We’ve all had people who compete at us in life but success is a shared event; there’s more than enough to go around. Unfortunately, not all people have realized this and thus try to “take” success from others by competing at them.
When two people who are yet to understand this get together they usually engage in completive behavior. Be it over romance, friendships or status it is ridiculous and draining. But we do not have to participate. We can simply allow the other person to be, and go on living our lives.
In my experience, I keep in mind that the other person is working through their own issues of insecurities or self-hatred and project who they want to be onto me or someone else and then feel like they have to pull me down to their level or somehow become better than me.
What’s going on in the minds of other people is unimportant save for our ability to have compassion patience and clear boundaries with them. We have to understand that others are in pain so that we don’t lash out and engage in this dramatic interaction. We have to retain our ability to love or dismiss people in a way that creates peace with us and we have to tell them to stop when we need to protect ourselves.
The beautiful thing about responding to those who compete at us is that, in my experience, after a long time, they inevitably want to befriend me. They often emerge into self-awareness, apologize and sometimes have deeply changed into loving warm human beings. I often (not always) invite them back into my life. Some of the deepest relationship have been created this way.