Comparison and Competition

I have been raised with a great deal of competition where grades count for a lot. I received a lot of praise and I think this too enhances the self vs. others which is how I see comparison. Whenever I compare myself to another or compare two things, no matter how great they are, one will come up short.

I don’t like the idea of comparison and yet I do it. Though I don’t do it in front of the kids I compare them to one another. I notice the speed at which they both learned to walk and talk. I notice how they may both be learning things simultaneously even though there is almost 3 years between them. I may mention to T differences or comparisons but as I said I don’t think it’s fair to discuss these in front of the kids.

Yet I see the competition in PM for sure (and even in LB). Some of it is perhaps a sibling issue but much of it is the one-upmanship I previously mentioned. He wants to have the biggest treat (be it fig or cake or protein source or whatever). He wants to do that which she is doing. If she’s brushing her teeth or having them brushed he has to as well. If she’s having her nails clipped he needs to have his done even though he doesn’t like this procedure at all. If he gets something she has to have the same.

So I’ve said I don’t like it and said I do make comparisons both with myself and with others. I am competitive and my children are as well. Is it strictly from me (and their father) they adopt these traits or is it also a part of our society as it is now? Can we escape the pitfalls of comparison and competition? I wish I remember where I read this but recently saw that womyn tend to be more competitive than men. Is this strictly in the work world or is it nature – didn’t say?

I can question and I can bring awareness to my own part in it and do my best to stay away from all judgment – be it good or bad because it all leads to comparison and competition. I can also strive to be perfect, tee hee, and offer myself love and compassion when I invariably fall short.


Anonymous said…
I'd say a lot of that competition is as natural as can be. It seems to me the dogs do it. If one dog is getting caressed, the other comes running to get his share. If Toby is carrying his own leash, Hayakida simply must take it from him.

We need to know that we merit attention and respect as much as everyone else, and partly that involves assessing why we merit it. That's part of the process of establishing our identity, which is especially critical in our individualistic society, but actually, it might be just as critical - in a different way - in a collectivist society. There, the identity might depend more of conforming, on fitting into one's group, and on meriting one's group's praise too. I'm not sure if that is why the dogs compete, but they do too.

Didn't I shave off my hair in an effort to stop my brain from wanting to compete with the beautiful Sara?

Maybe the most important point is to understand that everyone is pushed and poked by their ego to compete or assess themselves against others, and to understand that everyone else's need for a sense of self-importance is just as great as our own.

No, I don't believe women compete more than men at all, but they compete in different domains.

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