General Etiquette > Life...in general

Taking my toys and going home?

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NutellaNut:
BG: I found a website for free foreign language education that I've been using a while, and really enjoying.  There's tests, immersion, and translation of real articles, all of which earn you points.  It's really been helping me refresh the foreign language I used to know as a child, and even though I'm not fluent, I know I'm learning and getting better.  Someday I hope to go back to that country for a trip and I want to have useful skills for that language.

I told one of my best friends, who also is interested in foreign languages, about this website.  She eagerly got on also and has been going like gangbusters, catching up in points within a few weeks.  It turns out you can "follow" other people on this site, and compare points.  Every time one of the friends you follow passes you in points, you're sent an email.

I am a pretty competitive person, and once we found about that feature, we joked about how it would give us extra incentive to put in our time each day on the site.  For several weeks it bounced back and forth, with us trading off the lead by a few points here or there.  I never was annoyed when she passed me; I just liked the challenge and would try to catch up.  One time, when she was off work and could dedicate a lot of time, she got 200 points ahead of me.  I buckled down and spent several days getting 50 points a day to catch up, and it felt good when I did!

More recently, though, I find the joy has gone out.  After I caught up that time, over a couple of days she got 300 points ahead of me.  I felt a twinge of irkedness but just determined to buckle down again.  But every time I put in enough time to earn a bunch of points, later that day she has earned just that many points, and a few more, so she stays 300+ points ahead of me.  It doesn't seem to matter how many - even when I earned 160 points in one day, which represented several hours of time for me, she did more than that.  So it appears to me that I am never going to catch up.

I realized the other day that I am not enjoying being on the language site because of this.  It's my fault for being competitive, I guess, but instead of just enjoying a new lesson, I am going back to the easiest ones so I can race through them and get as many points as possible, all to try to catch up eventually.  But then it's clear I won't, as she gets just enough points to still beat me, and I feel irked all over again.  I know it's not fair to ask my friend to stop earning so many points.  But I want to get on the site without feeling irked, so I decided to "un-follow" my friend.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to go back to my daily goals of getting X number of points, of achieving a new language skill each week, of gaining a level every certain number of days. 

But I worry: am I just taking my toys and going home, because I can't "win" anymore?  What do I say when my friend asks me why I un-followed her?  Do I just say that the competitive aspect was affecting my enjoyment of the process?  My friend is mostly a lovely person, and I don't want to make her feel bad - I know that much of this is just my own emotional issue.  I do feel that it was partially sparked by her apparent need to not just win, but to trounce me so soundly I can never win again.  If she asks, do I tell her that? 

Daydream:

--- Quote from: NutellaNut on March 28, 2014, 10:51:13 AM ---

 Do I just say that the competitive aspect was affecting my enjoyment of the process? 
--- End quote ---


Yes, I think you should simply say that. It's not a reflection on her -- it's all about you.  You might want to say, "I know lots of other people wouldn't react this way or be bothered by it,"  because that's true.  But that doesn't make you wrong for realizing that it does affect *you* negatively and correcting the problem so you can continue to enjoy this activity.


--- Quote from: NutellaNut on March 28, 2014, 10:51:13 AM ---I do feel that it was partially sparked by her apparent need to not just win, but to trounce me so soundly I can never win again.  If she asks, do I tell her that?

--- End quote ---

No, I would not tell her that because she has done nothing wrong.  Before I got  to the part where you said you can unfollow her progress, I was wondering if that was an option.  Since it is and is so easy to do, I think that's really all that should be done (except for you giving a simple explanation if she asks why and you feel you need to answer her.)

SamiHami:
I agree with Daydream. Neither of you has done anything wrong, but if it's not fun to compete with her anymore then don't.

And I'd like to know what website it is that you are using!

bopper:
"At first the points helped keep me motivated to study.  Now I am at the point where it isn't about the points, but the language.  I have started watching Videos/Telanovellas now to work on my listening skills."

JenJay:
Yes, unfollow her. It's not immature but the opposite - you recognize that the competition is actually hindering your use of the website so you're doing what needs to be done to get yourself focused and back on track.


--- Quote from: bopper on March 28, 2014, 11:33:35 AM ---"At first the points helped keep me motivated to study.  Now I am at the point where it isn't about the points, but the language.  I have started watching Videos/Telanovellas now to work on my listening skills."

--- End quote ---

I really like that!

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