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Subject: How do you deal with a sore loser? rss

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Gilbert Tobal
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I just had a huge fallout with my girlfriend (99% of my sessions are with her) after I blocked one of her routes in ticket to ride Nordic countries. She got really mad and tried to block my biggest route and, when she failed, she went berserk to the point where she threw down her cards on the table and left me to pack away the game. I've known of her bad loser problem and usually warn her when a game is confrontational enough to trigger it. The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game . this was our first session. How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?
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Joseph Schmoll
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gvt2000 wrote:
I just had a huge fallout with my girlfriend (99% of my sessions are with her) after I blocked one of her routes in ticket to ride Nordic countries. She got really mad and tried to block my biggest route and, when she failed, she went berserk to the point where she threw down her cards on the table and left me to pack away the game. I've known of her bad loser problem and usually warn her when a game is confrontational enough to trigger it. The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game . this was our first session. How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?


To be honest, I usually just distance myself from people who throw tantrums/are typically sore losers. I have a stressful life enough without letting it bleed into my hobby that I try to enjoy and get away from that stress.

That being said, the sore loser in this case is your significant other and the advice shouldn't be "BREAK UP!!!" or whatever. I would consider introducing some co-ops. That way, if she's a sore loser, at least she's on the same team as you and the two of you can bond and hate the game together, rather than each other.

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Bryan Thunkd
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If you value the relationship find a gaming group to play with instead of your girlfriend. There is no curing a sore loser.
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Thunkd wrote:
If you value the relationship find a gaming group to play with instead of your girlfriend. There is no curing a sore loser.


Great advice as usual.

I am sometimes a sore loser and there's a reason for it, and I know what the reason is (approximately). Now, unfortunately most people you generally play with are not close enough to you that you'd want to tell them your intimate vulnerabilities. However, in your case the person you play with definitely is close enough, or at least should be. If you really care about her, the question you should be asking is "why is she a sore loser? Why is losing such a big deal to her?" Fix the problem, not the symptoms.
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Mindy Basi
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Couples competing with each other often results in hurt feelings.

Choose other games that are less confrontational, or perhaps just find others to play with that are less volatile. You don't want to lose her over a board game, or have a bad night at home because she's angry with you.
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gvt2000 wrote:
I just had a huge fallout with my girlfriend (99% of my sessions are with her) after I blocked one of her routes in ticket to ride Nordic countries. She got really mad and tried to block my biggest route and, when she failed, she went berserk to the point where she threw down her cards on the table and left me to pack away the game. I've known of her bad loser problem and usually warn her when a game is confrontational enough to trigger it. The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game . this was our first session. How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?


Depends on how long you've been together to know if that behavior is consistent with not getting their way. But you might talk about it together. Or find something to do together that isn't a competition. Or work out an arrangement where there are times you get to play games with friends and she gets to do something else with hers.
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Stephen Williams
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Thunkd wrote:
If you value the relationship find a gaming group to play with instead of your girlfriend. There is no curing a sore loser.


Something tells me that when she finds out he's playing games with other people and not inviting her, it will elicit a similarly negative response. =P

gvt2000 wrote:

The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game.


Are you a particularly competitive gamer in general? I know route-blocking is something that happens in TTR, but I've never found it to be a "huge" part of the game. Perhaps you could try to avoid making moves that you know will provoke her if there are alternative strategies available?

gvt2000 wrote:

How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?


Usually I just avoid playing with the sore loser again. Of course, that's not a feasible solution here.

There are a few things you can do that might help:
1) After you finish packing up the game, go find her and talk to her about her behaviour. Do this every time she throws a fit over a game, and encourage her to share her emotions about what just happened. Don't be confrontational about it, but explain how you don't appreciate her behaviour and try to be understanding of her responses as to why she does it.

(Really, any mature couple is going to have these sorts of conversations after an argument, so the fact that this one is about board games shouldn't be a deterrent. You have to be willing to listen to her and she has to be willing to listen to you.)

2) Avoid playing confrontational games. Co-ops are a good option, as suggested above. "Multiplayer solitaire" games might also be a good option.

3) When playing a game that's not co-op, such as TTR for example, try to avoid directly blocking her moves. I'm not saying you should throw the game, but avoid unnecessarily provoking her when you know she'll react poorly. If you absolutley need to make this sort of move, apologize for doing so and explain that it's the only option you have.

If you get her to talk about why she does what she does, perhaps over time she'll learn to stop reacting so negatively. If you listen to her and support her, she'll probably feel more comfortable and relaxed in general, which should help deter negative reactions. By avoiding "blocking" moves where possible, you can show her that you're trying to consider her feelings as well.

This advice is mainly tailored to the fact that you're in a relationship together. Relationships need a certain amount of compromise to stay healthy. I'm not saying you should just give in to her bad behaviour, but if you simply demand that she change without showing any effort to change the things in yourself that set her off, you're unlikely to get very far.
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gvt2000 wrote:
I just had a huge fallout with my girlfriend (99% of my sessions are with her) after I blocked one of her routes in ticket to ride Nordic countries. She got really mad and tried to block my biggest route and, when she failed, she went berserk to the point where she threw down her cards on the table and left me to pack away the game. I've known of her bad loser problem and usually warn her when a game is confrontational enough to trigger it. The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game . this was our first session. How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?


