Trump is a sore loser.
He doesn’t lose, as far as he is concerned. Never mind that both the popular vote and electoral vote are not in his favor — he’s a winner. So, if his supporters start some shit and he is the cause of a constitutional crisis via his obstinance and unsupportable claims of fraud — it’s not on him, right?
He is choosing to be a sore loser. And because he’s never bothered to respect the office, he doesn’t care how unbecoming his actions are.
Oh, and the rest of the party still supporting his BS? Don’t forget these people — because they clearly don’t care about the legitimacy of our democratic process, either.
Now then, before this turns into a giant political rant let’s get back on topic. You get to choose how you win or lose.
Some people are gracious in victory or defeat. Others show contempt and spite in victory or defeat.
Your attitude towards a win or a loss matters. Why? Because it is a direct reflection of your character. Some people disregard and discount this — but when you seek to be an influencer or good example, how you choose to win or lose is important.
Let’s take a closer look at this, shall we?
The ugliness of a sore loser
Aside from Trump, we’ve all seen examples of sore losers over the years.
They blame others for their shortcomings. They refuse to acknowledge a game well played. The sore losers strive to discredit the winners. They may sulk, throw a tantrum, whine, kvetch, and otherwise be thoroughly unpleasant.
I know I keep coming back to this — but for a perfect example, observe the lame-duck president.
Sometimes this raises questions as to why they partook in the game/election/race/competition/challenge/etc. Were they out to prove something to everyone else, to themselves, or did they genuinely desire the spoils of victory?
Also, some sore losers — when they themselves were rude and disrespectful during the competition or whatever — will guilt YOU for being a sore winner even, when you are not. But that’s still a matter of being a sore loser.
A lot of the time, so much emphasis gets put on the win that a loss is outright unacceptable. More often than not, the pressure of this notion is put on you by yourself. Frequently, there’s nobody that you need to prove yourself to — except for yourself.
Sure, as kids we seek to impress our parents, grandparents, teachers, and in time our friends. Eventually, however, it becomes more important to care for the self and how you perceive and handle success and failure.
Which, all too often, are equated with win and loss.
Being a sore loser is a choice. But you gain nothing by being unpleasant, combative, and disagreeable simply because you lost.
This is not, however, a one-sided concept. Because worse — in some ways — is the sore winner.
The ugliness of a sore winner
You’ve seen these people. They gloat. Hoard any and all credit to themselves. Despite winning, they might taunt and harangue the people they beat. They celebrate without acknowledging their opponents nor offering so much as a “good job” to them.
As a kid, I played one season of little league baseball. Just one, because (a. I was terrible at it, and (b. our team featured two pitchers (the coaches’ sons) who were unhittable.
I think in all the games we played the opposing teams got maybe one hit per game.
Anyhow, after each game we went to the losing team and shook hands with or high-fived each player. Then, we said, “good game.” We acknowledged their effort. Gracious winning.
This is a choice. Lots of people, when they win, shout, and make a huge deal of it. There is nothing wrong with celebrating a win. But ignoring or being rude to your opponent(s) isn’t right.
Some sore winners — when the opposition was particularly rude to THEM during the competition or whatever — will now present equal rudeness right back at them. Way to create a cycle of unpleasantness for everyone.
When you choose how you win, you need to be cognizant of your actions and how you treat the losers.
Choose how you act and react
When all is said and done, any and every action or reaction that you have is yours to choose. Nobody but you are inside your head — so you, and you alone, choose how you react to your life experiences.
This brings up the myth of the participation trophy versus winners and losers. I am all for keeping people’s feelings from being hurt. However, there is a lot to be said for merit and meritocracy.
There are many situations in life where you will score a win or a loss. When you land the job, you score a win. When you get dumped, that’s a loss. If you work in commissioned sales and bonuses are involved, you must exceed your quota to get the biggest bonus. Every time I got my book rejected by an agent it was a loss. Though nobody is keeping score, per see, each of these is looking at a win or a loss.
Some people are not capable of certain things. We all have our skills, specialties, abilities, and so on. There are numerous things I am good at — while there are others I am not. I can win in this column — but I will likely lose in that one.
Because this is a fact of life, it is more important to choose how you win or lose, rather than award mediocrity via participation trophies. Graciously learning to win and lose impacts how you will handle these things when they happen.
Because you can’t avoid them. They will happen in your life.
Whatever the situation may be, you get to choose how you act and react.
Lessons are learned from both wins and losses
Finally, it’s important to recognize that, win or lose, you can learn something.
For example — I have been fencing for 29 years now. There have been certain opponents who, for the most part, I’m unable to win a fight against. I used to get frustrated by this fact.
But there was a lesson to be learned. How did they beat me? Was it something I could change on MY part to beat them next time? When the answer was, yes, I can change my game next time we fight — I might have scored a win against that opponent.
Losing showed me flaws in my game. Rather than get upset and blame my opponent for my loss, I used it to adapt and adjust my game for next time.
How you choose to react to winning and losing can make the difference between reacting to the instinct to feel hurt — or learning something to do better next time. This is how you grow, change, and evolve.
Being a gracious loser or winner is a matter of positivity. Your actions reflect on you — and will impact what happens in your next competition. Winning and losing both can teach valuable lessons towards life, the Universe, and everything. Consider that in your next situation where a win or loss will be tallied.
It is easy to choose how you win or lose
But it requires mindfulness of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intent.
Knowing that you are going to experience both wins and losses in your life, you get to decide how you will handle them. When you choose to win or lose with grace, poise, and respect for the opposition, it reflects on who you are and how people will react to you — as well as how you feel about yourself. That ultimately empowers you.
When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. This can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
You can build more positive feelings and discover further reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, help overcome the overwhelming negativity of the current situation, and generate yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity. That positivity can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on November 9, 2020.