A Conversation for Talking Point: Competitiveness

Healthy v Unhealthy Competition

Post 1


* What do you think of competitiveness - is it good or bad?
- Competitiveness is neither intrinsically good nor bad. What is more important is whether the competitiveness is healthy or unhealthy, productive or non-productive.

* What's the most competitive thing you've ever done?
- I've received awards and commendations, but only when competing against myself or a system. Perhaps the most directly competitive thing I've done is win the H2G2 T-shirt that I'm wearing!

* What the most competitive act you've ever come across yourself?
- Newspapers taking the chance of printing the result of an event before it took place (and getting caught by the event's delay).

* Would you ever enter a talent show, or reality game show like I'd Do Anything or The Apprentice?
- Despite the fact that neither of the examples are a talent show, I'd have to say 'not likely'. I have been in a couple of talent competitions, but only for the fun of sharing something unusual with the audience; never with winning in mind.

* Do you think competitiveness is affected by your place in the family? Are younger children more competitive than eldest children?
- a) No, that is pretty much determined by order of birth.
- b) Within the family, they don't often have to be. The youngest naturally seem to get more attention, for longer, and lighter restrictions. This seems to stem from parents wearing themselves out on the eldest.

* Why are some parents so competitive for their children?
- At the extreme? I have no idea! We all (at least most of us) want good things for our children; and we especially want them to have a fair chance at acheiving those good things. If we see favouritism or mistreatment of them, parental responses can overwhelm normal societal restrictions.

* Have you ever come across a 'pushy parent'?
- Yes. Several times. They are so confident that their child is the best, or smartest, or most suited, that they cannot imagine another child being judged more favourably (despite evidence to their child's inadequecy). The truly kind parent will assure their child, in advance of competitions, that they are very good, but may not be the best each and every time; and that this does not effect how proud a parent feels about their efforts.

* Is competitiveness encouraged in British society or not?
- Yes, but not always in the normal sense of the word. Reality shows, such as those mentioned in the questions, do not always make getting on them a competition of talent, but of personalities.

* What's the stupidest competition, dare or bet you've ever been involved in?
- Any time someone has made a bet with me. Never bet against an Irishman.

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