1) You don't have to give up the hobby. If you want to game with your girlfriend, you'll need to find games that don't have direct conflict (I like Sushi Go as an example).

2) You should cultivate other people to game with. I'd recommend both other couples who game as well as gamers she won't be gaming with.... You can play those direct conflict game with the gamers, and the couples gaming for the non-conflict games.

3) You don't mention your or your girlfriend's ages. It sounds like she needs to do some maturing. I recognize (through my own experiences), that not everyone "grows up", so to speak, but a frank conversation with her about behavior and the negative consequences that it has on the relationship outside of the game.

4) You may need to accept that you may not be able to game with her.

5) A little dating advice.... Dating is able evaluating a person for compatibility and whether or not they're a long term match. Is this the only thing that's a problem with her behavior, or is this another way she deals with disappointment (only this time, it is directed at you). I won't tell you how to live your life, but the mantra I try to follow is the "Act kindly, choose wisely."
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Gilbert Tobal
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She's 24 and im 27. I am a very competitive gamer, the kind that replays a game in my head looking for moments when I could've scored more points and widen the gap with the other players . I don't think she'd take it very well if I started gaming with another group and I a also want her to enjoy the hobby with Me. She doesn't deal with luck-based losing very well whereas games with no luck (chess, for example) she's fine with losing. I've tried talking to her about it with no luck.
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gvt2000 wrote:
I just had a huge fallout with my girlfriend (99% of my sessions are with her) after I blocked one of her routes in ticket to ride Nordic countries. She got really mad and tried to block my biggest route and, when she failed, she went berserk to the point where she threw down her cards on the table and left me to pack away the game. I've known of her bad loser problem and usually warn her when a game is confrontational enough to trigger it. The ironic part is she was the one who bought the game for our collection and I had warned her about route blocking being a huge part of this game . this was our first session. How do you guys deal with these situations? Any tips as to not completely give up on the hobby?

Well, for one thing, the group I play with generally aren't dicks, so we don't route-block in T2R. That being said, I dunno, there's some people in my group who get really annoyed and upset if they're losing, and it's just like, it's a game, just have fun with it, if all you care about is winning, why are you even playing?

That's how I feel about it.
 
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Mindy Basi
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She has a temper; sometimes we just have to deal with quirks in people we love. I think you could be less competitive with her, though, and not deliberately block her to win at any cost (pretty high cost if your girlfriend makes you sleep on the couch, dude).

I am sure she might have a side to this story, as well. I remember I got all mad at my husband when he had a choice and blocked me in a game, I thought it was mean. And I told him so.devil
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Nobody's figured out a way to deal with me yet.

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Quote:
Well, for one thing, the group I play with generally aren't dicks, so we don't route-block in T2R.


I don't really see the point of playing a competitive game if you're going to deliberately play badly to be nice.

There are plenty of games that don't involve direct conflict, both co-ops and multiplayer solitaire types.

Sometimes we buy games that don't end up working for us. In this case, it sounds like TTR may have been a bad purchase. That's okay; you can sell it or trade it and get something that would work better.
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Josh Chen
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My fiancee doesn't like confrontational games either.

It's best to stick to multiplayer solitaire for me as well.
 
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Bill Solt
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Have some flowers on hand at all times. When she loses, pull them out and she will not feel too bad about losing. If you are a really good player the Pavlovian response should not take long and soon she will be excited to lose.

The flip side to this is that if she wins and there are no flowers, it might get worse. In the case of a win on her part, have jewelry at the ready.
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Peter Shafer
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gvt2000 wrote:
She's 24 and im 27. I am a very competitive gamer, the kind that replays a game in my head looking for moments when I could've scored more points and widen the gap with the other players . I don't think she'd take it very well if I started gaming with another group and I a also want her to enjoy the hobby with Me. She doesn't deal with luck-based losing very well whereas games with no luck (chess, for example) she's fine with losing. I've tried talking to her about it with no luck.


Haha this thread reminds me of the WaG thread about the sexist treatment at the store where people wanted to know more about the entire encounter before declaring: yep that was sexist. It drove many on either side nuts: one side saying that her impression of the scenario was valid, the other that so was his...but... the truth is somewhere in between. Your girlfriend's behavior, and you saying she's a "sore loser" and leaving it at that isn't the truth, or even helpful, if you think about it functionally.

With this post you just revealed the other part of the puzzle: YOU. See, social interactions, even games (though the Aspberger diagnosed among us may wish otherwise) is SOCIAL.

I am pretty familiar with Girlfriend gaming rage in my life. In my case I married her. But it has gotten a LOT better! To "S. Turner" above: In my case my wife handles the REST of her life AMAZINGLY! I admire and depend on her for so many things, including some calming reality checks! (THANK YOU to my wife! -wave-) We both get irresponsibility passionate about different things in our lives.

