Why Are Women So Competitive?

4 years ago

I've never been a competitive person. I know this is weird, since I'd say that most people are born with that gene, but I'm not one of them. I was never really big into sports growing up (I "played" soccer for a few years and basketball up until high school), and I think a good part of that was because I wasn't super competitive. Also, I was super shy and hated people looking at me and worried I would mess up and be hated. Yeah, it was awesome.

July 16, 2011 - San Clemente, California, U.S. - Women competing in the Ironwoman competition receive instructions from race officials before the start of the competition at the 2011 San Clemente Ocean Festival at the San Clemente Municipal Pier. (Credit Image: © John Schreiber/zumapress.com)

In high school, I was elected to many positions, including president, student council president, National Honor Society president, yearbook editor, etc. So in that sense, I had to compete against others, but I never did the whole "put others down in a smear campaign so I can win" thing. Sure, high school wasn't like politics per se, but you get my point.

In college, I noticed many of my fellow peers were super competitive in terms of internships, careers and accomplishments. In my major--communications--it seemed like everyone in my classes tried to out-do each other by bragging about their accomplishments. "Oh, I interned at this big company," "I spent a summer abroad studying in Paris," or "I'm already done with all of my required classes so I can graduate early." Meanwhile, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted my concentration to be (I switched from journalism to public relations) and hoping I'd get some sort of internship and job after graduation.

It wasn't just my classes that were competitive, it seemed like social status was competitive as well. Everyone wanted to go to the bars where the cool kids would be, groups of friends would split up when one member of the group got a boyfriend, and nights out were all about which girl could get the most attention (usually whoever was the loudest). This all just annoyed me. I wasn't here to compete with people, but it felt like I almost HAD to just to be recognized as a person.

Fast-forward to my current life situation. I'm in my mid-20s and have never experienced women being so competitive until now. Whether it's who can brag about having the best job, whose relationship has been going on the longest, or who has the most fun on the weekends, I have all of this information shoved into my face 24/7. Sure, social media only makes it worse, but it's hard to avoid that altogether. I have a great boyfriend, a job that pays the bills, a small group of true friends and a fun hobby- my blog. I don't feel the need to compete with others to show them that my life is the best, because quite frankly, it probably isn't.

Why do women feel the need to be so competitive about everything? If I wear a dress for a night out, women will say, "Why are you so dressed up? Who are you trying to impress?" Like they're mad that their jeans and top can't compete with my $20 H&M dress. Come on people! Or when people follow everyone I follow on Twitter to try to get more followers and compete with me. Seriously? If a Twitter follower number is a competition, then that's just sad.

Can't we all focus on ourselves and our own lives and stop trying to be so competitive with one another? Everyone has her own strengths and weaknesses--that's life. The goal is to recognize our strengths and work on our weaknesses, not to try to one-up others' strengths.

Is it just me, or have you had to deal with competitive women? Spill your stories!

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