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Dealing with Highly Competitive Women

Updated on November 18, 2015

Learning to Spot a Competitive Person

Not everyone necessarily has our best interests at heart. Unfortunately, we usually discover this after the fact, as the relationship is imploding.

We realize this individual we trusted, with whom we shared our confidences, is not the person we thought she was. This comes as a shock, as we assume that no one plays childish games anymore once they reach a certain age.

Unfortunately, highly competitive girls often develop into highly competitive women. This means they'll stop at literally nothing to gain what they desire. If it's something you have, it becomes all the more attractive to them. Their envy can encompass even intangible assets, such as good looks, a network of friends and an outgoing personality. Believe it or not, someone with this type of character flaw may even hate you because you have integrity, and they don't.

However, because extreme covetousness is such an ugly trait, competitive folks are very good at disguising their true nature. They appear helpful and genuine. They appear kind, caring and trustworthy.

However, if you've "befriended" a highly competitive person, chances are that your relationship is not on solid ground and is probably even on a collision course. With any luck, you discover this before you make the fatal mistake of trusting a fake friend with your secrets. Letting a competitive personality into your life is much like buckling yourself into a seat on an emotional roller coaster. Hold on tight, because it's going to be a very bumpy ride.

Learning to spot a fake female friend
Learning to spot a fake female friend | Source

Spotting a Frenemy

There's a relatively new term known as "frenemy," which, since 2009, has been included in the Merriam Webster dictionary. The meaning of this word is just what you'd assume it is, and its dictionary definition is, "one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy."

There are women who act like they're your friend. They may call you. They may invite you to go places with them. They may email you. On the one hand, they may like you. But, deep down, they hate you. They seem happy when things in your life go bad. They get upset when something good happens, and all is well.

Someone who really doesn't like you is someone you don't need to spend time with, for a number of reasons. One of the most important is that not having a frenemy around gives you a lot more time and energy to focus on happier things and kinder people.

Some girls never outgrow their childish games.
Some girls never outgrow their childish games. | Source

Look for Thinly Disguised Barbs

A "friend" who throws subtle insults your way is someone who can barely conceal her contempt for you. (This is her issue, not yours.) These sneak attacks are designed to erode your confidence. They also allow her to vent her anger by taking small potshots at you.

These digs can be extremely covert, and you may even wonder if you're being "too sensitive." If you question her, she will probably accuse you of that very thing. But you have a right to your feelings. If something hurts you, then you should be able to talk about it, without having a verbal hand grenade launched in your direction.

Be very mindful of any apparent insults delivered after something good has happened in your life, such as a promotion at work or the start of a new and exciting romantic relationship. A true friend is happy when you're happy.

I realize I'm speaking as if I'm a psychologist, or a trained mental health professional, which I'm not. However, I've had the unfortunate experience of meeting a covert frenemy some years back, and, by necessity, I've had to learn about malignant narcissism and other personality disorders, which is what drives the most dangerous and destructive types of frenemies. So, now ,I know better what to look out for, and what type of behavior I'm willing to put up with.

The Green-Eyed Monster

Have you ever dealt with a highly competitive female friend?

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Spending Time With a Frenemy

One of the best way to gauge the health of a particular female friendship is taking a look at how you feel after you spend time in her company. Do you feel happy, peaceful and supported? If so, that's a good sign.

However, if you have a nagging, unsettling feeling, and this happens every time you see this person, you may want to evaluate the relationship. Was there something she said that set you on edge? Is it difficult to get an honest answer from this person, or does she evade your questions? Do you feel that something isn't quite right, yet you can't quite put your finger on it? Do you dread the thought of being in her company? Do you feel more peaceful when you don't see her?

Being with our friends should be a joyful, uplifting experience. Anything less, if it becomes a pattern, may mean the relationship isn't what it should be.

Frenemies can be hard to read.
Frenemies can be hard to read. | Source

Go With Your Gut

If you think that something is wrong, there's a very good chance that this is the case. Don't discount that inner voice that tells you to tread lightly and play your emotional cards close to your chest.

Think about whether this particular person brings out your best qualities. Do you feel calm, loving, peaceful and encouraged after you've seen her. Or are you angry, but don't quite know why?

If spending time with this friend unsettles you, and you've taken inventory of your own behavior, and it's in check, then you could be dealing with a frenemy.

Frenemies Send Mixed Signals

Detecting that someone isn't true blue is often difficult. That's because it's confusing being in the company of a frenemy. In addition to the drama they create in your life, they send mixed signals. For instance, your birthday comes around and your fake friend appears at your house with a bouquet of flowers. She wants to take you out for dinner.

However, the next time you see her she's standoffish and a little aloof. It almost seems as if she's angry with you. You wonder if you did something wrong. Nope, it's because deep down she really doesn't like you, and is probably envious of you, but, of course, she won't tell you this.

If this hot/cold behavior happens just one or twice, chalk it up to your otherwise good friend having a bad day. However, if this is a pattern that repeats itself, you may have to decide how much time you want to invest in this particular "friend."