Here's the deal: the manner of how YOU play and how YOU relate to her matters a lot (and this includes before AND after you get to the gaming table). I used to take gaming with her pretty straightforwardly (imo) and just go to town on her ass when she revealed a vulnerability on the game board. I would take full advantage of her mistake. And if this included pushing MY luck when hers ran out... well... what right did *I* have to that luck?

Do you see the problem here?

If you don't, stop and figure out that problem before you read on. Seriously... when my beloved revealed a weakness *I* (and the luck gods too!?!?) ganged up and punished her for it? "It's only a game," is bullshit in this case. For a person (my beloved) who takes a game as *TIME TOGETHER* as *PLAYING TOGETHER* as *MEMORY WE ARE BUILDING TOGETHER* as *MY SKILLS DISPLAYED IN FRONT OF YOURS* the point is NOT the game, sir, no it is not.

You know this. You have the evidence of this.

Now OBEY the evidence and the data you have. Grow up past yourself and join her halfway in what gaming means to HER during those games that appear to (luck based a little bit) change the context for her.

Fair points to expect her to join you halfway in what gaming means to you... but, really, halfway Here is the part where you can evaluate her as a person if you choose, right?

Relationship, brother.

Oh and by the way your data and evidence is falling apart, because T2R is not much based on luck, and her rage in that game with your blocking means there's more to her than you are admitting and more to the situation than you are observing and synthesizing. Decide: is it TRULY about only the game, then prepare to sacrifice your relationship. Is playing a game with a beautiful, attractive, intelligent, seductive, loveable partner the point? Then learn how to DO IT! Because while your lover appears to have both sides going at once... my money is on the relationship premise of the game driving her to reveal her rage to you in that way because she is IN a relationship with you.

And no, this post isn't about women vs. men- notice I say beloved, and people- because I've met men who are the same way and learned to adjust MY playing style and my interaction style during the game to accommodate. With someone I don't love I'll go more than halfway once and then just not join them for future games, because for me it's about fun, not winning. And there are, fortunately, LOADS of gamers in this world!

How many wonderful girlfriends, though?
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I changed my gaming style immensely. I, like you, play and adapt continuously until I can win against anyone. Thats the boardgaming I love, and the more head to head confrontation the better. But then I grew up (or something) i realized that mercilessly dominating my friends, family, wife and kids was actually detrimental to the fun, and resulted in less game time for some of my favorite games....so I changed my strategy and and now count it as a win when everyone is having fun, I lose more, but My friends and family have fun and I play games more. (I still tally in my head how I could have dominated haha, but then I take a deep breath and let it go). So its multiplayer solitaire games (barf!) or just change the way you play so you can keep playing games you like. For instance, I think to myself, man it would be bad strategy to do this...then I do it, because wouldnt it be cool if I could win using the worst strategy?
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Winning doesn't always mean you win, especially in a relationship.
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Richard Dewsbery
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Let the wookie win?
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What happened in the game before you blocked one of her routes, thereby triggering the whole slide into 'this isn't fun'?

Perhaps she had opportunity to block you but just didn't because she was playing nice? I suspect there's a whole set of unsaid stuff going on here - might all be game related (do you normally win, are you a bit patronising or smug when you do?) or might not.

But definitely don't obviously throw the next game and let her win - that is likely to piss her off more, a victory needs to be earned.

As others have said, look at the other person involved - i.e. you, perhaps your need to win at all costs is changing the dynamic making winning the only thing, rather than having fun and enjoying the time together?

I wasn't there, and I'm not you but when my wife storms off after something *I* have done, I apologise for being a dick and try not to do it again ...

 
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Typically when this happens I gloat, dance around the house claiming to be the victor, and then post a message to Facebook about how I destroyed X player in Y game.
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RDewsbery wrote:
Let the wookie win?


/thread
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sturner wrote:
If this is how she handles a game, how will she handle things in real life if times are tough?



Listen to the wisdom of this...
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Thunkd wrote:
If you value the relationship find a gaming group to play with instead of your girlfriend. There is no curing a sore loser.


I don't agree with this part. I used to be a sore loser, honest to goodness I was terrible. But then I made a choice - I realized that my bad attitude made others not like playing with me, and I decided that playing games with my friends was infinitely more important than winning a game.

My sore loser-itude was cured instantly.
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I have found that games have an almost unique capacity to amplify or generate behaviors that are otherwise not prominent in other parts of ones life.

My husband and I had some initial issues with some games where I was either moody when losing or he was frustrated and almost to the point of throwing a temper tantrum (this became extremely evident during a game of Summoner Wars where I played the Benders, which seems to bring out the worst in most people).

However, I was not content to assume there was no way to change either of us. In fact I have endeavored to use games to challenge certain behaviors I see in myself, identify where they come from and work to change them. We both talked about it, understood that it was not productive or fun to act the ways we were acting and we agreed to work on it.

While it's not something that changes overnight, it has definitely improved. We even make a point of shaking hands, thanking each other for playing, and congratulating each other after every game, no matter the outcome. It might seem silly, but being gracious and showing gratitude even in a small way has really helped.

I just don't think games should just be about 'fun' and that people can't change. Each experience and interaction is an opportunity for growth. This could be something that deepens your relationship as you BOTH explore your responses to gaming.
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