Competition With Friends

I, personally, believe that a little competition never hurt anyone, except for the people it has. More than likely, you are one of the people that in one case or another competition has hurt. I’m one of those people too. We’re all one of those people. (Let’s join hands and sing y’all!)

We human-sapiens are competitive by nature. It’s because of the birds on the Galapagos. So, competition amongst ourselves is inevitable. Because of Dodo birds. Or something. But nothing is as heated and potentially ego-trouncing as competition amongst friends. Wether you’re playing Scrabble online or actively working towards the same career goal, that shit get competitive and uber-personal. Because it is personal. Because you are a person and you are doing it and they are person and they are doing it too vis-a-vis personal.

And that isn’t to say you can’t feel supportive of friends you’re competing with as well. People are capable of all kinds of layered and seemingly contradictory emotions. For instance, you can feel both excited and disappointed if a friends gets a job you both applied for. Both of those are valid feelings and it’s possible to feel them at the same time. Confusing? Yes. But totally a thing that happens all the time. Especially amongst your friends you might have a lot in common with. If you’re both working towards the same goal, you’re in competition with each other, maybe not directly, but in competition nonetheless. And that can be a really difficult thing to sort through, because of all the conflicting emotions. It’s complicated, and in one of the worst ways possible, because you feel like a real shit-head for being bummed for yourself and not completely excited for them, while also feeling like a real dumb-ass for not succeeding at your goal. OR- you could be the one who snagged the win and then you feel like a real shit-head for being excited while your friend is sad, while also feeling like a dumb-ass for not totally celebrating your awesome accomplishment in everyone’s faces. So that even when you win, you don’t really win because you know your achievement has caused someone you care about pain, and when you lose you are totally losing because you know your friends achievement is just a little bit dampened by your sadness.

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Basically, competition with friends is an emotional clusterfuck either way. But it’s going to happen, if it isn’t happening already, and you’re going to need a plan of action to deal with it either way. My plan of action? Be as supportive as possible to the other person no matter what the outcome is. And either celebrate or commiserate with food, because those french fries understand my complicated feelings and don’t judge me for them.

What about y’all? How do you handle competition with friends?

– Mae

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12 thoughts on “Competition With Friends

    • Thank you! Don’t let the guilt overwhelm you- that doesn’t serve anyone’s interest. (Although I know this is easier said than done)

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with some healthy competition among friends. I think, when it doesn’t ruin the friendship, it actually brings you closer.

    • I don’t think it’s wrong, I just think it’s inevitable. And you have to admit, even when it turns out for the best, it’s a bit of a dodgy road at certain points.

  2. I think it’s right to pretend that you’re happy for your friend outwardly, because we really are happy for them on some level, otherwise you’re a terrible friend. Even if you’re not in the mood to show it, you should fake it for them. All the while, repress the bitterness until you’re in a place where you can release your true feelings, like a tavern or boxing ring or until it develops into a tumor and you can throw it in your friend’s face that you have a tumor because you wanted to spare their feelings.

  3. I do not compete with friends PERIOD, I just don’t, I hate competition in general and I do not believe it’s ever healthy, I believe in cooperation, in support, if we try to succeed in the same field I believe we can team up, or give each other tips and happily celebrate success of friend, this is what friendship is about, isn’t it?

    • Sure, but don’t you think that on some level you are competing? Even if you don’t want to? And if you still don’t think you’re competing then I would love to be your friend because you sound delightful!

      • I seriously do not compete with friends, I get envious of acquaintances and bit competitive there (still dislike it but never mixed feelings or guilt or anything like it-they do not matter that much :p) but seriously NEVER competing with friends, love them too much 🙂

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