Competition Amongst Women: Is it Really A Bad Thing?

Growing up as a competitive person, I’ve seen the full range of responses that come after people finally see me exhibit this trait -- typically, after months of only seeing me as reserved or even a soft spoken individual. Some people like going head to head, but usually someone will suggest that we do something that “doesn’t involve winning or losing”. It’s no secret that the competitive nature that I share with so many others has been discouraged because of the negative connotation that comes with it, but what would happen if we were to change the narrative when it comes to competition, especially amongst other women?

I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I’m willing to push myself to my fullest capabilities in order to win. Whether it’s one of my favorite sports like bowling or kickball, or simply a strategy related activity, I find that I tend to shed my typical personality for a strong willed and outspoken persona. While some may think competitiveness is arrogant or even obnoxious, I consider it to be an opportunity to think on my feet, quickly analyze my weaknesses and make the appropriate changes to achieve the goal of the activity.

More often than not, when it comes to conversations mixing competition and women, I hear people refer to it as being catty, petty or even destructive. At times, I’ll hear the questions, “Why do women always have to compete with one another” or “Why can’t women uplift one another?” In taking some time to think about this topic more deeply, my answer is “Why can’t women do both?”

While we may see competition amongst women as a bad thing, we can also look at it as an opportunity to keep setting the bar higher for one another, push each other to work harder and never settle for less. Instead of perceiving someone in your life who seemingly tries to one-up you, as your enemy, make her your partner in crime for being able to constantly motivate you and always keep you on your toes. Instead of dropping a friend for always trying to make something a competition, why not keep her around and let her help you reach your goals? Let’s change the narrative around competition amongst women.