Competition Girl

Does anyone else play this game:

In any situation, you randomly pick someone to be your rival then closely study them so you can assess whether you are ‘winning’.

Now the fun part of the game is to simultaneously find reasons why life is giving them an unfair advantage (they are prettier or thinner, they suck up to the boss, they are wearing red shoes – it doesn’t matter what the reason, so long as you can hate them for beating you) while constantly changing the goal posts to ensure you NEVER win.

You can play this anywhere – at work, at school, at home, waiting in the queue for the toilet, walking down the street. Pick someone and then compare yourself. Are they thinner? Do they have better hair? Are they better dressed than you? It works best though if you are in close contact with them, close enough to see their sucesses but not close enough to know how hard they’ve worked for it – that way they seem to beat you effortlessly every time.

Of course, you never let your rival know it’s competition, you just play it out in your head. The ultimate objective is to make sure you never, at any time, feel like you are good enough. You get resentment and envy and sick inside. Even when someone gets something you have never wanted, you hate them for it.

I do this ALL the time and I’m only starting to realise. Sometimes I can use it to my advantage – if I’m running and I pick out someone I want to beat, I run faster – but mostly it’s just a stupid head game.

As a kid, my mum constantly compared me unfairably to my sister. Because that always works out well. My sister was the popular one who always fitted in, I wasn’t. My sister worked hard to get good marks, I never worked hard (but got good marks anyway). I only found out as an adult that she did the same thing to my sister.

It’s a horrible thing to say but I think on some level my mum was so insecure that she never wanted us to be close.

I can’t change my childhood but I can change how I react to things as an adult. I don’t win by being the thinnest or having the most money or the best hair (I still want to have the prettiest shoes though). I win by not competing in the first place – working out what makes me happy and going after it, not worrying about anybody else.

6 responses to “Competition Girl

  1. I love this post Kathryn… and yep, I play that game all the time. Not with random strangers, though… with people I know. It’s a bitter and crushing game, but it’s so god damn addictive!

    I always felt like people were comparing my pretty, skinny, popular younger sister and I, too. So many of our childhood experiences shape the way we react to people today, don’t they?

    Hugs girl. Hope you have a great w’end :o)

  2. What a weird game! Maybe I do compare myself to other people, but usually I am comparing the size of their arse to mine, and sometimes I WIN !!! I don’t think I’d like to unfavourably compare myself to others all the time, where’s the fun in that??? Please explain this some more! Does it inspire you to do better, look better, run faster, pass the exam better ??? If that’s the case, maybe it is an ok game?

  3. This is a great post Kathryn.

    And yes, I have a work colleague who I always compare myself against. And yes, she’s skinnier than me, she’s more succesful than me, has a better car than me, nicer clothes than me, eats less than me….need I go on!!

  4. What a brilliant post babe! That’s right, you win by NOT comparing in the first place. We are all so darn different and everyone has their own challenges. You can’t compare apples and oranges as they say 🙂

  5. wow…. great post kathryn. really tops. i do that same thing and now you have me wondering why.

    “I can’t change my childhood but I can change how I react to things as an adult. ” well bloody said!

  6. Kathryn, you are so astute sometimes, I really do relate to a lot of your posts. Your closing comment today is just so right. Most people could be much more successful if they limited their competitiveness to competing with themselves, and making themselves as good as they can be without comparing to others. However it is just so human to be competitive, it is difficult to have the inner power to not be constantly comparing as you say.

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