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KatawaGrey's avatar

How do you deal with people who always have to compete with you?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21483points) November 5th, 2009
29 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

You know the type. They’re the people who got three hours of sleep last night when you got four. They have two papers and project due today when you only have two papers due. If you have a headache, they have the flu.

I have to deal with a couple of these people on a regular basis. They’re not necessarily my friends, but they are in my classes and friends of my friends. A typical interaction usually starts like this:

John: Hey, how are you doing?
Me: I’m doing all right, kinda tired.
John: Oh yeah? I was up until four writing papers.
Me: Oh…

Usually, after this, I just kind of stop responding when they have to have these little competitions with me. Last night, I snapped at one of the people who does this on a regular basis. Basically, i told him that I was in no mood for his competition about who had more sleep because I had an awful headache and my head was about to explode. He responded by telling me about his flu-like symptoms.

How do you deal with people like this? It drives me up a wall when I can’t make any comment without someone trying to upstage me at every turn.

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Sabotage82's avatar

I top them and then act like it doesn’t matter…because it does not. Drives them nuts.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Be better than they are, but with out looking like you are even trying,

poisonedantidote's avatar

i compete with them, give them a run for their money.

me and my business partner are in constant competition. and while we are always working towards the same goals, we do try and out do each other at every possible turn.

i produce 10 templates to sell, he produces 11, the next day i produce 12. and so on until we reach a limit.

however, i think what you are talking about it a little different. and would recommend what @Sabotage82 said, they dont know how to deal with it.

Samurai's avatar

I never really notice. I agree with @JLeslie, maybe also showing off as well.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe they are not competeing but identifying and empathasizing?

SolitaryMan's avatar

Challenge them to something you know you will win at and publicly humiliate them…..........OR NOT!

avvooooooo's avatar

I had a friend who told me she got 100th percentile on a test when I got 99th.

I eventually cut her loose. Can’t stand the whole “I always have to be better, you can’t have anything that you’re good at,” thing.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JLeslie: They might think it’s empathy but in reality it’s a bid for attention. I would agree with you if they displayed more concern for me, but what usually happens is once they have said that they got even less sleep, have more work, are sicker etc., they continue to talk about how much worse they have it than I do.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Make it tolerable by amusing yourself with insane answers when they start that pointless competition stuff. Next time, respond with “Oh, you have the flu? Better not come near me, I’m immunocompromised because I have an exotic jungle disease that has left me without any white blood cells.”

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

You have to ignore them. They can’t try to upstage you if you’re not listening to them. Like you said, you kind of have to stop responding to them after a while. Or you could take another road. When they say they have the flu and only got 3 hours of sleep, tell them you feel fine and got a full 8 hours because you finished writing your papers days ago. Beat them at their own game and maybe they will shut up.

MrBr00ks's avatar

I don’t give them the satisfaction of believing that I need to engage in competition with them. I show that I am not impressed in the least and I tend to slow down my pace, whatever I am doing, just to show I don’t care, and it drives them nuts.

Jude's avatar

Have you seen this?

I have a brother who tries to one up you all of the time (especially when it comes to illness). Finally, my Sis told him that she was menopausal, suffering from hot flashes and my Bro was silent. Hee. (we waited for a response, though)

Lorenita's avatar

With the biggest smile!!!!!!!

HeartofHearts's avatar

I don’t compete. I answer what I feel honestly…. They can deal with that or not. I chose not to compete but to be just myself…years ago… I don’t need the stress.

SolitaryMan's avatar

Challenge them to an Ex-Lax eating contest and hope they win.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Wow, last time I remember being around people like that was in back in college, when I was a pre-med. SOOOO glad I don’t have to deal with crazy pre-meds anymore. I’m sorry you have people like that in your life – any way you can minimize time spent with them?

Blondesjon's avatar

Just a little bit better than you do.

J0E's avatar

I win.

J0E (13172points)“Great Answer” (1points)
kammi's avatar

Always listen to your own instinct. Do your best be honest and loyal. Work is work so keep your POSITIVE ATTITUDE with everyone.

scamp's avatar

I just do whatever I normally do, and ignore them. Trying to compete with someone who feels like they always have to win isn’t worth a second of my time. I tell them to feel free to have the last word, and enjoy the ride on their high horse!

It cracks me up when I do this, because the moron usually replies at least twice trying to manipulate me back into their idiotic game.. but I continue to ignore them.. laughing all the time! It really frosts their cookies!

Val123's avatar

Tell them you’re dying. Let them top THAT!

Val123's avatar

My problem’s worse than yours. People always want to take their clothes off and show me their scars. (Just messin’ with ya! :)

Grisaille's avatar

I just smile and carry on the conversation. OR FUCKING PUNCH THEM

KatawaGrey's avatar

If nothing else, all these answers have made me laugh. I do try to minimize my time spent with these people. One of them is a guy who I thought had stopped talking to me something I can’t say I shed any tears over and then he started talking to me again. Since we have a lot of mutual friends, I see him a lot but I do try to avoid talking to him.

@jmah:Awesome vid. Sometimes it does feel like that…

aprilsimnel's avatar

Tend to your own garden. Just ignore that person. What they’re doing has nothing to do with you and is most likely some rehash of what they’ve experienced in their childhood home.

Val123's avatar

Also, don’t tell them anything other than, “I’m fine, thank you.”
Like, if they ask how you are and you say, “Oh, feeling a bit under the weather,” you open up the door for them to tell you about their near death experience. If all you say is “Fine, thank you,” there’s really not much else to say.

Ive's avatar

I agree…ignore and let all your responses be postive about your life, even if you are miserable and have things to complain about. If they know of your troubles they will use it for gain and then you will probably feel worse. I work close with someone like this. Her husband, kids, life…is better than mine. I can’t share any postive news, and if I share my troubles, she takes the opportunity to boast about her good fortune in relation to the subject. It’s makes me sick. But, I learned to ignore her, it funny when you know they feel stupid having a conversation with themselves !

Offroadmamavdb's avatar

My older sister is like this. IM now 29 and she’s 30. I can’t seem to get away from it. I do something then she does it. She flaunts it to make sure she gets more attention than I do. I don’t want to compete. I just want to be me and her be her. She swoops in and takes everything I have and does her best to put me down and make me look really bad in front of my friends. I had a blonde moment the other day and she teased me merciless about it in front of everyone I love. I was cool about it and took it well. But her putting me down and making me feel awful happens all the time. She dwells on anything that’s bad in my life but only in front of people. She likes to make me feel like we’re friends when it’s justs us. But I’ve had to learn over and over that she doesn’t have my back and I can’t trust her. It’s a nearly daily struggle for me. Most times I just ignore it and laugh at the fact that she feels like she has to be just like me. But other times I just want peace. I just want a sister. Someone who is just her and I’m just me. I’m hurting so bad from all this right now because she has recently tried to steal one of my best friends. She has no mercy. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at the end of my rope.

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