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On Failure

I realized something tonight. Something that's hard to admit. I realized that I'm a sore loser.

I mean, I'm okay with losing when I've made a clear and creditable effort, when I lose by some reasonably small margin. What I'm not good at is losing by a really large margin, losing by a landslide. I don't know how to truly fail gracefully.

I do okay if I keep reminding myself that losing is okay, that no small children will die as a result (since this is, most often, true), so I guess perhaps I could just try to make that more of a habit. I become so desperately invested in things that don't matter ... it's really ridiculous.

I need to learn to distinguish between things that are important and things that aren't ... and not worry about losing at the things that aren't important.

Someday, after years of practice, perhaps I will be laid-back like Shannon. Or like the Buddha. That'll be me, kicking back with sunglasses on and quoting zen koans.

I can't really imagine it. I'm too high strung, too tightly wound. I'd like to relax on a large scale ... but I don't quite know how. It's something I've been working on for several years now, with very little success.

Something I continue to work on.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
maida_mac
Dec. 14th, 2003 04:52 am (UTC)
I can relate to this, a LOT. Both in the need to work on it and the laid back husband. :)
firecat
Dec. 14th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC)
I'm a sore loser too at times. I avoid playing competitive games. (It's worse if I'm playing with someone who is super-competitive, or who acts smug when they win.) I like playing cooperative games, and games where there are multiple ways to win.
kimberly_a
Dec. 14th, 2003 12:58 pm (UTC)
It sounds like we have similar taste in games.

I'm afraid that I sometimes seem smug when I win a game (i.e., I am a sore winner as well as a sore loser ... sigh), which can annoy Shannon, but I tried to explain to him once that I am always surprised when I win, and so it is excitement over my own individual achievement, rather than any sort of reaction to comparative achievement. Still, I'm also trying to not dance in my chair when I win a game, acknowledging that it really isn't gracious.
shannon_a
Dec. 15th, 2003 12:26 am (UTC)
What cooperative games do you like?
firecat
Dec. 15th, 2003 01:24 am (UTC)
The main game I'm thinking of is good old Dictionary, which isn't cooperative per se, but there are multiple ways to "win" - fool people, amuse people - and I've never seen it played in a competitive manner, only in a social manner.
wolflady26
Jan. 8th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
I have a similar problem. I don't mind losing, or even losing by much. But I hate, hate, hate losing if I feel people have teamed up on me. Or if I feel like people have played to remove the fun from the game for me. Like if I get trapped in Carcasonne with no little guys, and can't do anything even if I get a monestary, and then my husband horns in on the big city I was working on that was sucking up all my little guys....

It's not pretty when that happens.
kimberly_a
Jan. 8th, 2004 02:09 pm (UTC)
Like if I get trapped in Carcasonne with no little guys, and can't do anything even if I get a monestary, and then my husband horns in on the big city I was working on that was sucking up all my little guys....

Yep, that's exactly the sort of situation in which I don't deal well. Or if I've built up a really great field and we're almost to the end of the game and suddenly Shannon places a tile that puts him into my field and all my points just suddenly vanish when it's too late for me to do anything about it. Bleh. (Of course, that's only really a problem in a two-person game.)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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