For me, whenever I get competitive, it stemmed from insecurity or nervousness. I used that sort of “you’re going down!” attitude as a facade because I did not want others to realize how fearful or intimidated I was of them. But the big question here is, why am I so keen to compare myself to anybody else? Why could I never be happy with being just me? Looking at who I am now, I am perfectly happy with a lot of my qualities. I am upbeat, likable, silly, hardworking, and caring. I feel like I have hardly changed from when I was a kid, on the inside, anyways. I just tried my best to stay true to who I am and the values I stood by. But when I was faced with so many external factors, I found myself lost, strayed from the person I knew I was.
For me, being raised by Asian immigrant parents, that was probably the first part. Your “family friends” are just complete assholes who brag about their children’s accomplishments, and when you do not have anything accomplished because you are five years younger than them and can hardly speak English, then things get ugly. I still remember one of them saying that I was “unfixable and undisciplined” because I was acting like how almost any three year old would, in other words, rowdy and rambunctious. And because of that, my parents cracked the whip on me. Possibly literally. My earlier childhood is still a blur, but given my dad’s military background, getting hit was highly probable. Asian parents want to make each other feel like their children are inferior. And the trickle-down effect is that the children feel insecure.
When children feel insecure, they become competitive. I can say this form firsthand experience in high school. I had to deal with so many people who were in-your-face about their accomplishments. They wanted to intimidate you, because they felt insecure about themselves. Nobody can predict the future. No matter how much you have going for you, how self-assured you are, there will always be that seed of doubt lingering in the back of your conscience. The what-if’s and worst-case scenario’s. Unfortunately, these doubts are not ones you can really shake off. You can minimize them, but they always need to exist in some proportion, because they represent you being realistic and practical. If you never think about the worst-case scenario to a situation, you will find yourself in a very bad place mentally and emotionally should all hell break loose and it actually occurs. That being said, insecurity makes people come off as intense and competitive. A lot of it has to do with them being unable to lessen their doubts.
Whether your insecurity stems from the people you surround yourself with or the doubts you are unable to contain, the way you channel it should never be in such a way that others around you get harmed. Being competitive or intimidating to overcompensate for these doubts, it’s unhealthy and destructive. I speak from personal experience as both the harmfully competitive one and the one who was targeted by others. The question is, why did I need to get insecure? Why could I not love myself? A huge amount of it had to do with others doubting me, and it made me doubt myself. I let my environment get to me. But, in almost every case, you should never let other people tell you how to live your life. Nor should you ever let your life revolve around another person. I let that happen, and it caused my entire existence to become one of paranoia and anxiety. Always put yourself first. Love yourself for being who you are, and never get that validation from somebody else.