SRS I really hate "friendly competition".

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by deusexaethera, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It spoils a fair number of social activities I would otherwise enjoy, because I like to do things for fun instead of, I dunno, sit and drink and stare at the wall or whatever the alternative is. The problem is not so much that I like doing things, but that I don't like pushing myself in my free time. I haven't gone rock-climbing in nearly a month because I'm sick of the guy at the check-in desk bugging me about how I should "step up my game" and buy my own gear instead of renting. I haven't gone biking except by myself in years because I'm tired of getting hassled for not wanting to ride the rim of Instant Death Gorge or some stupid shit like that. I've made it a rule never to play against my friends in videogames of any sort, because I don't want to feel pressured to "beat them" (and moreover I don't want to lose), which is anathema to what I think friends should do. Shit, I even have a couple of friends that are competitive about cooking and listening to music. "Come on dude, you're not really going to use pre-ground beef in your hamburgers, are you? I stopped doing that as soon as I could afford a meat grinder. It's so much fresher that way." Yes, I fucking am. Go eat at your own house if you don't like it. "Dude, we already listened to that album, put something new on. I have this Sonic Youth album where they play the guitar with a screwdriver." I don't give a shit, I like this one. I'm relaxing.

    It's ridiculous, at least in my mind.

    Now, I have to be fair and say that I deal with "friendly competition" a lot better when I know I have the upper hand, like when I'm playing pool, but it still bugs me. No, I do not need to practice my bank shots; stop lecturing me on how to do them properly, and hit the fucking cue ball. Oh, and, you're losing anyway, so why are you telling me how to play? I don't *need* to be perfect, or extreme, or constantly improving. This meal does not need to be better than the last, and I don't need to listen to music that challenges my understanding of the human experience. What I *need* is to enjoy what I enjoy and not get my ass busted for being mediocre at things that don't actually matter in the big scheme of things. Hell, there are even people who get on my case about being a lightweight drinker, but at least that one is ridiculous enough that I don't take it seriously. I like it that way, because it costs less to get drunk. But anyway...

    Like a lot of problems I have, I can trace it back to my mother. (sorry mom.) One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my house on Long Island, learning how to write letters. The method was: I would write the same letter over and over again, on the top and bottom halves of each line on a sheet of tablet paper (i.e. lined paper with huge spacing for little kids), until I filled up the sheet, and each time I wrote the letter my mother would point out what I did wrong and how to do it better. I know this happened for every letter of the alphabet, uppercase and lowercase, but for whatever reason the only one I clearly remember is the lowercase letter 'e'. I was having trouble with the transition from the straight line in the middle to the curved line around the outside, and I was catching constant shit for it. I was crying, of course, but that didn't make any difference, it just pissed her off more. I remember pleading with her to let me write uppercase 'E's instead, because those were easier. She let me write one and it was a huge relief. (interesting side note; to this day my handwriting is all uppercase.)

    Now, obviously that's a single memory, and there are plenty of others, but it's a good example of just how much I despise the notion of constant improvement -- and by extension, the "friendly competition" that people use as a way to improve their skills. It might also be part of the explanation as to why I don't like it, but I can't be sure. All I know is that when people tell me "you need to step up your game" or "you should try something harder" or "you should practice such-and-so", it makes me irrationally angry, as was hinted at in the first paragraph.

    Anyway, the core of the issue as it relates to the here-and-now is that I'm content to be exactly as good at recreational activities as I want to be -- and for the most part it is entirely within my abilities to reach that skill level -- but I don't want to feel like I ought to be better at them than I want to be. I hate that feeling. It's so unpleasant that I simply avoid anything that people might feel compelled to evaluate in terms of skill and proficiency. I'm not sure how to deal with that, not least because it seems like I can't possibly avoid it -- everyone wants to compete, and I don't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  2. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    What, are you saying you don't like Sonic Youth?

    The rock climbing guy probably gets commission for selling you new gear or when you say you might look into it he'll have a 'buddy' that will get you a deal. And he'll get some money from him.

    Video games are competitive by nature.

    I don't know how you're getting hassled for not biking a gorge. I bike all the time and I just bike where I want to. Are there biker gang checkpoints that stop you and hassle you? You don't have to stop and talk to other bikers.

    I think you're overthinking all your social interactions. Most shit that people say are just throwaway lines. I bug my friend all the time about his french press because I have a Rancilio. But it's just in passing and nothing more and he understands that. My other friend would get annoyed and take it personally and eventually snap. He's too much inside his own head.

    Do you get angry when you have to improve in your work life (You are constantly being compared to past and present employees and others in the industry)? What about your love life (Past boyfriends and their friend's boyfriends and their father)? Do you strive to be better at basic things like cooking?

    Because if you don't then you have to find the reason why you don't feel stressed to improve in these areas.

    You sound like a worrier and a pessimist. Two amazing books are learned Optimism and The Worry Cure. Written by doctors at the head of their respective fields. The how of happiness is also a great one by a Harvard doctor. None of these are feel good touchy books but based on solid evidence with concrete things that have been proven to do what the title claims.
     
  3. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Personally if i where you if someone would challenge you id say, ok look if i beat you will you promise me to shut up forever? Then beat them and never hear of them again, that way you can be at ease at your game.
     
  4. Riconosuave

    Riconosuave New Member

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    No offense, but you sound like a little **&^%. You don't like competition, and sounds like you can't take any sort of criticism. Seem like an antisocial loner. Why don't you just move into a cabin in the mountains so you can avoid all human contact? You don't have to be better at something than anyone else. You are taking things way too seriously.
     
  5. tibbar

    tibbar aww fennec foxah aww

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    I don't think it's that way. Think of it as the difference between a type A and a type B personality. I'm type B and I don't always want to compete, most of the time I just want to relax and hang. Type As are usually more competitive.
     
  6. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    I don't think you need to worry about having emotional scarring from your past. I think the incident is just similar to what you're experiencing, and I think it's part of your personality to want to just relax and do what you want to do. Since this is part of your personality, if probably gave you trouble in the past, just like it's doing now, as opposed to this way of thinking actually stemming from that incident.

    I am just like you. I don't like being competitive in my spare time, so I play games that my friends don't play and they annoy me. I have to yell at them sometimes to give it up and just let me play my games, but I know that I'm happy playing these games, so what they think doesn't really matter.

    I work hard when I'm at work and do my best to do a good job every day. Imo, when I get home, it's relaxation time so that I can be fresh, ready, and healthy to do another good work day the next day/week.

    Do you what you want to do and what makes you happy. You don't need to be unhappy just to please others. It's your life and you can spend your time the way you want.
     
  7. Diesel66

    Diesel66 My standards for women is like rent-a-centers stan OT Supporter

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    Looks like you missed out on the testosterone boost.
     
  8. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

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    sounds like you have low testosterone
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I could be a whiny little bitch with low testosterone, or maybe I'm chemically-depressed right now because I'm living alone for the next two weeks and I really, really hate living alone. (the last time I lived alone for an extended period, I drank almost every night and slept on the sofa with the TV on.)

    What it boils down to is I would like, for once in my goddamned life, for what I do to be good enough the way it is to someone other than myself. Yes, I am satisfied with biking a mid-skill trail, or making hamburgers with pre-ground beef, or never playing against people I know and like in videogames, but it would be nice to not have to do these things alone as a result. Either I'm extremely skilled at surrounding myself with people who abandon me when what I want to do isn't exactly what they want to do, or everyone in the world is totally self-absorbed and I never was going to find anyone willing to humor me from time to time anyway.
     
  10. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    Welcome to Earth. Nice you could stop by.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    There is a difference between being self-centered, which healthy people are, and self-absorbed, which healthy people aren't. I know it's possible for people to humor each other, because I do it on a regular basis. Damned if I can get anyone to humor me though.

