Have you ever noticed that, no matter what you're doing, someone's comparing it to themselves, something you did once, or what they think you'll do? Like, when you tell your friend something bad that happened. "Oh, that's bad, but *I*..." and then they change the subject to them. Why is everything--especially sadness, ordeals, things you've gone through--a competition? How is that good for anyone? What do we stand to gain?
I saw the thread title and immediately thought of "Survival" by Muse, one of my favourite bands.
Here's the link to their song if you want to listen to it:
h ttp://w ww.youtube.c om/watch?v=66molzUEkWI
(remember to remove added spaces)
Anyways, to the topic:
I find the same thing happens to me. I don't really think the person is intentionally being competetive, they're just trying to understand the situation and end up comparing it to their own experiences.
I'm sure I do the same thing to my friends. But really, it's the best way to get to know someone. If you share things that are happening in your life, then you come to a better understanding of each other.
However, when people are obviously always trying to be on top and have to always change the topic back to themself then they're obviously kind of self-centered and have a lot to learn about themselves and other people.
Human beings are competetive by nature. For some, comparing themselves to others is the only way they know to feel good about themselves.
We just have to be patient and focus more on their intent (helpful vs. self-obsessed) and less on their actions.
I know this isn't technically a 'religious view', but honestly, I learned the answer to this question from a Jenna Marbles video. Go to youtube and look up the video 'Why Girls Hate Each Other'. I admit there is a bit of language, but the overall message of the video is more enlightening than one would expect.
The only way to connect with others is to compare them to ourselves. Humans aren't inherently selfish, but we are unable to go outside of ourselves. Sharing bodies or switching minds may make for good science fiction stories, but it can't be done in real life. Everything we see, hear, and experience must be filtered through our own minds and memories. Thus, the best way for something to sink in is to find some way to link it to ourselves. You can't understand how your friend felt when his parents divorced unless you can compare that to your own experiences- even if you've never been through a divorce, you mentally try to compare it with how you felt when you parents were fighting with each other or when you had to be separated from one of them. Then you can understand, at least a little bit, how he feels.
Relationships can be strengthened by comparisons- if you meet a new person from a town you're familiar with, the first question you ask is usually something along the lines of "Do you know So-and-So?" or "Have you ever been to (Whereever)?" You're looking for a shared experience. That's why telling stories is so central to a culture- we want to see what happened to others and how they relate to us. Comparisons are how we connect.
I agree, though, that constantly trying to one-up someone else is insensitive. Maybe they just want sympathy for their own problems- or maybe they're trying to commisterate but aren't doing it very well. Comparisons aren't the problem; poor social skills are.
It's instinct, one of the primal desires of humans is to fight and compete.
Think about Valhalla, the Norse version of Heaven, it's a place where you can fight all day and then are resurrected every night. Some people's versin of heaven is fighting without dying, that shows how intense our thirst for competition is.
Of course sometimes it goes the other way, somtimes instead of seeking to win and be victorious, people can instead desire to be submissive and controlled.
Life is a cometition for the following reasons:
1. Money exists
2. Government brainwashes people into being competitive (so their economic system will work)
3. humans are noobs at life
the capitalist system
Life is a competition because... well, life IS a competition. LIfe is a competition not only for money or food or mates; but for happiness and fulfillement. It's a competition with everyone, including yourself, to make yourself at peace with yourself, whether that involves more money, friends, attacking others, or really whatever. The problem is, people can never really get "enough" so they compare themselves to everyone else they are "competing" against to make themselves feel better. Hate to get preachy here, but I've found that for myself to really be at peace with myself and (largely) not feel the need to compete with everyone else, Jesus Christ is the only way to accomplish it, but even now I'm competing with myself to make myself a better person.
okay, I guess what I'm really asking is what is going too far?
When you destroy relationships instead of building them.
It is human nature to want to come out on top no matter if it is an intentional battle or not. It’s the reason we have survived, and evolved like we did/do. You ever notice how there is almost always a war going on somewhere? That’s because we want the best, the most, to be the greatest. We are a very selfish species really. It’s just in human nature, like survival instincts, to be the ultimate in everything, to be the most, the biggest, the best.