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How Can I Cope With My Competitive Friend?

Dear Sugar
One of my oldest and dearest friends always competes with me. We were pregnant at the same time and for nine months, I always felt like she was trying to one up me. After every doctor's appointment, she would always ask me how much weight I had gained. I ended up gaining much less than her but when she tells the story, she says we were pound for pound the whole time.

After we both gave birth, my friend would say how she was "swimming" in her clothes and how much weight she had lost, rubbing in the size of her jeans. We happen to wear the same size but have very different looks, no better or worse, just different. If that wasn't enough, she then joined the same gym as me, started taking the same exercise classes, she took up tennis like me, etc...

I am so fed up with her need to compete with me. We are friends and I don't understand why she just can't be herself. I am beyond irritated with her but I don't know how to talk to her about this. Am I overreacting? Annoyed Annie

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Dear Annoyed Annie
I can understand your frustration with your competitive comrade. As irritating as her actions may be, you could look at her need to want to be like you as a form of flattery. Her desire to compete with you is shielding her insecurities of her post-baby body. Have you tried talking to your friend about her rivalry with you? Has she always been insecure?

This conversation could be quite awkward so the next time she asks you questions about your weight or jean size, try saying something like this:

"A size is just a number to me. I have clothes that are all different sizes and I just stick with what flatters my body, no matter what size it is."

Hopefully she will get the hint that you don't feel comfortable sharing your personal information with her anymore. If she challenges your change of heart, try explaining that you are sick of her competing ways and wish you could just be friends that supported each other, no matter what the label says.

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