Competition at home…partners or adversaries? You might be feeding the enemy inside.
Competition is good in this sense: makes you give your best to achieve something when running against an adversary – and your adversary can also be you!
It’s good in sports, games, and contests.
But if you bring it home, to your personal relationships, as a form of attachment… Some competing feelings like “You can’t cool me down”… Competing for time, affection, attention, the best salary, who says the last word, who listens to who, who influences who….
Let me tell you something: you are feeding a toxic relationship.
Relationships ought to be win-win partnerships, not win-lose partnerships.
One thing is pushing your counterpart to be the at his/her best version possible, helping them to stretch his/her skills and competencies. Another thing is when you become adversaries inside your own home, within your relationship, adversaries in life.
If you can’t support each other: maybe you should reframe the relationship concept.
Yes: Competition is in our biology. And so is cooperation.
1. Competition Is In Our Biology. And So Is Cooperation.
“Competition is a relationship between organisms in which one is harmed when both are trying to use the same resource related to growth, reproduction, or survivability. Competition stems from the fact that resources are limited.”
As competition has its mark on our DNAs, so is cooperation. And it starts at a cellular level: genes cooperate in genomes; cells cooperate in tissues; individuals cooperate in societies.
Cooperation happens in organisms, it happens in animal societies, it happens in human societies: to increase chances of survival: for species reproduction, for protection.
So it’s proper to say that in your home, in your core group of friends, the ideal for survival purposes of that “family” or group of friends: cooperation would be more beneficial for the survivor of the group.
Cooperative behavior, romantically speaking, looks a lot like the motto of the “Three Musketeers: One for all, and all for one“. Romantically speaking of course.
Competition makes sense when you’re fighting over a resource – material or not, that is also wanted by another element/group.
It doesn’t make sense within a personal relationship: because a relationship should work as a team.
We can all agree that we get involved in any relationships to increase our resources – material (work relationships and corporations, for example) and non-material, tangible, and intangible resources. To be stronger together.
But we’re talking about personal relationships here: that involve some sort of emotional attachment. With romantic love in it or not. It can be a friendship relationship. The same concept applies in that case: co-operation. Junction. Add.
The minute you start competing for food, money, attention, time, love of a child or a parent… whatever physical or emotional resource… You are not in the same team anymore: you become adversaries.
2. When You And Your Partner Become Adversaries... Is Your Relationship A Competition?
What are the signs that your relationship is a competition?
These are the most common ones:
- You belittle each other: as the other is competition and only one must win. That justifies that you diminish the other: so one can feel like “winning”.
- You feel envy about each other’s personal victories. If you can’t feel happy about each other's success; If one is successful about something, the other feels that is being left behind, one feels is “not winning”.
- You try to make each other jealous: so the other one feels insecure about the relationship and fearful of losing the counterpart. The fear of one feeds the “confidence” of the other: makes hi/her feel like “is winning”
- You can’t be honest with each other. How could honesty happen in an environment where trust can’t breathe? If or your partner sees each other as opponents: you can not “give him/ her the strategy of a game”. One has to lie or omit so one can feel in advance, so one can feel that “is winning”.
A relationship where there are trust issues: is just a game.
Yep. Biology of nature teaches: Competition within a relationship will lead to the extinction of one of the elements – the one that “loses” or the decline of both…
Do you recognize any of these signs?. Do you really want that in your relationships?
Hardly believe so…
Check what do you have to lose when you start competing with your partner.
3. What Do You Have To Loose (When You Start Competing With Your Partner?
Is competition bad in a relationship?
Hell yeah… If you’re “running against” your partner is not healthy.
Unless if you’re playing Monopoly or any other game, physical or not… and even then: some people just can’t handle a game-win without feeling superior or a loose game without feeling miserable…
But competition within the relationship normally comes from a place of jealousy, envy, and or insecurity.
If you feel that you or your partner are too competitive with each other: competition is just the tip of the iceberg. The visible part of cancer.
You should consider looking at what really makes you or your partner feel insecure.
And openly talk about it: have an honest conversation piece. What did you get to lose? If one of the parts crosses boundaries, is very likely that they are not committed to recentering the relationship with a more balanced and rewarding relationship.
Competition within the relationship ultimately will culminate in resentment, pain strikes back: a toxic relationship where people won’t feel loved or supported: just a target to “kill”.
But is not all stones and you can turn this around and transform it into some beneficial .. If you're a very competitive person you can use it to create your own family culture and use it for the benefit of the relationship.
Like everything in life: there is a good side to competition.
4. The Good Side Of Competition
The good side of competition? When you make it a healthy one and see it in a perspective that brings benefit for that 3rd entity – your relationship – more than the interest of a fragile ego.
Make yourself stronger and use your competition instinct towards growing and strengthening your relationship. If you or your partner are extremely competitive, at least try convert it into a positive competition.
A positive competition happens when it benefits both parties, and consequently, the relationship.
Here are the benefits of positive competition – if you manage to make it:
- You are having that sparkle of creativity (and that’s awesome if there's passion involved in your brelatiosnhop9
- Both partners will be motivating each other to reach their best
- It will help grow as you get to acknowledge your weaknesses and strengths: and support each other on what’s needed
- Keeps you alert for your own needs of growth.
And if you turn your competition instinct into something beneficial for the relationship you’ll be working a soil where there’s confidence and room to… share!
5. Share, Share, Share
That means of course if you don’t see or aren’t seen as an enemy within the relationship.
If you have trust issues: you are not in a relationship. It’s actually a battlefield you’re in.
But if you are in a relationship that you feel has legs to walk: share.
Share your emotions: negative or positive. Including your envy feelings. Share – not showing off - your wins.
Share your challenges. Share your ambitions. Share your fears. Share your love with your person. Share all your colors. And grow together.
Getting Better Every Day
Sharing and Non-Competing Hugs
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass
Songs Mentioned In This Blog Post: