While maintaining a friendly relationship with a professional rival may be difficult, evidence indicates that doing so may be beneficial.

The women’s semi-final match between Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria at the 2022 Wimbledon tennis championships featured one of the tournament’s most moving moments. Jabeur is even known as “Auntie Ons” to Maria’s children and has talked about her affection for her rival. According to Ons Jabeur, Tatjana’s family is quite amazing, and she loves them dearly. Nothing about the competition to advance to the Grand Slam final altered that, and after Jabeur’s eventual victory, both players celebrated each other’s accomplishments. According to Maria, they both knew they would give it their all while playing, and they also knew they would remain friends afterward. It might be difficult to establish and keep a strong friendship with a professional opponent. Even if you and someone you meet initially get along well, competition-induced envy and jealousy can quickly ruin your relationships and generate unspoken grudges or overt hostility.

Furthermore, your personality and the nature of your relationship with your rival will determine whether that competition inspires you to perform to the best of your potential or causes you to feel self-conscious and hinder your achievement. Psychological studies can help us understand how rivalry affects our relationships and our performance, even though this is a subject that has not received much attention. These studies can also provide us with some advice that might help us all get along better with our rivals, like Jabeur and Maria.