No one likes to lose. From screaming and stamping your feet when you are little kid to maybe getting a little bit too upset and the games controller magically somehow flying across the room by itself, losing can really bring out a weird and quite angry side of most of us. Plus, we can’t even keep track of how many ‘sore loser’ moments have caused a big family feud around the Monopoly board at Christmas time. So, we think it might finally be time to nip this bad behaviour in the bud and make sure you can lose as gracefully as Jonathan Van Ness is on ice skates.
1) Don’t get angry or aggressive
We know – this is easier said than done right? When you are feeling fired up, it seems like the only solution is to shout about it. Actually though, getting angry is more than likely going to end up losing you access to online games if your anger becomes something more toxic, such as swearing or getting aggressive to other players. If you’re playing sphere is away from the console, then it might end up losing you some playing buddies as well.
Try a quick technique for dispelling that feeling of anger bubbling up – the Naam Yoga Hand Trick. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the space between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. This creates a sense of immediate relaxation by activating a nerve that loosens the area around your heart (don’t worry, it’s not as life-threatening as it sounds). Whilst you are doing it, breathe in through your nose for three seconds, and out for three seconds. If only the Incredible Hulk knew this one.
2) Try not to get too upset
Sometimes, you just can’t help it. The sting of defeat quickly becomes that familiar feeling of stinging behind your eyes like when your brother beat you at Connect 4 for the first time when you were a kid.
The important thing to remember is that it is ok to feel upset about things, and often ignoring it will eventually make it worse. But, if this is part of a pattern of behaviour after losing every game you ever play even as you get older, there may be something that you need to have a think about addressing.
When you start to feel like you feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sense of defeat, try a quick mindfulness technique. Breathing deeply and slowly, think about five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste around you.
Taking a moment to concentrate on something other than how upset or angry you are feeling and instead focus on your body should help to keep you calm and relaxed.
3) Don’t take it out on other players
This a sure-fire way to lose any chance of playing again. Alienating other players by getting aggressive, rude or even harassing them could not only lose you friends, but it could also get you banned from playing long term – especially true if you are an online gamer or a tournament player in games like Magic the Gathering or Warhammer.
If you are in an online game and you feel like another player has done you dirty through breaking the rules, or have been targeting you, report them. If it is Fortnite specifically, check out our guide to reporting in the game here.
4) Don’t quit
It can be super tempting when you are losing, to bow out of the game altogether. Not only will this not solve anything, but it has the potential to ruin everyone else’s experience.
Instead of quitting, get back up and keep trying – the more you play any game, the better you will get. Use it as a learning opportunity, a chance to see what better players than you do and steal their skills for next time. You never know, when the next game rolls around, you could be one coming out on top because you stayed in the losing battle.
5) Remember – it’s only a game
No matter if it’s a football match or FIFA, a battle royale in Tilted Towers or a battle for Mayfair in Monopoly, it is important to remember that it is only a game. Whilst yes, they are designed to be competitive, they are also designed to be fun.
If you find the game is stressing you out, take a step back from it and take a break from playing for a while. When you go back, you might find you enjoy it more, and you won’t have lost friends or respect like you might have done had you done some of the other stuff written above. We call that a win.