How to Deal with Competitive People

September 11, 2012


Author's Note: 

To you my friend whom I am not going to name, I hope you won't kill me for writing about this. I just realized we all get to meet a person or two who will always try to compete with anyone. And I have tried, just as I've said to you, to gather my thoughts on how to deal with these kind of people.

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I was having some late lunch with a friend and she asked me if there is something she must remember when dealing with competitive people. The story as she told me, is that she happens to know someone whom she thinks competes with her for no reason.

I had to pause munching. I just can't multi task with munching and being serious with the topic.

Well, I just think that we are going to meet that one or two people who will always try to compete with anyone in every aspect of our lives. Being competitive is a sport to them. They don't mean to hate you but they will for sure compete with anyone who tries to get ahead of them. I am guessing this has something to do with our childhood. 

You do remember how was it when we were younger: getting in to the top 3 of the class, getting that boy's attention, or just simply getting the teacher's nod that you are the best was so important back then.

A little competition is okay, IMHO. But if it takes into a different level, here are the things I would do:

  • Ignore. If it's not important, then don't be pressured to react. They may have a reason for being such competitive but the more you react, the more it shall consume you.
  • Relax. These people might just be idolizing you but obviously they have another agenda: to outdo you so they will come out more successful in the end. If you are more relaxed, they will feel funny and stupid that they exerted too much effort to compete with someone who is clueless that there is even a competition.
  • Smile. Or laugh. To be pressured is even silly. The root of all evil is when you start comparing yourself to others. If people compete with you, feel good inside instead because they see you as a stronger person but never ever fall into the trap of competing against them. If you do, that makes you a loser.
  • Be contented. If you truly are happy deep inside, you don't need this need to be accepted by people or by your peers. Competitive people equate success with how many people adore them like one superstar, so to be recognized is their aim. You on the otherhand, is pleased by the experience. Your heart is happier. That's what's important.
  • Talk. If it really bothers you too much, speak up and tell them you are not competing with them or anyone and that you don't care much about the kind of success they're looking for. Chances are, they will be taken off guard and hope that this would get them into evaluating the need to be competitive.

  • Be happy. Be genuinely happy with other people's success. They deserve it. But it doesn't mean you don't deserve to be successful. You are just too happy to care whether you are successful or not because your happiness is not defined by material things, popularity or even money.

Some people are born with a need to be always on top. Again, it's not their fault. It's a product of their childhood. The root of all this evil is being INSECURE.

Being competitive to them is a need that must be fed. They need adulation, recognition, the trophy and the medals. And it's  because that's what they were told to do when they were younger. To be number one is the only way to go. So they keep rushing. And they fail to realize that if there is one person that we must compete early on, that is OURSELVES! 

Because competing with ourselves push us to our limits and put us into proper perspective. But even putting too much pressure within ourselves is dangerous. The key is to be always happy whatever state we are in. 

Be secure of who you really are. Embrace your individuality and be unique. This world is already full of copies so a little character is what we might just need. 

Don't blend. Be another color without being snotty and bad so you can stand out. 

And if everything else fails, find another friend who is awesome as you are. You don't need a competitor but a true friend, after all.

Love,

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