Dealing with Selfish and Manipulative People

Breaking Up with a Frenemy

If someone proves to you that they're not loyal, you don't need to feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with them. You can either be less available, and let the "friendship" fade away, or tell them directly why you're no longer comfortable seeing them anymore. However, you may also have to prepare yourself for excuses and denials, as well as nasty accusations thrown your way.

Highly competitive people, as I mentioned earlier, often suffer from borderline or narcissistic personality disorder. Individuals with these problems don't like to be held accountable. So they typically lash out if you confront them about their behavior. This is what many psychologists and mental health experts refer to as "narcissistic rage."

Don't Look Back

Although you may have spent a lot of time with this "friend," who turned out to be an enemy in disguise, ready to undermine you at every turn, you'll be infinitely happier in the long run if you make a nice clean break. You deserve much better.

Disclosure

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Frenemy? I love that term. I was once highly competitive...today, I choose to just enjoy life.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

    Very interesting article. Women can be their own worst frenemies. It is sad that so many women want to knife others in the back rather than being supportive. Great article on how to handle a frenemy.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi suzette, thanks so much!

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

    Great advice! I've seen some of those frenemy symptoms. I'd better not say more. Thanks for this helpful article.

  • B. Leekley profile image

    Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

    Yes, one should be wary of false friends whose spite, envy, covetousness, and other character flaws are revealed by subtle barbs and put-downs. I don't see why, though, you lump together all competitive women with women of that "frenemy" sort. Most highly competitive women and men (as well as most women and men in general) are not that type of person; are, to the contrary, fine people and good, true friends. Just because someone, man or woman, is highly competitive and advances in a sport or up a career ladder or wins elections doesn't mean that that person likely lacks integrity or would be a false friend.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is another useful hub. Frenemies definitely need to be avoided! Thanks for sharing the information and suggestions.

  • Rhonda Lytle profile image

    Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

    In my experience, a frenemy can be a truly dangerous individual, much more so than an easily identifiable foe. While I can't agree all highly competitive women fall into that group, there are many that's for sure. What's really bad is when they are family or co-workers. It makes avoiding more difficult. I have to think such types have always been among us but it seems we see them in ever escalating numbers these days. It would be interesting to examine why we are seeing such an alarming rise in instances of this and other dangerous personality types in modern society. Interesting article with some good advice.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi MsDora, that's funny. But you know what I'm talking about. B. Leekley, as long as someone has integrity, then they're fine. The people I'm writing about do not. Thanks for reading Alicia. Hi Rhonda, there certainly does seem to be more of these types than ever before. I'm seeing this disorderly behavior at church a lot. There is one in every group. But I know it exists everywhere else, and in the workplace, unfortunately. Thanks everyone for reading.

  • profile image

    Melissa Cryder 2 years ago

    What about an adult child who displays these signs towards you? For example, I am dating a man who has adult children who leave me feeling MESSED UP whenever I'm around them ... even if we have a good time (supposedly), I still leave the room trying to "rate" the time we had. On a scale from one to ten, eg.

    I'm thinking of leaving this 7-year, loving relationship with this man because he refuses to hear me, or support me; and I continue to feel crazier because of HIS behavior as well. ADVICE? Similar circumstances?? M

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

    False friends are even more dangerous than enemies because we trust them and don't know better until it's too late. Some of the backhanded compliments I've received are laughable in retrospect, but at the time they stung quite a bit. Some people never outgrow high school behavior. Voted up and more. Excellent topic.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi Melissa, romantic relationship advice is not where I focus, and I don't know the particulars of this situation. The dynamics here are much different than with a friend who is a frenemy. I don't know what to tell you. In this situation, you probably either have to accept the entire package, children and all, or move on. I'll say a prayer for you.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi Flourish, false friends are the worst, and some women can be just as ridiculous as children. Thanks so much for reading.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

    Go with your gut is right! False friends are always a bad way to go!

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi Audrey, they certainly are.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

    I've run across one or two of these "wolves in sheep's clothing" people. They don't even think about how their words and actions affect those they push down and tread upon. Great advice and help on this topic!

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi teaches, the wolves in sheep's clothing are the absolute worst, because they are often the ones you least expect. However, since my radar is on, I am especially careful around the mousy types.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    I learned of this new word, frenemy (well, new to me), from reading Flourish's hub about the same topic. You have provided great insight as to this type of dangerous person. To me, pretending to be one's friend when all the while wanting to do them in, so to speak, is most disturbing and reveals much about this person's true character. I like that you state to trust your gut instinct, as that always seems to be the case in my experience.

    I believe we all have had to deal with these women and it does seem, unfortunately, these type of women are ever-increasing. Maybe it has to do with power or control, it seems.

    Up useful and interesting, pinning and tweeting

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Yes, it does seem as if these women are ever increasing. It is horrifying. Thanks so much for reading.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Some women are just not afraid of their decisions made. You made helpful pointers here.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Thanks for reading.

  • kalinin1158 profile image

    Lana Zakinov 13 months ago from California

    How about dealing with highly competitive women who are not friends? Those fake sweethearts who meet you with smiles and hugs but at the same time give you that chilly feeling? Who always aim to outshine and outperform, and expect everyone to applaud their every achievement? Those are wonderful :)

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 13 months ago from USA

    All of them are so tough to deal with. I just with more people would support one another. Thanks so much for reading.

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