I was recently at a game night. It was a big group with some singles and some couples. We were all having a grand old time until one of the couples got a little competitive… with each other! The woman kept rubbing it in the man’s face whenever she’d win. And he clearly felt like crap about it, so he’d play a lot more aggressively. Let me tell you what kills a friendly game night: cutthroat competition. The rest of us were there to drink cocktails and have fun, but those two let their rivalry ruin the night for all of us. If my description of this couple hits a little too close to home for you—and it doesn’t have to be about games. It could be competition in terms of career, friendship or finances, too—here’s what I think you should do.
Know that success is infinite
I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way many, many times as a new business owner. In my younger days, I didn’t understand that success wasn’t a zero sum game. My success didn’t depend on someone else’s failure and someone else’s success didn’t mean that I was going to fail. There’s enough success for everyone to get theirs and no one else can take your success, especially not your boo. So, if you ever feel jealous or competitive, remember that what you’re stressing about doesn’t actually matter. Don’t compare yourself. Spend that energy striving for more and you’ll wind up being a lot happier in life, love and business.
Recognize that you’re one team
Your boo and you are on the same team. That’s what being in a relationship should mean. Their success is your success and their failure is your failure. Really work on making sure that your brain is grasping that. Instead of wishing you had what they had, convince yourself that you already have it because they have it. You personally may have not gotten the promotion you wanted, and you’re allowed to be sad about that. But, if your boo got promoted, you can be happy about that, too. And not just happy for them, but happy for yourself. Your team just scored a point, even if you personally didn’t kick the ball into the goal. There’s nothing to begrudge there, right?
Go to therapy
If there’s a lot of intense competition with your boo, especially about things that don’t really matter like a game night, it could be a sign that something deeper is off in your relationship. What are you not happy about together that’s causing this ugly competitive element between you two? A therapist could help you figure that out. I’d recommend couples therapy, but solo therapy will help a lot, too. A few sessions should help you two take the competition down to a healthy level.
I’m hoping my game night couple gets the help they need to simmer their competitive streaks down to a less disruptive level because I’d love a rematch of Taboo!