June 13, 2013

When Competitiveness is Unbecoming

I'm super competitive. My mom always jokes that she had to take me to the doctor when I was a child because I wanted to win everything. Why would she take me to the doctor you ask? Well, in Kindergarten if you lost a tooth you got your name on the board (it was a good thing). I wanted my name on the board. I tried to pull out my teeth.

I. Am. Competitive.

It's a quality that I embrace. I attribute it to much of my personal success. I believe I'm in the position I am today because I am competitive in the work place. I was a college athlete and I was competitive on the field and in the classroom. If I'm participating in any sort of activity where my actions, or the result of my actions, can be measured, my competitiveness makes an appearance. I'm not just competitive against other people, I'm competitive with myself. I try and push myself for better, faster, more efficient results. My competitiveness isn't something that I can switch on and off. 

In sports it's a fantastic quality that served me well. It was a quality I shared with my teammates and competitors. It's the sole reason for a game or match. However, the older I get the more I've realized that it's not always appropriate to charge out of the gate ready to take on the next challenger. 

I've seen friendly games turn ugly. I've seen business meetings go silent. I've seen ladies and gentlemen act like small children because they lack the self awareness necessary to harness their urge to win. Personally I find it extremely unattractive when people lack this sensibility. I'm guilty of letting moments dictate my behavior, but I like to think I can keep my competitive nature at bay when necessary. Again, the competitiveness doesn't go away - I may act like I'm not really interested in the result of our office putt putt competition but inside I am scheming how to win. 

I don't want you to get the impression that I am hiding my personality or pretending to be something I'm not because I don't think that's the case. Instead, I think I'm aware of how strong my competitive drive is and how unbecoming it can be in an office environment. And because I like my coworkers I don't want to push them away because I can't keep my emotions in check. There some people don't feel the same way, or maybe they aren't aware of how strongly they come across to others when they are in competitive situations. 

You know who I'm talking about: the loud talking, chest beating, one-upper that takes it just a little (or a lot) too far and the next thing you know everyone is giving her the side eye. 

You know the side eye....

Side eye, duh! source
Wow, side eye. source.
This is my courteous way of telling anyone who's reading to put your competitiveness in check. Please don't be that lady at the luncheon that takes bridal bingo too far. There's a time and a place for you to be a vicious competitor and (most of the time) when you or someone else is wearing heels, it's not the place. That means the office, a banquet, a rehearsal dinner, bunco club... you get the idea. Be yourself. Be proud of who you are, just be aware. 

Be Blessed,

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  1. Great post!! I think there is a very fine line between healthy competition and envious /bitter competition! Love the GIF!! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Style-Delights Blog

    1. Thanks Jyoti! Have a wonderful day as well!