    I have you say you all are being unusually unhelpful. Do I smell bad or something?
     
  12. Erebos

    Erebos OT Supporter

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    What do you want? For people to tell you that it's fine to be happy with yourself the way you are? Because it is. Most people, however, want to improve themselves and naturally assume that others do too. You don't, and that's fine, but you've got to realize that they're not attacking you every time they give some offhand comment suggesting that you "step up your game"
     
  13. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Its difficult when life is not what you want it to be, the only real solution is to change your enviroment and meet up with people who are on the same frequency as you are, if those kind of people don't exist, it can be very lonely. :hsd:
     
  14. Riconosuave

    Riconosuave New Member

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    You are kind of contradicting yourself. On the one hand, you don't seem like you want to be around your friends most of the time because they criticize and want to compete, which sounds like you want to be alone. Then on the other hand, you hate living alone. What gives. You can't have it both ways. You sound like you want to be with someone exactly like yourself.
     
  15. tibbar

    tibbar aww fennec foxah aww

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    Just need mellower friends that's all.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    More like myself, perhaps. Not exactly like myself. But yes, while I get very tired of having my interests shat upon by people I think are interesting to be around, I don't like being alone either. Does anyone?

    One very good thing I can say about my parents is that they are capable of humoring people's interest in damn near anything; it doesn't have to be something they like, they just ask questions about it until they find a reason to give a shit about it. I learned to do that too. It seems no one else I know can do that. It seems to be something to do with having been in the military, because the people I most easily interface with are either in the military or raised by people in the military. You'd think there'd be more of them around the DC area, but I guess with all the wars going on and the huge bases in the area, they're all either overseas or on-base where I can't go without an escort.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I don't know if "mellower" is the right word, because honestly that connotes "pothead" in my mind, based on past experience. I'm not looking for people who don't care about anything, I'm looking for people who can temporarily care about things they otherwise wouldn't care about. I do it all the time. You think I really give a shit about my coworkers' rock-climbing and beer-brewing, for example? Not really, I wouldn't call them my "core interests" at any rate, but I can hold up my end of a conversation and maybe join in a little bit for the sake of broadening my horizons. But then when I don't go all-in and I want to do things I do care about without outside influence, then it's some kind of insult to them I think.
     
  18. johan

    johan Active Member

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    I've read a lot of your posts, and they all skirt around the central core issue, close to it, but never quite addressing it directly.

    You want friends. True friends who actually care about you as a person.

    All you have now are vague activity-buddies. That's why they "seemingly" abandon you when you don't line up with their choice of activity.

    Because they don't truly like you. If you're not doing their choice of activity, there's no reason (in their minds) to hang around you.

    They don't truly like you as a person.

    You've also mentioned the loneliness, the alienation, the "friendly competition" which is very tiresome I agree...these are all symptomatic of not having true friends.





    And I will be direct, since the soft approach doesn't seem to work with you.

    You seem like an unlikeable person who's way up in your head. You claim to be likeable, popular, and readily list off traits of why people "should" like you.

    But I can only imagine chillin with you would be an excruciating experience, and you current lack of friends would seem to support that.




    Now, please realise I'm not "calling you out" -- please... I could care less about stupid e-games like calling people out.

    You further write about how exceptionally intelligent you are, how skilled you are -- in short how vastly superior you are. Yes, you do seem to be intelligent, but this typically is an attitude that smart people have when they harbour some deep feelings of inferiority.

    And it only serves to distance you from other people.





    There's no magical distant land where the people are friendly, accomodating, wise, mutually supportive, egoless and kind. Nothing to do with you being in DC.

    They are all around you. EVERYWHERE.

    You have to become someone that people want to be friends with, and accomodate.

    To share in your wisdom instead of being made to feel stupid while you parade your smug, high and mighty intellect. People who want to support you instead of feeling like you suck the life out of them.

