Ah the competitive friend. I’m not just talking about the friend who always needs to score the most points in a basketball game, or the friend who needs to have the highest kills on Counter Strike. I’m not talking about the friend who needs to be the best breakdancer nor am I talking about the friend who needs to win every single contest.
I’m talking about the friend who needs to win the game of life.
I know you have one. Everyone has this friend. This is the “friend” who calls you to see how you’re doing, but really, he/she is calling you to compare your current life with theirs. They always need to be one-up on you. Just got a promotion? Well then your friend just got a promotion AND a raise. Just started talking to some new guy? Well your friend can’t seem to find time to juggle the numerous suitors that are after her. Had a fun trip to Vegas? That’s cue for your friend to brag about the one time SHE went to Vegas and got into all the VIP hotspots and so forth.
This is the friend who will talk crap on everyone to you and then probably talk crap on you to everyone else. They are sweet and caring, but only if they are doing better in life than you are. You serve as a daily reminder to them that they are better than you in life. When your life is going well, it brings out the competitive edge in them to do even better. It’s like an addict to them. It’s almost ridiculous.
Well I just happen to have this exact friend. Who will give me insulting compliments.
- I have naturally frizzy curly hair (curse my dad’s genes)
Her: “Wow your hair isn’t so out of control today! I’m so glad I have naturally straight hair”
- Telling her how stressed out I was due to job hunting
Her: “Yeah don’t worry, it took my friend 9 months to get a job, and she’s a Stanford grad student”
(I am not a Stanford alum nor am I even a grad student, how the hell is this suppose to encourage me?)
Her: “Oh yeah but I guess I got lucky because I found a great job just after a month”
- When I started dating someone
Her: “Where does he work/live/school at” a.k.a. “Let me compare him to my suitors”
After I refuse to tell her the details about himHer: So this guy at my church is totally into me. He won’t stop texting me just to see what I’m doing. And there’s this other guy from school who’s been hinting for a date. Geez who do these guys think I am? I’m not open to everyone!
I left out a lot of detail but at this point I’m trying to refrain from rolling my eyes into the back of my head
I guess you can justify it all by calling them insecure but the truth is, most of the time, they really aren’t (or at least they don’t act that way) They see themselves to be the A-list person of your social group, the one that everyone wants to emulate. The sad part is, most of the time, these people will never admit to being this type of friend. There is nothing noble about being this friend, in fact, there is nothing friendly about it.
There’s also no way to get rid of them. Truth is, you might need them in your life. Why? Because you might unconsciously be doing the same thing to them. In revenge of them trying to compare their life to yours, you have now in turn taken it upon yourself to make your life better just so you can give them a smug look. Competition can only be bred through stimulating others to go for the same goal. So think of it as payback. A good payback.