I’ve always been a believer that your core group of friends should be women whom you admire and individuals that motivate you to reach higher heights. Being that each one of us is fabulous in our own right, these women are equally successful and accomplishing great things in their fields. No matter whether you’re on her level, or if she’s the one who’s got a higher salary, better body, or whatever, the urge to compete amongst your girls is always there. Sometimes it’s a shadow lurking in the corner, but often times, competition is the third wheel wedged between you and her when the two of you get together. So when is competition healthy between friends and when does it hurt?
A good starting point is to ask yourself, “Does this really matter?” Is this a genuine or trivial issue up for comparison? Healthy competition is always about something sincere. It’s a quality or attribute you see in your friend that you want for yourself. Maybe it’s the number of good friends she has because she’s a kind loving person. Perhaps it the lack of drama in her life because she has no tolerance for fake people and the games they play. Maybe it’s her quick climb up the corporate ladder because of her phenomenal work ethic. The key here is that the attribute is something that will ultimately make you a better person, no matter how you measure up next to her. Your “competition” with her stems from admiration and not jealousy. You’re not hating behind her back; instead you’re able to have an open dialogue about her success and how she got there. And if she’s a true friend who understands that the world is big enough for you both to be fabulous, she’ll share some helpful tips she’s learned along the way. Any growth in this competing area is a positive, and you’ll forever be a better woman for it.
So when is it competition unhealthy? Go back to that original question. What are you competing for? Please don’t say the car, the men, or the square footage of her pad. Now if you insist on picking something as trivial (yeah I said it) as that, push yourself a bit further and ask yourself what that “status symbol” represents for you. Is it financial stability, a loving relationship, or something equally meaningful? If it’s instead just a status symbol, then yeah it’s nonsense. Why? Because you’re not really trying to better yourself in any way, instead you’re just comparing yourself to her in superficial ways. There’s no growth in that, just pure deflection of your own inadequacies and insecurities. And because it’s over something trivial I’d bet it’s kind of hard to open up to her for advice, insight, or encouragement. So stop measuring your own worthiness against her attributes and accomplishments, and instead focus on what you currently have to offer and more importantly what you’re capable of.
Realize this – the only person you can ever truly compete against is you. You’re not competing against each other, because you’re each in your own lane running your own race. Your journey is not hers even if you grew up on the same block, graduated from the same school, or started the same position. If its healthy competition, as you two compete you’ll also push and empower one another. You’ll cheer her successes and she yours. It’s the type of competition where you both realize there are no losers. It’s a win-win for all.