Competition among friends
Competition among friends can be both good and bad. It can lead to a stronger friendship, or it can act as the wedge that tears the friendship apart. Let's take a look at competition among friends, and how to make sure you keep it a good, healthy competition.
First it is important to recognize that a little competition among friends is both common and healthy. However, it only stays that way if it can be acknowledged, and both parties feel good about it. If there is clearly a competition among friends, and one person feels like there isn't, the denial can be dangerous to the friendship. Competitions come up over many things, it can be about members of the same or opposite gender. It can be about athletics, looks, style, and any number of other things. If you have children, maybe it is about whose kids are the smartest, cutest, or best mannered. The point is, it happens, so as long as you can acknowledge it and participate as friends, it is fine.
Second, competition among friends can only be healthy if it is a mutual thing. If one person is always trying to outdo, or compete with another, and they are not doing the same, it becomes an annoying, and difficult situation. The person not in a competition may start to feel like they can't share a story, or be around the other person without a defensive wall going up. Competition has the potential to inspire and uplift friends to heights they haven't been to before. However, this is true only if it is mutually enjoyed.
Third, competition has to be energizing to a relationship not draining from it. If you and your friend are both over-weight for example, you may compete to see who can lose the most weight, and inspire each other to work harder, eat better, and lose more. However, if your competition turns into snide comments about one another's weight, or putting each other down, and the relationship is not being energized, rather sabotaged by the competition. So, make sure that all competition is done in a spirit to improve, encourage, and inspire the other person in the relationships so that it is improved as a result.
Competition among friends can get uncomfortable, and leave you feeling like you can't just be friends. However, friendships are very important to your health and happiness, so if you are feeling overwhelmed by the competitive nature of your friendship with someone, talk to them about it, and try to set some boundaries and ground rules for your friendship so that no one ever has to feel like they are being overrun by the other person.
Sometimes we do not like the competition because it makes us uncomfortable with ourselves, so make sure before you talk to your friend that you are not going to attack them because of an insecurity or problem you have with yourself and your esteem.