#WorkThroughIt: Dealing with the Haters, Fakers, and Imitators

Our ongoing blog and social media series, #WorkThroughIt Wednesday, shares short one-minute or so motivations featuring a quote, a little insight, and three brief strategies to engage to help you work through the challenge and emerge victoriously.

Today’s feature: Dealing with the Haters, Fakers and Imitators


Confront the haters, fakers and imitators with caution!

Back in the late 80s, there was a promo on a popular Philadelphia radio station. Deep bass voice booming, the announcer boldly declared that the station was often imitated; but, never duplicated. I’ve heard similar declarations, yet, hearing that station’s advertisement left an indelible impression on me: No matter how many similar stations, content or artist line-ups in the city, that radio station was the original. Case closed.

The same sentiment extends beyond competing radio stations into real life, including haters, fakers and imitators who infiltrate our professional or personal circles.

Today, we’re talking about strategies to deal with (and in some cases ignore) the haters, fakers and imitators. Depending on your situation – and the severity of the implications – there are three plausible solutions to checking and correcting those who attempt to pilfer what you have worked so hard to create and nurture.


  • Ignore the thirst: This typically works. Think the old adage, Silence is Golden. Ignoring those who “hate on” us can be incredibly effective if executed well. If the gossip, social media post, or general chatter is harmless (i.e. no threats to one’s physical, emotional or cyber safety), it’s probably best to let it subside on its own.
  • Confront the culprit: If the situation is a bit more serious and potentially jeopardizes your career, home life, or relationships, you may want to let the affronter know that you are aware of the behavior. Proceed with caution and make sure that you aren’t confrontational, have tangible proof if possible, and plan what you will say ahead of time. I recall a few times when I have had to confront people – both related to documented ideas and work – about their exploits. About a decade ago, I was cyberbullied, before commenters had to include their email addresses when posting online. A corporate compliance executive handled the individual for me.

Related reading: Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is

  • Lay on the legal: If the perpetrator has breached an agreement and taken your idea, or is flagrantly assailing your reputation, you may have legal recourse. Depending on the severity of the situation and your ability to show documented evidence of the affront, this may be your best option.

No matter your response, I go back to the beginning of this post. If that Philly radio station is right, then people who attempt to imitate you or your idea will never truly be able to replicate what you do, conceptualize, organize and implement. Their efforts will wither because they aren’t authentically theirs.

American Bar Association

National Bar Association

Cyberbullying Research Center – mainly for youth, but good resources for adults

U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – HealthFinder to search for support groups

Have a successful strategy for dealing with the haters, fakers, and imitators? Let us know how you #WorkThroughIt by leaving a reply below.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Editor, Ask The Strategist

ABOUT ATS: Since its original debut in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, the economy, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.