When this sheep-o-sexual Waitrose shopper, by birth and habitat, according to the North London view, was looking through quotes for “underestimate”, I was a little surprised at how often “opponent” came up in the quotes. I didn’t use these. I perhaps underestimate how many people have this opponent mentality. Some people must see everyone else as opponents. They must compete against these. These opponents may even be seen as enemies. The language is definitely against and not with.
I am not sure where this opponent mentality stems from. It is not something that comes as default for me. Opponent also implies battle or contest and has the notion of victor inherent, someone must win. Maybe this urge to win stems from some deep insecurity or other? Will enough victory erase this insecurity and prove worth? When the defeated opponent count rises, does that bring peace and happiness?
It must be tiring to live like that, in a world full of opponents, who must be vanquished. When will there be sufficient conquest?
Having cued this up:
Do I have this opponent mentality?
Does winning make me happy, if only temporarily?
Which word do I prefer, against or with?