I’m noticing how a game rules our everyday life. A game that I have grown so used to, which I have learnt to play so skilfully, to survive.

It is a game that is very much entwined in my system – I sometimes struggle to identify it as such.

It is not a bad game or a wrong game. I sometimes just notice that it gives me results that do not serve me, which do not serve what I really wish for.

The game is called competition. In a competition, there is always a winner and a loser. You play against me, I play against you. You win, I lose. I win, you lose. The winner takes it all.

It is a game that drives people to excel themselves. It is also a game that causes wars and pain to humans, animals and the environment.

I learned early on that by winning competition, I could win love. I could finally win the attention that I so craved, mainly from my parents. Winning a competition started to define my self-worth. I learned to play it well and suffered when I lost. Studying law in Germany was a particularly skilful training in competition. The grading scale is such that by gaining half of the grading points available you get amongst the top 15%. So you are never really good enough, but at least you are better than most of the others if you are half way there. By winning, you can feel safe.

In my relationships with men I often noticed my partners becoming competitive with me, when really, I was competitive with them, too.

Nowadays, I notice that competition is often detrimental to intimacy. That doesn’t mean giving in to everything my partner says or does is the answer. It only means that I recognise when I am arguing for the sake of being right, of winning the argument, of being better. I can make a big shift when I change the game to one of open outcomes and of true interest in my partner.

I notice I still have the habit of comparing myself, checking internally whether I am better than others. Unconsciously at first, I am getting more aware of it. It blocks me from getting into contact with others, too. They might have some sort of respect for me when I win, but there also remains a distance, no real contact.

I’m curious to explore the other games available out there. Are you?

 

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