"Throughout the war, it was always my endeavor to view my opponent without animus, and to form an opinion of him as a man on the basis of the courage he showed. I would always try and seek him out in combat and kill him, and I expected nothing else from him. But never did I entertain mean thoughts of him. When prisoners fell into my hands, later on, I felt responsible for their safety, and would always do everything in my power for them." -Ernst Jünger
In December of 1914, as the Great War approached its first Christmas, many informal truces sprang up along the trenches. They sung songs on the night of Christmas Eve, played games and exchanged gifts during Christmas Day. The Germans and their French and British adversaries were able to see the humanity in each other - instead of silhouettes hundreds of meters away.
Jünger's sector was not as amicable as attempts to start a truce failed as adjacent units were constantly firing. As Ernst said, "It was all in all a less than merry Christmas."
While businesses don't necessarily engage in lethal combat against one another, it is good on occasion to remember that our competition is just like us. For every headhunter that is trying to snatch your best people, competing owner that is warming up to your clients, or employees that decide to work for another firm, you will find people trying to feed their children. People trying to get the best out of their situation - to improve their lot, and that of their family.
For many, business is a means to provide for those they love, and they sacrifice their time and energy to do just that. We can't hold them in contempt for trying to get the best value out of their time, because for many they would rather spend it with those they care about. In business, as in combat, don't take it personal. Even if it feels like an attack on you personally, everyone is just doing what they must.