When Competitors are Not Your Friends

Carly - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on May 15, 2008

When Competitors Are Not Your Friends

I believe that my best friends should never make my best competitors. My friends like me because of the person that I am; when I am around my friends I am completely my self. And when I am around my friends they see me deal with situations and the friends that witness and help me deal with tough situations are my best ones, the people that cause my tough situations are my competitors. In a competition, I believe, that not only I, but most competitive people do experience a change in personality. While I am competing all I am thinking about is being better than that one of which I am competing with. This is something I would never wish to experience with my friends, I would never want to only worry about being better than them. This may only be something that I feel because I am a very competitive person, this is not always a good quality, but I am a competitive person when I am supposed to be, and I believe I am not supposed to be competitive with my friends.

I’ve grown up playing tennis, and I’ve grown up competing hard in tennis.

At the tennis academy that I play at, I am not really friends with the people I practice with, no one at the tennis academy is friends, we are not mean to each other but we don’t want to get to close, or become to good of friends. But when I was about eleven I made a great friend that I played tennis with, we traveled to all the tournaments together and I really thought we were best friends, but one sectional tournament was able to change that. We had both played great in the tournament and we were both devastated to see that we had to play each other in the finals, of this very important tournament. I was sure that it would be a very close and fair match. We started playing and I noticed her calling balls out that were clearly inside the line, and the official noticed it too so he called her on her mistakes. When the official left she changed the score when I wasn’t looking, I asked her what happened with the score because I knew that this was not right, and that much was enough to make her yell at me. We both got overly competitive, but it hurt me that she cheated and screamed at me during our match. The official told her that we would have to go back and fix that score and replay the games that she had cheated herself out of. And though it was now fair, I could get over the fact that she cheated. I was hurt and as a result to two friends being competitive with each other, our friendship was never the same.

A shared interest is a great quality to have with a friend, but in many cases, when it leads to a competition, a group interest can go bad. My older sister, Courtney, has a lot of friends that all play field hockey, they are all very competitive field hockey players, luckily for my sister she is not part of this scene because she is involved in a different sport. But come freshmen year when it was time for all of them to try out for the team, they were all competing for a spot on the junior varsity team. There was one girl that Courtney and all of her friends were good friends with that had made the junior varsity team instead of them. These girls got competitive and turned against their own friend. Just because she made the team instead of them they did horrible things to her, they keyed her car, egged her car, and egged her house. The girl that this all happened to was my sisters best friend, my sister stayed with her through it all. But for the rest of them a small competition between friends, caused them go to such extremes to hurt her, and split up the friendship for good.

I know that I competition can go to far. I am a competitive person, and a competitive person like me needs to learn to pick and choose the best competitors. While I am competing I would never cheat or try to hurt someone’s feelings, but I know that while competing with anyone I want to be better, and it hurts to loose. I have learned from experiences like the one with my own friend during our tennis match and from watching other peoples experiences, like my sisters, that I never want to try to be better then my friends, and a competition with a friend never takes you anywhere good because when you win you don’t feel good because you always want the best for your friend and you know that you have taken something from them. So to keep a friendship, spare the competition, and save those for the enemy.