There will always be joy in crushing your partner at Karaoke or Monopoly. After all, competition is a part of life, and it’s completely normal to take on or challenge our partners every now and then. As they say, a healthy dose of competition adds excitement and dynamics to a relationship. However, making it the constant focus leads to a tiring and toxic relationship. If you, unfortunately happen to fall on this camp, then perhaps you and your partner can use this article to put your competitive sides in check.
1. Confess your true reason.
The first thing you must do is confess to both your partner and yourself. Why exactly are you competing with her/him all the time? Is it because you hate losing? Is it because you are jealous? Is it because of your pride? You have to admit your true reasons and not make any excuses. Doing this will help you employ the appropriate solution as well as help your partner understand where your overcompetitiveness is really coming from.
2. Be motivated rather than envious.
If you’re one of those people who always compete to make up for their jealousy, then you have to look at things from a different perspective. Using envy to fuel your actions can lead to detrimental outcomes, not only to the relationship but also to yourself. Instead of being jealous of your partner’s success, try to be motivated by it. Do not take her/his achievement against her/him, you, or anyone for that matter. Rather, use it as an inspiration to also triumph.
3. Focus on self-development more.
Comparing is inevitable, especially with someone as close to you as your partner. It is natural, and even sometimes unintentional, for people to compare their partner’s status in relation to their own. However, if we take these comparisons the wrong way, then our ego tends to take over, and we compete with our partners just to get ahead and prove that we are better. To avoid this tendency, we must focus on self-development. Use the comparisons as a sign to surpass not your partner but rather your current self.
4. Compete moderately.
As previously mentioned, competing in relationships is not bad. It only becomes so when done excessively. You and your partner can still compete on who can finish Dark Souls without dying, who can drink more Soju without passing out, or who can save a million bucks first. These are healthy competitions that when done in moderation, help both the relationship and the couple grow. However, the keyword is “moderation.” If you compete in everything you do and losing starts making you angry toward your partner, then perhaps you’re already being excessively competitive.
5. Celebrate your partner’s success.
This one is relatively easy to do especially if you really love and support your partner. If you learn to be happy for your partner’s success despite it not being mutual, then you’ll be able to subdue the competitive side of you. Celebrate with your partner and express how much you are proud of her/him! Put your personal interests and inclinations to the side for a while. After all, in relationships, there should be given and takes; you simply cannot just take it all and desire everything to be favorable to you and only you.
6. Communicate more often.
Sometimes, we get too competitive with our partners without even realizing it. That’s why constant communication is vital. It keeps us aware of what our partners notice about our behavior and vice versa. For instance, it lets us realize how our paternalistic side is making us feel insecure and overly competitive, or it enlightens our spouses on how their jealousy is already making them desire our loss. Through open communication, both parties can reflect and make necessary adjustments to their actions and perceptions.
7. Be a team.
If you look at your relationship as a team, then you’ll find it easier to compete less with your partner. After all, a team shares a common goal, and the victory of your teammate is your victory as well. By having this mindset, you’ll start viewing each other’s success no longer as personal milestones, but mutual triumphs. Moreover, instead of competing, you’ll instead start motivating and supporting each other to reach greater heights.
8. Show more empathy and care.
Our competitive nature is sometimes exacerbated by our inability to look pass ourselves. We only see our own desires and aspirations; we fail to care for and empathize with our partners. Put yourself in her/his shoes; look at how much work she/he put in just to get to where she/he is. Also, do not contend with her, but rather, be caring enough to stand by her/him during times of success and tribulations. Remember, you’re her/his partner, not her/his rival.
9. Learn to accept a loss.
We and our partners sometimes compete non-stop because one of us simply can’t accept a loss. We would rather prolong the debate or struggle rather than admit and learn from our defeat. There is no dishonor in acknowledging that you lost a bet or a challenge, more so if it was against your partner. If your partner successfully proves that cats are better than dogs, then accept your loss. After all, losing is just as, if not more, important than winning as it allows you to further learn and improve.
Some people compete with others, even their partners because they don’t want to lose the spotlight, let alone share it. Their desire to always be the best and constant center drives them to instinctively fight off anyone who attempts or seemingly threatens their position. Don’t be one of these people, or at the very least, make your partner an exception to the rule. Learn to share the limelight with your partner, and cheer for her/him as she/he steps on the stage.
Too much competition can make a relationship less enthralling and more exhausting, and so, to avoid tipping the scale too much, we have to learn how to balance our competitive nature with our role as a supporting and caring partner.
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