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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

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

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.

Join The Conversation
janey janey 10 years
She definitely sounds jealous. It is hard to have a friend that will always one up you. In my experience, it can only get worse. You definitely have to talk to her about how you feel. If you don't you will unnecessarily put up with it until you reach a breaking point and then you will blow up. She needs to be told upfront. You have to ask yourself if this friendship is draining to you or growing in the right direction. I had the same situation happen to me. I had to end it because she drove me crazy and I was wasting angry energy on it. If there are more pros than cons then work it out.
Bunbunhun Bunbunhun 10 years
Hmmm, I don't know about anyone else, but this "friend" sounds kind of creepy. I mean, immitation is all well and good, but this sounds like it's ramping up into stalker "I want to BE you" territory. I'd take a step or three back from this friend, and reevaluate, even if it's just to get things in perspective. And what happens when your kids go to school, and it becomes "Look how much smarter my Johnny is!"?
metoo1 metoo1 10 years
I have a friend like this. I have found that if i just say tell her that I would rather not say my weight or my size in my clothes to be a pretty good solution. At first she was upset and angry that I would not tell her my info, but I just stuck to my position that weight was not an important part of our friendship and that whatever weight each of us was, was fine for that person. In the end, she got used to it and has really stopped asking about that kind of thing.
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
It doesn't sound like what you think.
vbpce vbpce 10 years
I'd say flattery only goes so far. I copying friend becomes a nuisance, and you've put up with it for 9 months! Tell her you feel like she's competing with you. Tell her you love her and that the competition isn't fun for you because neither of you will ever be a winner, which makes the competition pointless. You two should focus on ways of supporting each other through your new motherhood, not competing with each other.
Kratsina Kratsina 10 years
Hmm, maybe I'm the only one who read that and thought it sounded like your friend just didn't want to go through all that alone so she kept dragging you into it with her... has her husband- boyfriend, baby daddy - checked out during this pregnancy for her? Family less than supportive? She could feel your the only one she can discuss these things with..
LaylaCams LaylaCams 10 years
Omg, this reminds me of my sister and her best friend.(They have been best friends for ATLEAST 15 years and they have always been competitive.) They are so competitive it's not even funny. My sister's best friend got pregnant and a couple months later my sister gets pregnant. My sister will tell me that she's putting her daughter in gymnastics and that her best friend is copying HER, then the bf will tell me it was her idea. It's even as ridiculous as them saying that they were the first ones to choose to have their tubes tied. Silly, I know. I still to this day do not understand why they do it, but in some ways I think it's they argue over material things for what they lack in other places. Maybe your friend IS actually jealous. It sucks when your best friend is jealous of you, but it happens. I know it's irritating and just take Dear's advice and beat around the bush about it. It's really not a big deal and I hope it doesn't ruin your friendship!
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