January 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm #89280
Though competing in something may make you compeititive I don’t think you have to be a compeitive person to compete.
Me for example: I enjoy running in 5/10K races as they give me a goal to strive for and complete, however I don’t sign up for these races to win them. Therefore I enjoy competition to exceed goals but don’t necessarily define myself as a competitive person.
On the other hand, put me in a conversation about SEC football or a friendly Wii game and my competitive claws come out; I have to make the better point or win the friendly game.
Therefore, overall I am probably a competitive person, just that most of the time I use this competitive drive as an internal push to do better.
So I ask you this, are you competitive or do you compete? Is there a difference?
January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm #89306
Interesting…I think they overlap a lot at times. Generally I actually don’t compete that much anymore directly. But I’m competitive – but I try to keep it fun competitive.
January 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm #89304
Yeah, it is a very interesting question.
I don’t think there is a difference. I believe there are certain circumstances that pique our emotions more than others. Being emotionally involved in a contest tends to bring out those “claws” you mentioned.
We have to be competitive to survive. That’s from yester-eon with the whole “being chased by wild animals” and whatnot. It’s in our nature to try to edge out others–whether that is in accomplishments, love, food or parking spaces.
Personality plays a big part, I believe. Alpha males/females are still very athletic, very dominant, and extraverted; beta males/females are more reserved, introspective, and meeker. We still fall into different sociological roles when dealing with our communities and groups.
I was a beta male growing up–physically pretty small, not athletic, etc. I hit puberty and filled out and also decided to make myself less passive. I pushed myself to be more gregarious, more driven, more domineering (tempered with good ‘ol Christian humility, praise the baby Jesus!).
Being in the military, I learned the discipline necessary to keep my emotional “claws” under control. That’s not to say I don’t use them. As a soldier, I’m still fiercely competitive when I need to be–be it in Iraq or during Gov 2.0 seminars (watch out! ha!) It’s just that I channel that competitive nature in very “driven” and useful ways, like you mentioned, Megan.
And that’s not to say that when the claws do come out, it’s a bad thing. Again, I think it’s just who we are. We compete–some more overtly than others. I don’t believe there is a difference in the nature itself, just in how we channel the energy and behave.
January 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm #89302
There is absolutely a difference and the difference isn’t whether you are competitive or if you compete. As an ex-professional athlete who, in my own mind, is one of the most competitive people I know, it really erks me to hear adults tell their children that winning isn’t everything because it is. As an athlete if you don’t win you get fired.
With that being said when you compete, your goal is to win which make you competitive. If you do not compete to win, you should only consider yourself as someone who participates in a competitive event. However someone can have a competitive spirt without competing because being competitive means that you strive to win in all aspects of your life.
My two cents…..Enjoy.
January 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm #89300
You don’t have to believe that winning is everything to be competitive. I think we all consider those who demonstrate passion and extraordinary competence as competitive. Clearly, something drives consistently outstanding performance, but it can come from within. While the measure of what is and is not competitive must involve comparisons, I’m not sure it has to be decided by an event or even a competition, per se. The best thing about competition is that it encourages everyone to improve. Presenting it as a zero sum game (winners and losers) overstates the importance of the result vs. the process
January 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm #89298
Good question! My husband says I don’t have a competitive bone in my body, and it drives him crazy. On the other hand, if I feel I’ve done an outstanding job at something and no one notices, it drives *me* crazy. I think I do compete at work, and feel sort of like I’ve “won” if I get to do a presentation or something instead of someone else. So maybe I’m competitive at work, but not otherwise?
January 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm #89296
We had this conversation amongst friends over the weekend. My g/f said she is not competitive but she hates letting people down. So she has always been a super hard worker and straight A student type but it wasn’t about competiting with others but worried about letting down parents and teachers.
January 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm #89294
Hello, I’m Jeremy Long. I’m a dockets manager with the FDA. Well, to answer your question, where I come from, if you compete, then you’re competitive. If you don’t compete, then you’re not competitive. So, I don’t really see any difference between being competitive and competing. Being competitive is the same thing as competing.
January 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm #89292
Hello, Jay, I’m Jeremy Long. I’m a dockets manager with the FDA. I wanted to bring to your attention that in your response to Megan Price, the part about adults telling their children that winning is not everything, that the word “irk” is spelled wrong. It is IRK, not ERK. Hope I didn’t irk ya. Ha! Ha! Ha!
January 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm #89290
Hi Caryn, I’m Jeremy Long, a dockets manager with the FDA. You know, Caryn, you don’t have to pay any mind to those who think you’re competitive or not competitive, what matters most is that you are who you are in no matter what you do and that’s something to be proud of! Keep up the good work!
January 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm #89288
Most of the discussion has been about attitude. Do you mean to strive or does merely showing up qualify? It’s a subjective term. I might consider myself competitive but if I have no realistic chance of winning, others might not think I’m competitive at all.
January 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm #89286
I think the drive to never disappoint compelled me to be competitive. I constantly pressured myself to do the best I can; but often found myself wanting the best grade in the class or becoming MVP my first year with any sport. I believe I started innocently competitive 🙂
January 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm #89284
I’m naturally competitive, but I do try to keep it in the box most of the time anymore. Still, when my 11 year-old starts talking smack during Wii MarioKart, my head nearly explodes from trying to be good!
January 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm #89282
Ha…what about Wii Tennis?
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