Competition in friendships builds motivation

Amanda Hikes

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Everyone has had that one friend who always tries to compete with him or her. Whether they are competing to see who can earn the highest score on a chemistry test or who can dance with the most people at the club.

Some friends will compete over anything.

Most competitive relationships are is in spite of jealousy, rivalry, and friendly competition or maybe an event took place that sparked it all.

Joane Denis, a senior dental hygiene major, said she has never been in competition with one of her friends, but she has witnessed two of her friends constantly competing over the years.

“They competed with each other over everything. Who was the best dressed, who had the best boyfriend, who had the most friends and who was the most successful. They just compared their lives in general.”

Denis said the competitiveness was so intense that it eventually ruined their friendship.

Having a competitive friendship can be healthy. Competition is a very useful tool. It keeps friends motivated and pushes them to keep bettering themselves in whatever aspect of their lives.

Kortnei Barber, sophomore pre-nursing major, said she does not see anything wrong with friendly competition. Barber said she and her childhood friend would make challenges and bets with one another over everything.

She does not remember exactly how it started. Barber said it just happened.

“It was fun and kept things interesting. We are still very good friends,” Barber said.

In a healthy friendship, a little competition between friends can strengthen the bond. Competition becomes unhealthy when it becomes too serious.

Michelle Callahan, TV relationship expert, says it’s important to diversify your circle of friends who are competitive, yet supportive.

“I think of it like ‘birds of a feather, flock together.’ It can go both ways. You need to establish relationships with people who are in a similar place in life so they don’t feel the need to compete but who you can also relate to,” Callahan said.

When friends start acting more like competitors than actual friends, it is straining on the friendship.

If a friend is competing with malicious or spiteful intentions, that can produce negative outcomes- like not being friends at all or becoming enemies.

Having a friend that is jealous of you and continuously competing with you can be toxic to the friendship.