Some people need to be the best in what they do, and think that no one can beat them. You probably know someone like that among the people in your entourage, if you’re not like that yourself. When I was in elementary school, there was a little kid that always came first of the class (and of all the classes in our grade) each time we received our scorecard. But once, I managed to beat him, and instead of congratulating me, he cried. After that, he probably vowed not to be beaten again (and by a girl, en plus) because it never happened again. He was already arrogant and pretentious at this tender age, and always looked at me with disdain.
Recently, I had a strange lunch with one of my professional contacts, and I had the impression to face the same kind of specimen than the kid in my elementary school. The guy was here a University Professor, managing director in an international company, and also an occasional writer in my newspaper. Unfortunately for me, he evolves in the sector for which I endorse the coverage for my newsroom, and the lunch turned rapidly into a questioning for me. Each time I answered his questions, he had to comment on everything. And of course, he reviewed all my articles to tell me what I did wrong in it. How nice. I bet he was having an erection during that lunch…
I wonder if this guy does this with his wife. Personally, I hope not. And I also wonder if this dynamic in a couple is sustainable. Unfortunately for some couples, the aspect of competition interferes into their relationship and it can lead to a break up. Take for example the movie stars: once one member of the couple is more successful than the other (and generally, it’s the case with the female one), the other becomes jealous. But it also happens if you work for the same company, and if one of you got promoted quicker than the other.
Women generally don’t ruminate this kind of feelings, it’s more a male kind of phenomenon. I believe the ressentiment, as described by Nietzsche, is more masculine than feminine. However, women can feel this between them. The most obvious example of that is the rivalry between sisters.
When we obey to this competition spirit, we tend to choose a partner that won’t overshadow us.
So, do you need to be the best in what you do/ do you like competition? And have you ever encountered a rivalry with your partner?