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Is Competition Bad for a Friendship?

Photo: markheybo on flickr

Photo: markheybo on flickr

Dear Meli,

I have a friend that I like a lot. Well, most of the time. Here’s the thing: He’s really smart. And really handsome. And really into his spiritual practice. Not in a show-offy way. He’s just really good at everything he does. The only bad part is what happens to me when I’m around him. I compare myself to him and come up short. All the time. Sometimes I think he’s secretly competitive with me, and I’m picking up on that. But most of the time I think it’s just me and my insecurities. Either way, it’s hard for me to be friends with him because I end up feeling so bad about myself. Is that just crazy?

Fractured Friend


Dear Fractured,

Competition can be great for us. But it can also be damaging. So this can be tricky!

Respecting someone you love is a wonderful thing. We see qualities and behaviors we admire and respect in others we love, and these are a part of what we love and appreciate about them. Having friends who inspire us to be better is part of a rich and rewarding life.

But judging ourselves and coming up short is never helpful. Feeling bad whenever you’re around someone is NOT a good feeling! And it sounds like it’s not helping or serving you in any way. In this case, reevaluating your friendship is advisable.

As a very sweeping statement (which is more general than I like to be in this column), I would say that if you can’t alter your own mindset so that you can feel good about yourself during and after being with someone, you should stop being around them (as much as possible)! But the phrase “if you can’t alter your own mindset” is the key here.

There are people I’ve had in my own life who I admire and appreciate, who I have (for a variety of reasons) decided aren’t “a good fit” for me anymore. While it can be incredibly sad to let friends go, it can also be freeing. It can be a perfect way to allow yourself to step in to a new level of your own self-expression and life.

If it were me, I would do the following:

1) I would journal the heck out of this! I mean, I would write and write, inquire and dig and delve, to see what I believe about my friend and what I tell myself is true about myself in comparison. Because, regardless of what you decide about the future of your friendship, there’s obviously some great good inviting itself to be known here.

2) I would talk in more detail to a professional or someone I trust to support me in gaining clarity about the best steps to take. These steps include the inquiry mentioned above AND steps that may need to be taken in your friendship.

3) I would consider communicating with my friend about my experience and feelings. Whether I would do this or not depends on: A. the answers from the inquiry, and B. the level of relationship that’s most beneficial to me based on the answers to that line of questioning. What I mean is that you may decide that you don’t feel safe being intimately honest with this friend. In that case, I wouldn’t communicate deeply about my experience.

4) I would make sure I spend as much time as possible with people who lift me up. To me, these are people who inspire me to see their greatness, but to know my own as well! The best friends of all bring my greatness out and call me forth to an even greater expression. This includes YOU – make sure that you are doing all you can to have the time you spend alone be uplifting you as well!

5) Be nice to you, all along the way, throughout this process.

Blessings and Love to you in all you do!

In Joy,

Meli

What is your experience with competition? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

Coming up! This Sunday, May 28th at the Sierra Center for Spiritual : Z and I will be providing the music and message for the 10:15 am service. For more info, click HERE!

 

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