TO RSVP: Send me a message and tell me which event(s) you will be attending.

I took a break from facilitating conversation series in June (April was a series of conversations about shared and divergent values in relationships with cis men, and May was a series of conversations about parenting during the pandemic), but I’m back for July with a series on the topic of competition and comparison!

This conversation series is a response to a few conversations I’ve had with other folks about feeling burdened and overwhelmed by comparison – by the constant invitation offered by social media and by cultural norms to compare ourselves constantly to each other and to ideas about what we “should” be doing, what we “should” have accomplished.

Both comparison and competition create a hierarchy, winners and losers, some folks doing better, some folks doing worse.

I don’t love competition. (At all.) It makes me super uncomfortable. It’s important to acknowledge that, because I’m not an unbiased facilitator in these conversations.

However, I recognize that comparison and competition are complex and nuanced topics, and that even in my own life there have been times when comparison helped me get closer to my preferred self, and when competition felt playful and enlivening.

Part of my preparation for this series of conversations has been crafting narrative questions that don’t assume competition and comparison are always problems, and that invite participants to talk about these experiences in rich and meaningful ways, so that we can come out of the conversations feeling strengthened and more connected to our values and our sense of agency.

This conversation series will focus on how we have experienced, and also how we have responded to competition and comparison in our lives in a few different areas.

There will be three scheduled chats. I’m capping attendance at 10 participants per chat, and I will only run each chat if I have at least 3 confirmed attendees.

To RSVP, send me a message and I’ll send you the link(s) for the topics you’re interested in.

July 2, 5:30-7 pm mountain time – Competition and Comparison in Parenting

In this conversation, we’ll talk about:

– how competition shows up in our parenting lives, including our kids participation in competitive games and sports, and competition within our families

– how comparison shows up in our parenting lives, including comparing our kids’ development to normative developmental timelines, comparing ourselves to other parents, comparing ourselves to the norms and expectations placed on parents, and comparing ourselves to our own parents

– the effects of competition and comparison on our experiences of ourselves as parents, and how we witness competition and comparison impacting our kids – what these discourses make possible, and what they make more difficult, and how we might take a stand in relation to ideas of competition and comparison

July 9, 5:30-7 pm mountain time – Competition and Comparison at Work

This conversation will be about work, and about how capitalism and norms of productivity invite us into both competition and comparison, and how we respond to these invitations. We’ll talk about:

– how competition shows up at work, including competing for resources with our coworkers, competitive workplaces, and what it even means to “be competitive”

– how comparison shows up at work, including comparing ourselves with colleagues, comparing ourselves to the idea of having a “dream job”, and comparing our working lives with the hopes we had for ourselves when we were younger

– the effects of competition and comparison on our experiences of ourselves at work – what these discourses make possible, and what they make more difficult, and how we might take a stand in relation to ideas of competition and comparison

July 16, 5:30-7 pm mountain time – Personal Histories of Competition and Comparison

This chat is all about how we witnessed and experienced competition and comparison in our early childhood homes and communities, how competition and comparison are framed within our cultures, and our own personal experiences with competition and comparison that may be shaping how we experience them now.

RSVP for the links to join the GoToMeeting chats!