Should an Empath be Competitive?

Is competition good for an Empath? Or does it create an ugly streak?

I’ve always been fascinated by the many different ways of human nature. Things that set us apart or unite us. One such way being competition.

When it comes to the idea of competing, I am somewhat of a contradiction. On the one hand I think it’s healthy, and on the other it can be ugly.

If there’s one thing I dislike in a person, it’s an ugly competitive streak. When someone is willing to trample all over another, just to win, this is ‘ugly competition’. It could also be seen when someone is jealous of another’s achievements, and they undermine these achievements, just to continue to feel superior.

That said, if we don’t have a level of competition, we don’t tend to push ourselves forward to become better.

Unlike me, my husband is very competitive. If the game doesn’t have a competition, there’s no element of risk and he doesn’t want to play. I used to love playing badminton. Not competitively. Just hitting the shuttlecock back and forth, over the net, without it falling to the ground. My husband also liked to play, but for him the joy was in the competition. So, playing together never really worked. He wanted to score points for fun and I wanted to have fun without the scoring.

That’s not to say he, or the many other men and women like him, have an ugly competitive streak. He’s not a sore loser and he wouldn’t manipulate another to win. If anything, he would encourage others. 

I don’t think I have ever enjoyed competition. It almost seems like winning makes another into a loser.  

When competing at school, in sports for example, I felt myself weaken physically. I now realize this was just another part of being an Empath. For one thing, if I won, it meant the other lost. Which felt wrong. And for another, during competitive sports, I was likely picking up on the others’ intention (wanting to beat me), and I morphed to fit their intentional energy. (If you have experienced this you will know exactly what I mean. Read more here).

When we are unaware, as Empaths, we can pick up on the intentions, opinions and judgements of others which can impact our behaviour. 

I go to gym classes most days (Zumba, aerobics, etc.). When there, I never like being too close to the competitive people. They give off such strong vibes.  I can feel them wanting to be better than others in the room. I don’t need to know them or have talked to them to feel this.

I’m not saying this makes them bad people. I just don’t like feeling this energy when I work out.

It took me some years to understand that I could feel competitve energy when in gym classes.

It is often in yoga classes where I sense ‘the competitive energy’ at its worst. It’s a big reason I don’t like practising yoga around others.

Again, I understand that although I’m not partial to being in competition, it can drive people on to being the best version of themselves. But it can also do the opposite.

There is a great saying that, ‘It’s not about the winning it’s about the taking part.’ Yet some would argue that if there’s no chance of winning, what is the point of taking part? That is a mentality I don’t agree with (I told you I was a contradiction). It’s the ego talking.

If you enjoy the competition, do it for yourself. But don’t not compete just because you might not win.

I believe the best competition is with ourself. We should always be working to become better than we were last week or last year, in all areas of life. And self-competition is something I do enjoy.

So, yes, I see competition as both healthy and unhealthy, good and bad. It just depends on the way we use it.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the subject.

How does competition affect you as an Empath? Does it help you thrive? Or does it make your energy recede? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Hope all is keeping well with you.

Until next time.


©Diane Kathrine

21 thoughts on “Should an Empath be Competitive?

  1. I really don’t like competition. Even in art some platforms aways initiate contests where ‘they’ pic a winner. That’s rediculouse! As if there were a way of measuring art! Never participated!

  2. I love the part about “As Empaths we can pick up on the intention, opinions, and judgments of others.and yes it does impact our behavior” I really never liked competitions either, everyone is equal in my mind.

  3. Your article is interesting and quite pertinent. It’s unfortunate that so many people are focused outwards with their energy in a level of competitiveness with others. This requires an awful amount of personal energy to be wasted rather than captured and used to improve oneself and humanity as a whole. In my experience of life those who are the most competitive are often insecure as a being and spiritual energy. As I used to teach, one can only truly compete with oneself to better one’s skill and talent.

  4. Dear Diane you hit my sore spot!!! Growing up I thought that sports and sport fans are kind of “neanderthals” and I was never actually at the games, but since I had a son (and they say that’s how boys make friends) I had to sit at all his games. He wasn’t the best so my suffering doubled since I had to watch him benchwarming while other parents were (what I thought) very aggressively cheering for their own kids. It was many years ago but it still hurts to think how aggressive and conniving adults can be. If I wouldn’t be there for my kid, and wouldn’t come up with alternatives to sports later on, it could have affected my son’s confidence.

