When your competition says ‘I am good,’ are you saying ‘I am better?’ He might just go ahead and say ‘I am the best,’ beating you at the game.
Of course you can play this game more smartly to beat him, but aren’t you saying out loud that he is your competition and that he is occupying space in your head?
Define your strategy, not on what he does or says, but what makes sense to you and your organization. If copying is a form of flattery, don’t flatter, be flattered instead.
Side Note: It is undestood that you know what you are doing. Else, you might just want to flatter (and be good at doing that).