jackie2's Blog

Dr. Jackie's Mental Health Moment


Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
August 01
Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade
Only child of holocaust survivors from Eastern and Central Europe, grew up in Phila., Central PA, and NYC (2nd home). Psychologist since 1970 working with children and adults in wide variety of selttings, including schools, hospital, courts, private office, and prisons.

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MAY 15, 2012 10:26PM

Competition-Dr. Jackie's Mental Health Moment

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Competition is such a natural part of life. In elementary school, we wonder who the little boys or girls like the most.Pecking order on the playground is a rite of passage. We see who is picked for the sports teams, the accelerated class, the choir, the school play. In high school, we wonder who has had the most sexual experience, the highest grades and best part-time jobs, and is most popular. As adults, we ask ourselves who has more wealth, more job prospects, a better marriage or relationship,lower cholesterol more friends, etc.. It's only human to compare and contrast ourselves with others, and that's the basis of competition.

There's healthy competition, like when we play a game and try to win, all in fun, in good spirits, and with respect for our opponents. Then, there's bitter, vicious competition with envy, jealousy, and hostility. Too often, scholstic, athletic and work competition takes on those awful tones. Sexual competition might be the most painful, as when lovers bicker and try to outshine one another, at worst developing the sadistic attack of infidelity or abuse. The purpose of the competition then is to prove oneself better than or in control of others.

While competition in itself isn't inherently dangerous, especially if all the participants come out intact, with self-respect and integrity, the vicious  kind can be avoided if individuals and groups could accept that they are differently-skilled, better in some ways and not others and we're all, ultimately, on the same team.

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