    On Sat, Mar 16, 2019 at 11:14 AM Empaths Empowered wrote:

    > Diane Kathrine posted: ” I’ve always been fascinated by the many different > ways of human nature. Things that set us apart or unite us. One such way > being competition. When it comes to the idea of competing, I am somewhat of > a contradiction. On the one hand I think it’s healt” >

  5. Spot on Diane! I remember being on swim team a lifetime ago and pretty much was on it because of my mom. I had verrrry little competitive drive in me. Oh and don’t get me started on roller skating. I was (am still 😉 ) a great skater and always had friends trying to convince me to get on speed team or go artistic freestyle (actually my ex-wife was a world class figure skater). Nope. I just wanted to have fun. Period. You name it. Board games, watching a sporting event on TV, whatever, I feel much better when those around me win or watch a winning team do their thing. Never knew why up until the empath thing enlightened upon my life a few years ago.
    Great stuff!

  6. This is a great post It is definitely in sync with my thoughts as of late. It frames our culture, politics, economy, careers and just about everything we touch in our lives. The coveted awards in all segments of our culture, Academy Awards, Grammy, Emmy, Super Bowl, Nobel Peace Prize, World Series and so on, even Best Seller’s Lists for authors speak of competition. How many books go unread or authors in obscurity are there, due to competition? It’s always the best that is deemed a success. If we could only eat at the best five star restaurants, we’d all starve. There is a place for efforts beyond win, place or show, I think. However I do realize that publicity follows popularity and popularity wins the day especially in the market place. The less popular simply have to enjoy the work of their hands quietly. Yes, competition does spur us forward to greater achievement (maybe). Perhaps we have competed ourselves into an adrenalin fueled addiction. Perhaps the greater achievement here would be to obtain rest and peace and to live quietly enjoying the work of our hands. Perhaps, just saying.

  7. I always disliked competition and do not feel comfortable in situations where there needs to be a winner… I also never liked group sports probably for that reason… and I agree with you that the only person we need to be in competition with is ourself. I never really put any thought into this subject so thank you for bringing it up! It just motivated me to take part in a competition!! (With myself obviously 😂) ❤️

  8. Such fantastic timing! Last week we were in a volleyball tournament. My first one ever. There were a lot of people there. Many that I really liked prior to the tournament when we were just playing pick-up for fun. Once the tournament started the energy changed dramatically. I’ve always known I was an Empath but now that it is more socially acceptable to talk about it I’ve expressed how I feel to my husband. He is also empathic but on a very different scale. We don’t have the same type of Empathic traits. I feel everybody’s stuff all the time. I feel it in colors and actual feelings in my body. Sometimes it hurts or zaps my energy to the point of needing a nap. I enjoy being alone more than being around lots of energies. He is extremely social and hearing about what I’m feeling stresses him out. I’m working on fixing my leaky aura and figuring out what I’m picking up from each person. So as the competition started people changed and I could feel it. I expressed that one person, in particular, felt “sneaky” and I suddenly didn’t want to be near them, I could feel it and it felt fake. Others also had an energy of being “sneaky” or “fake”. It was not a fun feeling. It felt distant, cold, isolated, and shallow. Also, people got into fights over points, or calls, or just looking at a score sheet. All that is crazy to me. Not to mention the politics of picking teams. It wasn’t nice, it was judgemental and sometimes cruel as people dumped people for people they thought were better teammates. There wasn’t a ton of respect for other players and levels became something that defined your self-worth. Yuck! I didn’t like it all and at one point even voiced that I didn’t think I liked tournaments. I just like keeping the ball off the floor with others working together. That is a blast. I don’t think I’m going to go to another one where I’m involved in the competition. I will watch with the option to leave whenever it starts to feel too heavy. Hopefully, as I heal up my aura and get stronger this will change. For now competition just isn’t for me.

  9. I am with you on this article. I have never been a competitive person but self competitive like you. I was the girl that disliked gym class in school just because I was always up against someone else or put on teams that wasn’t me. Later on, after marriage and a son that did sports…..I disliked going to see him play since I felt the parents were sheer disgrace and yelling out to their son obscene words and to do better. The kids were doing their best and yet it was never good enough for most mom’s or dad’s………very sad! I never missed a practice or game of my son’s and was proud of him whether his team won or lost. I always felt bad either way if my son’s team won or lost because I would just feel the emotions from the team that lost…… pitiful to watch and feel. Everyone is a winner in my book :)) I smiled that you like badminton. I loved badminton just to hit the birdie back and forth and get some exercise but not keep score just like you. It’s just fun! I dislike sports, crowds, yelling, etc. I’d rather be home in quietness for sure. This article really brought back memories from many years ago. Thanks for sharing! I’m sure many of us can relate to this.

  10. What a lovely article! And I couldn’t agree more with you! I love to play tennis. Just being on the court, chasing balls gives me so much joy. Like your badminton example. But sometimes I play doubles matches with competitive partners, and their pursuit of a victory can often take all the fun out of the game. So I try to stay away from such partners, as for me the main reason I play is to have fun. I love the game so much.

    But I guess I am competitive in the sense that I work on my game and I want to be a better player. Looks like – as long as everyone’s trying to do the best they can, we are all winners.

    Thanks for the article!

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