I just posted a comment to this blog post by Lis (go read that first) about winning and losing. She talks about her daughter, who gets mad if she doesn’t win at games. Really, go read that post. Go, now. Go!
Back yet? Oh good. Because here’s my response:
This post REALLY resonates with me!
I once cursed out my sister when we were playing Monopoly because I had Park Place and she landed on Boardwalk and bought it, and obviously didn’t want to trade or sell it to me.
I am an Aries, so I have a very competitive nature. I don’t WANT to be a sore loser, but when I don’t win my body reacts by getting tense, my blood races, the tears come… a lot of fight or flight instincts, actually. Especially when I (the girl with a degree in English Lit AND a Master’s degree from library school) lose in Scrabble to my husband (whose typing skills sometimes take a lot of scrutinizing to figure out, yet that is his favorite game).
He feels bad when he sees my reaction and offers to *let* me win in the future, and then I get even more mad. That’s cheating. I don’t want to win because someone cheated, I want to win because I played the best.
I’ve tried to get better over time. I tell him, “I am not upset that you won, I’m very happy for you. I’m just sad that I lost.” I don’t know if it makes sense to him, but he does know when enough is enough and I just can’t play another game of Scrabble, so we switch to something else. Since I know how bad I get, if I’m already in a cross mood I will sometimes say, “I’ll play Scrabble with you, but only if we don’t keep score.” Or I’ll say, “We can play this, but I get to choose the next game.” And then I choose something more about luck, like The Game of Life.
I’m very hopeful that in time I can learn to lose graciously, but I have a very steep learning curve. Even if it may not see it, continue on your course. Don’t let her win to appease her. She needs to learn, as I do, that it’s better to win because she deserves it, and that it’s only fair that others get the chance to win sometimes too, and that it’s important to learn to be happy for them.
But I still won’t play Monopoly.