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wundayatta's avatar

Does competition change your enjoyment of what you are doing?

Asked by wundayatta (58596points) January 19th, 2011

Some people like competition. Why? Some people don’t like it. Again, why?

Does it have an impact on your enjoyment of certain activities? What would like be like if there were less competition? How would that change our behavior?

Stories about your relationship to competition—times when you’ve enjoyed it and times when you think you might be willing to gnaw off your foot if it would enable you to get away—would be very helpful in understanding your take on this.

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14 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I love golf and it can enhance the game! I have had alot of laughs out on the links because of these little competitions.It also helps to not get upset if you lose
It really doesn’t matter,you know? ;)

iamthemob's avatar

Yes. 100% yes. Every time.

Although – sometimes for the best, and sometimes for the worst.

My boyfriend and I currently have a workout competition to see who can get the hottest body in the next month. On the line is one month’s rent. I feel like the winner is going to get a free month’s rent…but the loser is going to go out and have a lot of revenge sex with random third parties.

Is this a win-win? It depends on your moral compass….

963chris's avatar

Not to sound narcissistic, but most competition boils down to competition with myself. Probably has to do with being raised a certain way + feeling the urge to be a perfectionist.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

When I was growing up, being best was pounded into my head. I had to beat everyone at anything I tried, according to the people who raised me. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt it was hell. I hated it then and now.

These days, I much prefer the internal “competition” I get from the hobbies I enjoy. I really love acting, and I try to get each new role just a little bit more lifelike than the last. I like this kind of inner drive. It allows me to improve while not having to hold myself to any arbitrary outside benchmark.

For example, I played King Claudius in Hamlet a few years ago. I really delved into the psychology of the killer king. What makes a person murder? What makes a person desire power? It drove my interpretation of the character, and the triumph came in the end of the play. As I watched my queen drink from the poisoned cup meant for Prince Hamlet, my whole body shook, and I turned away. I distinctly heard an audience member say something to the effect that I was getting what I deserved. Later, a friend wouldn’t look me in the face and said I was the one the audience loved to hate.

Jude's avatar

It’s all good until we get to Scrabble.

Then, I freak OUT and throw the board.


iamthemob's avatar


I’m not kidding when it comes to monopoly – that game has destroyed families, I’m certain.

KhiaKarma's avatar

I only get competitive doing very few things: pool, card games, and Robot Unicorn Attack. I would not Futher if I saw it as competitive, though. It would definitely change my enjoyment of it….

Cruiser's avatar

Competition is for people who feel life owes them a first place ribbon for whatever injustice is was that robbed them of their own self esteem. Life is too short to waste your time trying to hit the finish line first….WHY??? To say I am better than you??? Sheesh??!!

963chris's avatar

Risk can also be a dangerous game as far as competition!

efritz's avatar

I like competition after I win. Otherwise the process is grueling and sucks, especially when I lose. Needless to say I am a terrible TERRIBLE loser :) stuff is funner when there’s no pressure, which I kind of put on myself for some reason . . .

rooeytoo's avatar

Interesting answers giving perspectives I hadn’t considered.

I personally like competition because it encourages me to be the best I can be, not necessarily the best of all. Competing with myself keeps me motivated, to go further or faster than I have before. Really I pretty much thrive on it.

I suppose that could be detrimental to myself sometimes, but most of the time I don’t think it is.

faye's avatar

I am not competitive until I’m losing! I’m talking board games, cards, tests. I can’t do any physical things.

Earthgirl's avatar

good question Wundayatta
I always wanted to do something for a living that I would enjoy. Something that I would do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it. Something that makes me want to rush to work and not away from it. I have a passion for what I do and there are days when I really love it and enjoy it. I also have days when the deadlines, backstabbing and competitive aspect of the job drains it of any pleasure. I admit that I do not handle stress well. I deal with it and keep going and can even do a good job under very stressful conditions, but it means I am not enjoying it the way I would be if I didn’t rely on it for my paycheck.
I can be very competitive myself. I want to outshine everyone else. But I want to do it without cheating, backstabbing or having an unfair advantage over other people. If I did it that way to me, it wouldn’t count. I have kind of come to the conclusion that if you really love something, maybe you don’t want to do it for a living because that takes all the joy out of it. My fantasy is to be able to design what I want to design without the stress of figuring out what the market wants. Ironically, I think I am pretty good at doing that but not without running to keep up constantly, therein lies the stress. And the world keeps moving faster and faster!!!! when do I have time to smell the roses? Of course the competiton is between businesses and not just coworkers. That only makes it harder.

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