Are you constantly comparing yourself to your friends? Do you constantly tell them how awesome your career is and how there is no way you can do theirs? Unhealthy! Did you realize it before I just posed the question? When you do that you are implying their career choice is less than desirable, when in fact, we are not the same! We all have likes and dislikes and we fit in different places and different scenarios.
Do you tell others what you would never get married when they are planning a wedding? Or you would never go to the club that people have plans to go to because their drinks are watered down, but then turn around and say “But have fun…”? Or my favorite is when people tell me, without asking, how much money they have saved or their amazing credit score! (Personally I automatically distrust people who disclose such personal information without anyone asking) These are not so subliminal methods of creating competition through jealousy.
Sometimes we don’t notice the unhealthy competition because it is coming from someone we really care about deeply, until it’s too late. The jealousy comes from a “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality, or in rare cases, the light of content that shines from within an individual that money can’t buy and the other person can’t obtain.
I’m human and I’ve been a victim on both ends, more so from routine. Being in the Navy definitely created a sense of competition for reasons of advancement. Near the end of my tenure in the Navy I felt like I had made a couple of friends just for their personal advancement, and that I had befriended them for the same reason just in case I decided to re-enlist. Once I got out of the Navy it was clear to me that it was definitely a light of content inside of me because I didn’t have much to monetarily compete with lol. But Ive heard several people say “If I had been through half of what you endured, I wouldn’t have made it”. I think that is the light, the “nothing can phase me” or “it’ll work itself out” mentality and it was a lot to accept because I had nothing monetarily that no one else could obtain with some hard work! And in actuality if people used that same energy to talk to me they would know that I freak the hell out over everything! I am in constant panic mode! But then I think of the times I played the same competitive cards and I realize it comes full circle.
We can exercise some healthy competition methods because it is human nature to compete! When you put kids of the same age together you will see them arguing over who sits shotgun or race to get to the door the fastest (which is extremely annoying. Shout out to all the patient teachers out there). Maybe discussing whats going on in our lives in an open and honest platform while admitting situations that make us jealous and comparing what we have going on with the goal of leaving fulfilled will help. I’ve always been confused when girls try to compete with me because of my family life. It is mostly girls who came from an awesome mom and support system who become jealous of me, meanwhile all Ive ever wanted was just that! So Ive created a life around that broken foundation, but for some reason that is all people choose to see where if we actually sat down and talked in that healthy environment we would eliminate that jealousy!
I have always tried to organize nights out or girls trips, because those are the most vulnerable scenarios I know for women. Men too, because men are just as, if not more sensitive than women but refuse to admit it. But sometimes to discuss healthy competition just having a drink in the house with kids running around and spouses/other people around does the opposite and leaves us right where we were. Try having that night out with friends and facing that healthy competition and thank me later!
Anyway, let me in on some healthy competition stories, or unhealthy! I would love to guest blog these cases!