• Keeping Friends

May the Best Woman Win? How Competition Can Hurt Friendships

Published: March 15, 2012 | Last Updated: May 14, 2020 By | Reply Continue Reading

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

By Hannah Orenstein


A few weeks ago, ultimate overachiever Spencer on Pretty Little Liars said, "I have this weird little quirk where I have to be competitive at everything. I even have to win at yoga." Her track record backs her up – she’s competed with her older sister Melissa in everything from grades (she copied a history paper word for word) to guys (she stole her sister’s fiancé!). The pressure to be the best at everything can be intense, but it can also take a toll on friendships…


Psychologist Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Break-Up With Your Best Friend and creator of The Friendship Blog, explains, "It’s natural for people to compare themselves with others. That helps us define who we are in terms of style, ambitions, and personality. However, some people are more competitive than others if they feel deficient or lack self-esteem. In truth, they may measure up along most or a host of dimensions, but they simply don’t feel that way."While Spencer might have the excuse of being tormented by a dangerous, anonymous stalker, we can’t all say the same. So, what gives? How does competition ruin friendships and how can you cope?


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