When it comes to competition; whether it’s the NBA finals, sibling rivalry, competitive friends, coworkers, your kid in little league or cheerleading competition, someone has to win and someone has to lose.

In considering the difference between having a competitive nature and being jealous, a coworker put it best, “being competitive is about stepping your game up in order to win or at least achieve your personal best; whereas, jealousy is coveting what another person has, maybe even having bad thoughts of wanting them to fail.

Many of us have either been jealous of someone or have had people jealous of us. I’m reminded of a so-called friend who always seemed to have drama going on in her life. On a daily basis, she would suck my energy up with her latest catastrophe and I would try to find ways to support her.

During a Labor Day trip one year, I paid for her to go to Miami for our girl’s get-a-way. While there, it seemed like everything I said or did, she tried to copy or out-do me. Some may consider that a compliment but, it was a pattern that became particularly obvious and irritating during this trip. It got so bad that we almost came to blows.

Of course I was mad, but even more, I was hurt. I had gone out of my way to do something nice for her and this was how she repaid me. That’s when I figured out, “Jealousy cannot be your friend.” Jealousy is envy and resentment, so no matter how much a person may want to be your friend and be happy for you; the envy in their heart won’t allow it.

When a person is jealous of you, they are dangerous. And, while you may want to shrug it off – don’t. Just know who you’re dealing with and understand that unless they acknowledge their short-comings and actively work through it via prayer, therapy or some other form of person growth, they can never truly be your friend.

Q: Is anybody competing with you at work, how?

Deya Smith is an actress, motivational speaker & producer on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

She can be reached at Deyadirect.com; or deyadirect@aol.com.

Consider any of the following questions. I’d love to get your take on this topic of the day.

Q: Do you have friends who are always trying to copy or out-do you?

Q: When is being competitive no longer healthy?

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