You’ve gotten dirty looks in spin class when the woman next to you catches you eyeballing her score. You’ve become obsessed with being the best at everything you try, and you may have lost a friend or two in the process. Such is the plight of the competitive woman. We’re not suggesting becoming blasé, but you might want to consider mastering the following five skills to avoid the whole losing friends thing.

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competitive leslie
NBC

Own your competitiveness

If you’re highly intense, it’s best to be up-front about it. Think of it as a kind of preemptive apology for flying off the handle after a casual game of…anything. This doesn’t mean you have to be any less competitive, but it helps to let those around you know that you have a tendency to take things more seriously than the average gal.

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competitive bill
Touchstone Pictures

Know when to apologize

It’s a bummer, but it’s also inevitable that there will come a time when you take something too far and let your need to win get the best of you. The worst thing to do is act like it never happened. Instead, apologize and admit you were out of line. Chances are they’ll respect you for owning up to your mistake and you can all move on.

competitive tina
NBC

Focus on your personal growth

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others when you’re ultra competitive, but it’s important to recognize this. Worrying too much about what your peers are doing can take away from your own growth and make you resentful. To avoid this, focus on your own goals and define your own success. Explicitly lay out what you want to accomplish, and you’re more likely to focus on yourself instead of others.

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competitive nene
Bravo

Be mindful

This is more long-term, but it’s advantageous for competitive people to practice mindfulness. Centering yourself and seeing the bigger picture lets you step back and realize that, in the grand scheme of things, beating your pal in Words With Friends isn’t life or death. Try mindfulness meditation, a simple practice that lets you relax and get out of your head a bit. 

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competitive himym
CBS

Branch out

It’s really hard for competitive people to try something new, because chances are they aren’t going to be the best at it immediately. But that means that they often miss out on activities they would enjoy. In these situations, put your pride aside and get out of your comfort zone. If you give something a fair shot and don’t enjoy it, forget about it. If you do enjoy it, congratulate yourself for being OK as a beginner.

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