    I sincerely hope you can hear this message.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You know, I've found some really good friends along the way and I'm truly grateful for them. They don't engage in friendly competition - in fact when we play video games together, we play co-op only. We've all found that it's much more enjoyable.

    I also made a point to quit hanging around people that made me feel bad about something I thought was fun. I just decided life is too short. If this dickhead can't accept that I want to sit at the house and chill instead of heading to a bar, fuck him....I'll find some friends that just want to chill.....this is just one example of a person that I quite consciously cut out of my life.

    There was a period of adjustment where things didn't feel quite right. Over time I'm glad I cut him out of my life and I honestly don't have any desire to hang out with him at all....ever. In fact, we saw each other a lunch and he said, "Dude....call me and let's go hit up some bars sometime." I just smiled and said, "OK" but inside I was thinking, "No fucking way man."

    For me this all seemed to be part of the maturation process. I used to put value in having a LOT of friends but not anymore. I'd rather have one true friend that accepts me as I am than 100 that are simply wanting me to somehow validate their choices by agreeing with their choices.

    Age has something to do with this but I still see some of those old friends acting like we did back in college with the same levels of competition and what not. I just practice "Live and Let Live". I don't have to change them and I don't have to let them change me. That's a pretty good place to be and it's funny how I met friends that reinforced this when I stopped hanging out with assholes.

    I would suggest you not beat yourself up and find some flaw in you that needs to be corrected as much as I would suggest you just realize that you're changing and what you value is changing also. So while you may have been able to put up with certain things in the past, you're less willing to put up with those same things. IMO, that's all part of normal life processes.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Agree

    Totally disagree. I think you're simply reflecting your desire to not hang around him or someone like him based on his posts here....that's all. Others will not see things the same as you. For example, I don't think I would find him to be excruciatingly painful to be around as I find I have much more in common with this thread than perhaps you do.

    I agree somewhat. Yes intelligent people very often alienate others because they come across as arrogant, better than, etc. However, it's also likely that Deus is simply being honest and his friends really are stupid. :)
    Agree and disagree....come on man....you're acting like he HAS to change in order to have friends. I totally disagree with that idea. IMO he simply needs to find different friends, ones that he has more in common with.

    Now I do agree that there is no magical land where these friends are found....but there are other places.....other, non-magical places.

    I found that I always was hanging around assholes because I was looking for friends in bars. When I stopped going to bars and started looking for friends in real life, holy shit....I found them.

    However this had more to do with accepting myself and my desires and then moving to places that supported me more. Such as, I quit hanging in bars and started volunteering my time. I started helping other friends with their movies, I rekindled older friendships with friends from my past (friends that I remember being much more accepting), I started hanging out at coffee shops and bookstores more and going to festivals and things like that. Basically started doing things that I wanted to do instead of what others wanted to do. Along the way I found new friends that liked to do the same things.
    Wow...quite a harsh indictment. I seriously doubt his current group of friends feel like he's sucking the life out of them. They're far too focused on themselves to give a shit.
     
  21. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    In your brain your strong 'rationality' is defending your "weak" 'emotions , this is what is causing your alienation from other people as opposed to being emotionally involved with friends. And indeed as you said this all relates to your emotional imbalance from your bad experiences with your mother as you were a child.
     
  22. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I have a couple of friends from college who are the type I'm looking for, but one lives in California and the other lives in NJ and is married anyway so she's busy with work and taking care of her hubby. I was quite satisfied hanging out with them back in the day, but I haven't met anyone similar since.

