Does Competition Bring Out The Worst in You?
They say people write to help themselves work through something. I write because it helps my brain organize my mess of thoughts and sometimes something useful comes out! The following article about my dilemma with Competition is no exception.
That One Friend
You know that friend you have who looks at EVERYTHING as a competition? You hang out with them and they constantly talk about how much money they have, what fancy new car they bought or maybe they are ALWAYS right. OR, God forbid, you play a game with them and they MUST win or everything becomes real shitty afterwards! You know that friend right?? You have one, I’m sure of it!
Think back, in high school did you compare your grades with your friends? My friends loved to compete with each other and see who had the best grades. I did not love that game and I never shared my scores even if they were good.
I am not a competitive person. Competition always makes me feel either jealous, superior, intimidated or annoyed which are all emotions that I’m not particularly fond of.
I’ll feel jealous about the friend’s new flashy car, I’ll feel superior if I win the game, I’ll feel intimidated with all of the other job applicants and I’ll most definitely feel annoyed with the person who is ALWAYS right.
When I have the pleasure of being surrounded by competitive people I often find myself thinking, “I don’t want to compete with you. I want to stay in my own lane. Take your competition elsewhere!”
Competition is Inevitable
BUT I do realize that competition is the name of the life game. We, humans, are programmed to be competitive and that’s why social media is so popular. We can compare ourselves to others and see where we sit on the made-up life ladder. We buy the flashy car to show everyone else we’re slightly better than them. Or we get the big ass house that we fill with shit we don’t need because for a second it makes us feel superior. Competition drives everything we do. I recognize that even subconsciously I am a competitive being.
So that leaves me to the actual point of my rant – how do we be ok with our competitive side and our emotions surrounding competition?
I wish I could present to you “5 Simple Tips for Dealing with Competitive People” or “3 Easy Ways to Help Yourself Enjoy Competition” but I only have one answer and it sucks.
The answer is simple and incredibly unfulfilling – we accept it.
We accept that others are also competing. We accept that jealousy, superiority, intimidation, and annoyance are facts of life. We recognize that the friend who is ALWAYS right is probably just really insecure about her place in the world. Or that the other applicants are also feeling intimated by you. All of this is MUCH easier said than done.
I hate the phrase, “It is what it is” because that’s saying words but saying nothing at all… but when it comes to competition “it is what it is.”
Helene & Pearl
(P.S. It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote this article and since accepting competition as a facet of everyday life – I’ve found it a lot easier to deal with! Accepting it has helped me move past my ugly competition feelings and I don’t feel as obsessed with hating it. Try it out!)