Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Some People are Really Competitive

It's funny. For some reason I am not a competitive person. Although I get into games and love to play - the prospect of losing barely motivates me to intensify my gameplay. Moreover, the actuality of losing hardly impacts me at all - save the occasion when a poor winner wins and I want to grind their nose for their poor sportsmanship.

For that reason, I don't really like team sports - or even video games based on team sports. For the most part, I can sense the disappointment in my fellow teammates in a pending loss and feel a little Judas-like in how I don't really care.

At first I thought this had to do with me not caring what other people thought; I am nearly immune from the influences of other's opinion of me. But I also don't get emotionally involved with "solitaire" games where others are not part of the equation. In the end, I'm just not competitive.

Here's where it gets fun.

Some people are really competitive. When two competitive people compete, the results can vary as to who is satisfied with the outcome. That's what we see every day. But when someone like me competes against someone who is competitive - especially when I win - the results are quite reliable.

When I win in a situation like that, my opponent is endlessly frustrated. The reality is, when I lose and don't care some of the sugar is soured in his victory as well. For that reason I love to compete - just to see how people react when the conclusion is read. It's a personality test that lets me understand someone quite well and quite quickly.

Few remain well composed.

I realize this is not a moral matter - people are wired to be competitive and it's not their pride or their ambition or whatever, they just feel a sense of urgency based on the outcome of something. I find intense value in the quality of my participation but am simply disconnected from the result (unless it is driven from sub-performance).

This is an interesting twist - I do hate to lose when I feel my performance was not what it should (or could) have been; the converse being that I don't have any opinion of losing (or winning) if my performance was at the level I felt I should have (or at least could have) acted; though I do feel some pleasure when I win - it does not compel me.

So, what's the point? I'm not sure. Just doing some reflection.

Are you competitive?

Do you think you can control it?

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