Communicating vs. Competing for Better Relationships

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 18:15 -- kylerichtig

Are you a competitive individual? A competitive nature is an asset in sales, but does not go a long way to make a great relationship. Competition between individuals in a relationship leads to resentment and unhappiness, often on both sides.

Keeping score

Many people keep a running tally of incidents, and arguments won and lost. Keeping score of these elements do little more than remind you of issues your relationship has had. There is nothing wrong with revisiting issues for better context; however when the past begins to steer the future in terms of retaliation, issues occur. Ask yourself why this works for you, or if it is changing the way you see and interact with your partner.

Trying to be the best at all costs

Competition between partners can be fun in games if not taken too seriously. Issues occur when one partner tries to out compete the other. Relationships strive for equality, which competition works against. In most categories one partner will be better than the other at the activity. Trying to out compete a partner that is better equipped for an activity will do little more than cause frustration. Allowing your partner to outshine you in situations works to build their confidence and your support for him or her.

Choose communication

Communication with your partner is essential in all areas of your relationship. If you find your partner's competition is beginning to affect your relationship, discuss it with them. They may have issues with losing, i.e. not speaking to you after losing a game of cards, or may be the cutthroat winner every time. If your partner takes competition too seriously, you may wish to discontinue the activity in question. Explain to him or her that you enjoy spending time with them, but that their competitive side is causing problems. If your partner loves the activity in question, invite them to find another friend to compete with.

Be the better person

Your partner's competitive side is not a result of meeting you. It is likely that they have always been competitive, and in fact, it may be their competitive side that initially attracted you to them. In situations where your partner is acting inappropriately in competition, let them know but do not become angry. Anger leads to words and situations that are not thought through. Invite them to discuss rather than confront. Communication in relationships is the key to longevity. Competition amongst partners must be good-natured to be successful. If possible, play games without keeping score. Live your relationship without keeping score and you will find a greater peace between you.

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Kyle Richtig

Kyle Richtig is a Canadian writer of foundry pushing poetry and fiction. He is certified in personality assessment and sees sex as an endless buffet of options. Check out more about his projects at