Don’t try to copy other people’s strengths if it is not something that comes to you naturally, try to find places where your strengths are appreciated.
4. Accountability from a friend
Another idea to stop copying other people is to ask a close friend that knows you well to let you know when they notice that you are copying someone else too much.
Most likely, they will notice a change in your behavior and how you talk when copying someone else’s personality, even if you might do it unconsciously.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others, it’s always tricky since you don’t know about them as much as you know about yourself. This might go in both directions, you can feel superior to them, but this is not today’s topic since that will not make you want to copy them; however, when you feel inferior to others, you might want to copy them, and you don’t know the whole picture.
You should start focusing on improving yourself, get better at what you are good at, improve your weaknesses as much as you can and compare yourself only with you from the past.
Also, comparing yourself with others will never end since you will always find someone who is better than you at a specific thing, and when you become the best at one thing, you will compare yourself to others at another thing that you are not great, and so on.
6. Don’t try to please everyone
If you change your personality and copy others to please them, you will end up bothering and not being likable to other groups of people. You can’t please everyone.
Try to find a group that likes your personality and makes you feel better without the need to change too much. That doesn’t mean that you should not improve yourself, but you can do that without drastically changing your personality.
The difference between imitating others and getting inspired.
There is a fine line between getting inspired by other people you admire and imitating them. You have to make sure that you get what you like from them and adapt to your personality and your way of doing things, not copy what they do without thinking about it.
We learn from many people in life, some we don’t even interact with, but the problem is when you copy what they do because you like them and want what they have without thinking if that works well with your personality.
Is it bad to copy other people?
It is not bad to copy other people around you as long as you keep most of your personality and you don’t become just a copycat.
We are all doing it to some extent, so you probably can’t entirely avoid it. But make sure you are not doing it because you have low self-esteem, and you feel like you need to compensate for that by being someone else.
Read Also: Passive Aggressive Vs. Sarcasm
I hope this article helped you realize that your personality is good enough, you don’t have to copy others to be likable or anything like that. You just have to improve yourself, focus on what you are good at and create an environment around you where your qualities are appreciated and used to their full potential.