    Both of those friends, while they are also no longer in college and so they no longer run in the same social circles as we all used to, do still live in the same general area they grew up in -- I don't. So, they conform to one of the standard personality types from the areas they grew up in, in any number of subconscious ways, and I don't. That means they can and do fit in with one crowd or another in those places, without even really trying to, and I can't. I lack social context with pretty much everyone, on account of moving around a lot as a little kid and then landing in a town I absolutely despised while I was there and still do to this day -- the one community I know my way around really well I want nothing to do with, and the rest I can interface with fairly easily on the surface but not much beyond that. The one thing that virtually every male shares with every other male is the competitive instinct, and while I should be able to play that to my advantage anywhere I go, I simply have no interest for reasons I mentioned before.

    That would seem to suggest that I need to get a job at one of those huge software companies and meet people there, since it's pretty much guaranteed there would be people with similar interests who are also (I hate to say it this way) in similar stations in life, but I can't shake the feeling that I'd be working my ass off so hard I'd hate waking up in the morning. Not that I don't do that now sometimes, but it's not every day I'm in the office for 12 hours straight -- it's fairly rare, actually.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  23. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Not really; the people I would really call "my friends" are at least as intelligent as I am, though I'll throw back a few beers with the guy up the street who works at the fire department too. (in some ways I like his company better, because we talk about cars and he doesn't judge me.) He's not stupid, but he's not as sharp a tack as I am, either. I don't have to be operating at the peak of my intellect constantly -- that's just what comes out in this forum because I'm trying my damnedest to figure things out in here.

    Accommodate? I do that. I said repeatedly in earlier posts that I know how to humor people's interests, at least off-and-on. What do you want from me besides that?

    Ask pretty much anyone who knows me and they'll tell you (as they told me) they figured out I'm a really smart guy within a couple minutes of talking to me. (that's probably a side effect of my father passing on his kung-fu grip on the English language -- I know lots of words, and I use them without even thinking about it.) So conversations seem to inevitably go in the direction of some problem they have and what they think they should do about it, with the implication that they'd like to know what I think. (why else would they start listing off details?) If I think their approach is lacking, should I say "nah, I think you're doing the right thing" just to avoid possibly putting them off with my intelligence? That wouldn't be any help to them.

    Anyway, the people in question that I originally posted about are more than smart enough to figure out their own solutions to their problems, and so they're some of the few people who don't ask me about them -- instead they are simply too competitive for my taste, sometimes about the most inane of things too. (that example about grinding their own hamburger meat -- that was a real example.) Sometimes I want to just slack off and not be all I can be, ya know? It's still beef, it's still dead, it's still cooked. It will taste the same if you don't try to savor it too much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  24. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    I actually agree entirely with Johan. No disrespect intended though. I'd love to see you feeling better but perhaps it's just me and Johan, but it's really hard to be around someone who talks the way you type. It's not the mastery of the language, -- that's not intimidating, but rather the constant neediness. When I read what you're dealing with, I often get the feeling I'm being talked at, even when I read replies you've written. It's as though you seem to "need" someone to repeatedly affirm your identity and value, else you sink deep. The problem from my perspective isn't that needing affirmation or support is bad, but rather it's not sustained when in a chronic state. You appear to have a chronic version.

    If people in person feel like they're being talked at, I suspect this would keep people away too. This could explain why people so easily abandon you before ever getting close enough to share their own "life" rather than just a superficial relationship. Not to mention, if you shy away from any competitive activity -- even small ones (I don't know if you do or not), that would - 9 times out of 10 - be a symptom of feeling inferiority and an inability to explore whether or not the things you tell yourself and others about "you" are real and can be executed rather than just talked about.

    Handling your difficulities and issues from the past are the same. Talking "at" the issues with others never allows you to actually do the things needed to move past talking about them.

    Just my very limited, humble, honest take.

    You're obviously a nice guy, and that's great and hopefully these honest replies will hold some useful information. It's unfortunate people earlier in the thread were being unusually unhelpful. I noticed that too but I hadn't read the thread until now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  25. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    ding ding ding WINRAR

    Everyone in the world is self-absorbed by default and acquaintances will abandon you once you are no longer entertaining

    It is REALLY difficult to find a good friend
     

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