"I always have to be the best," admits Alicia. "I can make anything a contest ... It's hard not to be driven 24 hours a day."
"With my mom, every board game becomes a fight to the death," Alice continues. She and her mom often get into heated games of Scrabble. "I was winning and she said to me, 'You don't read nearly as much as I do. You've read, like, three books in your life. I have an MBA and I have a better vocabulary than you. How in the world
Alicia's competitive nature also interferes with her social life. She has been divorced for 10 years, but has only been on three dates. "Part of it is that I would want to be perfect at it, and I'd want to get an A. I'd want to be the best date they'd ever gone out with, whether or not I liked them or not," she explains. "I'm so competitive, that even right now I want Dr. Phil to give me an A."
"My mom's competitiveness can be a strain on our relationship because I don't want to participate in certain activities with her," Alicia admits, turning to Dr. Phil for help. "My mom has a lot of trouble living in the moment and taking things for what they are. It's always about what's the outcome going to be ... I wish she could just chill out."
"It's incredibly hurtful to myself as well as to the people around me to be so competitive," Alicia says. "It's toxic."
Dr. Phil explains that his and Robin's goal in raising their sons, Jay and Jordan, was to make sure they were confident, secure, safe and able to deal in the world. "How do you square up using a child in competition to make you feel better about you?"
"I didn't do it so much to make me feel good about me," Alicia says, explaining that her extraordinarily competitive nature has
"Yes, you can!" Dr. Phil tells her. "You do it everywhere. Everything's a competition with you." He reminds her that one time when she was volunteering she said, "I have got to be the one who gives out the most food at the shelter."
"I never got to enjoy being there or being with the people at the shelter," Alicia agrees.
"You took a spin class and you couldn't walk for three days because you couldn't let the instructor outdo you?" Dr. Phil asks, surprised.
"Exactly. It's true," Alicia says.
When Alicia plays a board game, she doesn't like to talk because she focused on winning, and she must beat whomever she plays.
"It's not necessarily winning, it's the fact that I really want to play seriously and try to win every time. I can't just play for fun," Alicia explains.
"What do you get out of it?" Dr. Phil asks.
"It's a good feeling to win," Alicia says. "It's a high."
Dr. Phil plays a tape showing how extreme Alicia's competitive nature can be.
"You said, 'I can't turn it off.' It's not about turning it off, you're out creating competitions," Dr. Phil says to Alicia. "What are you trying to prove?" He explains that she is looking for external validation.
"Nothing that I know of," Alicia says. "I have always been this way."
"You are a free-thinking adult who can make a life decision," Dr. Phil points out to Alicia. "You say you want to be the
"I think that would be really healthy," Alicia says, explaining that her competitive nature is a big burden on her, because she is always preoccupied with the next thing she can win.
Dr. Phil offers Alicia advice. "What I want you to think about and try to embrace is that you can feel enough acceptance of yourself that you don't have to earn your right to be loved by your daughter. You don't have to earn your right to be in your family. You don't have to walk into a room and earn acceptance. Sometimes you just let it come to you," he tells her.