Published: 22nd February 2021
Fight the good fight! Here’s why we must never engage in a rivalry
The Coach illustrates the difference between healthy competition and rivalry. Here’s why we must never engage in the latter
If you read my column last week, I had emphasised what was commented on social media or rather tweeted. But this week, I have decided to base my column on the news about that SITE on which all the action (and reactions) took place. Yup! I’m talking about Twitter. The microblogging site has been in the news lately for having a face-off with the Central Government and refusing to suspend more than 1000 accounts which were creating an unnecessary commotion. This has led many celebrities and public figures including politicians to promote a DESI version of the same called KOO. But I’m not here to talk about technical mumbo jumbo, but rather about how we can understand the concept of rivalry in our lives using the above context.
Yes! It’s a highly competitive world out there. Today’s work revolves around performance, targets, and closures. Competition is what pushes us to perform better and we should ensure that it ALWAYS STAYS HEALTHY! But in many cases, I’ve observed over the years, competition unknowingly turns to rivalry, and when it does... Things get real UGLY, real FAST!
Competition VS Rivalry
Competition is pretty simple and can happen between anyone. One will win, one will lose and there are usually no sore losers. In a competition scenario, one usually focuses on the end game or the prize and not on who the opponent is. Rivalry, though similar in nature, isn’t synonymous with it. It’s the deepest level of competing, but with a VENGEANCE! Rivalry usually develops with regular competitors who have been trying to beat one another and have taken it too personally. Taking an earlier loss too personally might also lead to rivalry and defeating the opponent becomes the only agenda. Rivalry usually is between people or organisations who have a HISTORY or are well known to each other because of their regular competition. Hence, it’s more of a ‘between who’ that matters and not what the goal is.
Simply put, if you’re worried about winning only to just show others WHO’S BOSS, then it’s a rivalry. Competition is when you’re trying to achieve a goal or an end result that makes a difference or creates a significant event.
Why it’s bad to develop a rivalry
I’d like to cover two aspects here: How it affects us INTRA-personally and how it affects us INTER-personally.
INTRA: Rivalry has two main disadvantages that affect us deeply without us being aware of it. One, it makes us very vengeful and makes our animosity go higher and two, it makes us become sitting ducks for people to instigate and manipulate us since we would have made it pretty evident about how ADDICTED we are to this rivalry. This, in turn, pushes many to take up unethical and illegal routes to win over their rivals simply because this constant pattern of behaviour would have led to the development of a kind of TUNNEL VISION. We’ll be blinded like with blinders on a horse and forget that there is so much around us.
INTER: Nobody likes a sore loser! If people around you find you to be vengeful or too competitive, not only will they distance themselves from you but will hardly TAKE YOUR SIDE when it REALLY MATTERS! Being a sport, accepting defeat gracefully and planning for the next competition by working on your weakness is what motivates people and will make them respect you. Not just respect, people will follow you.
I have three simple mantras which you’re more than welcome to follow. One, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE others and OVERESTIMATE yourself. Two, learn to take defeat with a pinch of salt. Remember you gave it your best and it was the outcome that WASN’T favourable to you and not the PERSON ITSELF. Last but not the least, LEARN from your losses. Healthy competition is what makes the world a better place... Let’s compete to make each other better rather than let rivalry take charge and destroy each other!