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Have you ever had a friend, family member, or co-worker who was secretly in constant competition with you when you thought that you were both on the same team? This can be a frustrating relationship for both parties. However, it is the competitor that gives birth to the competing energy, and is also the one who usually – by means of conscious or subconscious – feeds into it, making the competition monster grow, often into toxic proportions. The fuel that feeds this dysfunction is often insecurity and jealousy.

If you are on the opposite end of the relationship, the one who prefers to be companions rather than rivals, you’re probably wishing that there is something that you can do to help diffuse the situation. The one thing you should never do – which I have found myself guilty of in the past – is to “dumb down” so the other person doesn’t feel threatened by whatever it is that the other person is competing over with you. Chances are, you love this friend/family member/co-worker, and don’t want them getting upset with you over . . . virtually nothing. But, toning down your outgoing personality, leaving your hair messy/face make-up free, and cutting back on your remarkable work performance shouldn’t be the solution. You’re only cheating yourself of who you really are, and in turn, cheating others who could also benefit from your assets. So, what’s a team member-minded person to do?

I think Steve Harvey said it best when he said, “You can’t share your big dreams with small-minded people.”

Steve, I couldn’t agree with you more. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that miserable people cannot stand a happy person. If you are a happy person, it may be natural for you to try to cheer on a miserable person and help to bring them up to your level. But beware, because the miserable person will do everything in their power to bring you down to their playing field.

So, if a person feels that your light is shining too brightly, and you have the ability to change the direction of your beam, make the switch and shine it upon someone who can appreciate its beauty instead of dimming it down. If a person feels that your light is shining too brightly, and you are not in a position where you can change the direction where it shines, do not dim your light down. Tell him or her to wear sunglasses. 😎

— Kelly O’Callan

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