Tuesday, August 25, 2009

competition

I stopped by a friend's house to drop off some clothes for her toddler yesterday and came home (yet again) just shaking my head. I have known J for as long as I have lived in this town, which is over 5 years now. And for as long as I have known her, she has competed with me over everything.

And I do mean everything.

She compares everything in her life to my life and if she deems herself as superior in a particular area, she is smug and happy and regales me with unsolicited and usually unhelpful advice. If I happen to "win" the Mommy Bowl , she is pouty and I spend the next several minutes consoling her and minimalizing whatever accomplishment she is envious of.

This is why I don't spend too much time with her anymore.

Still, as I look back, I can't help but laugh over her obsessive comparing/competing.

She has competed over everything from how clean our houses are to how severe our sons' SPD is. She even insisted that she was more depressed than I was, once when I misguidedly shared with her that I was struggling with my mom's cancer. Today, she compared her newborn to Tommy and lorded over me the fact that her son is sleeping through the night, eating more than Tommy, and has more hair than my sweet fat, baldy of a baby.

It doesn't matter. Tommy is WAY cuter than her baby, so who cares?

Kidding. I am totally kidding! Well, mostly....

I did realize yesterday afternoon that as I get older, I am getting a lot less insecure. These types of comparisons would have hurt my feelings years ago, but now, I just don't care. And that feels really, really good. And so liberating. Because as a friend once pointed out to me, comparing oneself to others is always a losing proposition, because it will leave you feeling either superior and prideful or inferior and miserable.

Who needs that?

4 comments:

Amy Jane said...

Patty,

I still don't understand why you just don't completely wash your hands of J, but that's not my business. However, I am thrilled to hear you "speaking" with more confidence, self-esteem, and self-assuredness, and I'm so glad that you're not letting her get to you anymore! That's major progress, my friend, and you should be proud. After all, you're awesome!!! Miss you...

Heather said...

Agreed! And I can't stand those kinds of friends. Which is probably why I never keep them around for long!

allaboutpotential said...

We all need a "friend" like that in our lives though. Sometimes just to remind us that we don't need to play the competition game. Sometimes because you can use them to get out of a job.

You simply point out that they are far more qualified, stroke the ego & voila! You no longer have to organize the bake sale.

Sarah said...

Your friend is very wise. When anyone tries to "compete" with me, I just laugh and tell them that they have already won---do people seriously think that I don't know their home life is a lot more calm than my own?

I was just telling Matt a little while ago that Emma and Jack and all of their peers work twice as hard to accomplish the smallest things. I am proud to say that admire my kids---they beat me hands down in all competitions.