Let’s be honest, we all know a competitive person. You know, the type of person who always has to come out on top, no matter what. They’re always trying to one-up everyone else and they just can’t stand it if they’re not the best at something. It can be really annoying.
Honestly, what’s the point of always needing to be the best? Isn’t it enough to just enjoy life and not promote our successes so much so that our failures can stay low-key too? When we try to brag about our achievements all the time and keep everyone posted about what we’re doing to show off, we’re also taking the risk to have to admit when our plans failed.
Regardless of the consequences, some people cannot help themselves and just need to compete with everybody in some way, in order to feel good about themselves. That’s their prerogative. So how to deal with them and politically avoid conflict?
5 steps to deal with competitive people?
1- Let them brag:
Competitive people can be a pain to deal with. One of the best ways to deal with them is to let them talk. Let them brag about their latest successes and let them boast about their upcoming plans.
Nod occasionally to show that you’re listening, but don’t engage too much. They will get the hint and feel a little too pushy on their own after you show no interest in interacting much with them, so they may stop after a few minutes.
Also, the less you say, the less ammunition they have to use against you and the less information they can use to compete more with you. Eventually, they’ll get bored and move on. And if they don’t, just walk away or try another technique from this list. Whatever you do, remember that there’s no point in trying to compete with someone who’s only interested in winning and doesn’t care if it makes you feel small.
2- Let them compete with themselves:
Another way to deal with competitive people is to let them compete with themselves. Maybe, whenever they start trying to one-up you or impress you by emphasizing their achievements and making yours look unimportant and irrelevant, leave. Pretend to have something to do and leave mid-conversation.
That way, you don’t have to listen to their bragging and you don’t have to try to keep up with them. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but it’s worth finding an excuse and giving it a try.
And who knows? Maybe while they’re left to stand alone waiting for you to come back or waiting for a new victim to talk to them, they’ll realize that nobody wants to enter a competition.
By always trying to overachieve, maybe they’ll also end up putting so much pressure on themselves that they’ll get burned out. So it’s a good thing for them too to see that other people don’t care much so that they can move on from their competitive mindset.
3- Act accordingly with your preferences and personality:
It’s always interesting to observe how people act when they’re in a competitive situation. Some people thrive on competition and feel like they have to win at all costs. Others avoid competition altogether, feeling like it’s not worth the stress and anxiety. And then there are those who find a happy medium, enjoying the challenge of competition while also maintaining a sense of perspective.
So how do you deal with competitive people? It depends on your own personal style and preferences. If you’re the type of person who enjoys a good challenge, then you might want to occasionally compete with them even if it’s just for fun or a good laugh. Don’t take yourself too seriously though and let’s hope you’re not a sore loser!
On the other hand, if you find that competition brings out the worst in you, then it might be best to avoid it altogether. Whatever you do, don’t let the competitive spirit of others dictate your own actions. At the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for you.
4- Offer a touch of kindness and reassurance:
If you’re dealing with the type of person who always feels the need to prove themselves to others, then you’re not alone. In today’s competitive world, it can be easy for anyone to feel like they’re not good enough. Anyone can fall into such a trap and be caught in trying to prove themselves by being competitive and one-upping everyone around them.
For this reason, it’s important to remember and remember people that are caught up in a competitive mindset that everyone is worthy and deserving of love and respect. If you find yourself dealing with a very competitive one-upper, then you can gently put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes and let them know that it’s OK.
Divert their attention and focus on whatever topic they’re trying to prove themselves in and comment on something so simple that’s good about them. You can say that they have a nice shirt on or you can say that they’re very eloquent and have a nice accent when they speak.
Whatever it is you choose to compliment them for, it will make them realize that they don’t need to do much to impress others. Maybe being themselves can be enough and that’s the wake-up call they need.
So find a gentle and indirect way of letting them see that they don’t have to prove themselves to you or anyone else. We all have something special about us, so let’s focus on what makes us unique instead of competitiveness.
5- Be confident enough to accept smaller doses of competitiveness:
We’ve all dealt with competitive people in our lives – those who always need to be the best, the smartest, or the most successful. While there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, some people take it to an extreme.
If you find yourself constantly being pitted against someone who is overly competitive, then it is an issue. However, if someone is occasionally displaying a little bit of healthy competitiveness then let them be. Be confident in yourself and don’t feel personally targeted by how proud they are of having achieved something good.
Be confident and try to avoid getting pulled into their game. If you can stay calm and collected, it will be harder for them to get under your skin. Plus, you can always try to find common ground when talking to a competitive person. If you can find something that you both enjoy doing together, it can take the edge off of the competition.
In the end, you can always check this article out on how to deal with a one-upper, which is also a type of a competitive person but more on the extreme end. A one-upper will not just try to compete with you but also try to make themselves look better to your detriment, so if that’s something you’re familiar with, go ahead and check it out!