How competition can shape your personality negatively?

Woman with boxing gloves.

Bad effects of ruthless competition

Even as many of our actions and reactions are largely shaped by religion and politics, so also to a great degree are we influenced by competition.

In fact, the tight grip it has on humans may perhaps be recognized best of all in the way it molds personalities.

The very foundation upon which the world of capitalistic commerce is built, the spirit of ruthless competition, is found everywhere—at school, at work, in the entertainment and sports worlds, and sometimes even in the family.

Youngsters are taught from infancy to be competitive, to be the best, to be number one.

Getting ahead economically is viewed as all-important, and few restrictions are placed on how to do so.

For the sake of success, men and women are encouraged to be ambitious, even aggressive if need be.

Business people are trained to be friendly and polite.

But do these characteristics always portray their true personality, or do they sometimes reflect a mask they are wearing as they play a role?

Edgar Watson Howe, American journalist, gave this advice:

“When a man is trying to sell you something, don’t imagine he is that polite all the time.”

Competition fosters feelings of envy, jealousy, and greed.

People who excel may begin to think themselves superior, making them arrogant and overbearing.

Consistent losers, on the other hand, may suffer from a lack of self-esteem, causing despondency.

Faced with competitive pressures with which they cannot cope, they may choose to drop out, an attitude that helps explain the surge in suicides among young people in some countries.

By failing to provide everyone with the necessities of life equally, ineffective economic systems can warp personalities into becoming ungrateful, selfish, and callous on the one hand or bitter, self-pitying, and conniving on the other.

A young man from Bangladesh, after moving to capitalistic Europe, indeed had a point when he noted: 

“People here are interested in things; at home we are more interested in people.”

The money-centered attitude also degrades work, making it only a means to an end, a burden and no longer a pleasure

One works, not for the joy of accomplishment or for the joy of giving others the things they need, but just in order to get money.

This attitude actually robs the individual of joy of work

Do you want your potential for good to be nullified by a bad competitive spirit? 

Are you going to permit greedy to determine your set of values purely on a monetary basis?

Only you can decide how this competitive world shapes your personality.