I grew up in a family that loved to play games. In fact, we still do. On the first Friday of each month, we all gather at my sister’s house to eat and play games. We’re an extremely competitive bunch too. My house wasn’t the kind of place where the adults would “let” the children win. We felt like their self esteem was worthless if they didn’t earn it. You can see that each of us worked hard to earn it just by spending a few minutes around us when we’re gathered together. Cutthroat might be too nice a word to describe our approach to gaming.
However, when the games are over, whether we win or lose, we are still a family that loves and supports each other. We don’t carry the grudge from the game back into real life. Playing hard and trying to win is an important part of the game. It makes winning all the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t make losing a miserable thing. I realized recently that not everyone plays that way. For our family, it’s all about playing hard so the winner can savor the victory. For many folks it’s all about winning and nothing else is acceptable. And they carry that belief into the rest of their lives. In my book, these are miserable people. If you can only be happy by making someone else sad, then you can’t ever really be happy.
I, on the other hand, love to play the role of sore loser. The act is designed to make the winner feel good about his skill (or luck) that night. We all know that any one of us can turn out the winner on any given night (unless we’re playing one of those word games where my sister and my neice are in a different ballpark than the rest of us). We live our lives the same way. We like to have fun, whether we’re winning or losing. We want the winner to bask in the victory while to losers recognize that they could not have given more.