Our phobia of failure breeds a society of sore losers

Damian Gordon/Staff Writer

Some in society seem to be infatuated with winning, being in first place, getting that gold medal that shows they did something trivial the best that day. This fear of losing is something that humans have fought with since cavemen started flexing.

The loss of a family member can elicit the same reaction Lebron James did in some when left Cleveland all those years ago.

Seeing a grown man cry on live TV over a player going from one place to shoot a ball in a hoop to another is quite disturbing.

Look at sports teams with how people take team losses, especially at championship games. Fans, who are not playing or have a financial stake in the team, can become extremely angry, emotional, or even violent from their team’s loss.

Losing is not a good feeling; my basketball team and I made it to the finals only to lose after we missed the potential game winning shot. Emotions were running high after the game and some failed to appreciate everything we accomplished up to that point.

There’s a group of kids losing a game they love to play, then there’s Cam Newton, who recently gave one of the saltiest post-game interviews in Super Bowl history before proceeding to walk out.

Newton, who actively gloats in the face of challengers and whose team had an impressive win streak, handled the loss worse than a middle-aged man mourning his slowly disappearing hair.

“Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” were the words spoken by Newton following his loss in an attempt to validate his poor attitude.

We’re taught from a very young age to look down upon failure and always strive for success. This mindset overlooks the very important fact that failure is what helps illuminate that murky road to success

Americans aren’t familiar with the concept of portions and have a history of wanting more. It’s no surprise that so many of us aren’t prepared to deal with losses in competition.

Friendly trash talk is something that’s a healthy way for competitors to not only motivate themselves, but also their opponents as well.

The word “trash” has the connotation of something unwanted and dirty. It doesn’t have to be though; everything is not so black and white with how flexible words can be.

As long as these words are not coming from a place of malice, trash talk or banter should be encouraged to the youth.

More importantly, instead of feigning congratulations after a competition, what needs to be taught is how to not be a sore loser, or how to take defeat in stride.

They say losing builds character. Maybe it does, or maybe it doesn’t. But if Charlie Sheen is a poster boy for winning, perhaps it’s better to keep taking “L’s.”

Playful banter can help improve social skills. People enter an elevator, actively avoid eye contact and in the event that their stares actually meet, a weak, awkward smile usually follows.

I’m not advocating someone to drop to the floor shouting, “what are those?” as there’s a degree of respect with which someone should approach a stranger.

When it comes to sports, a layer of thick skin and the ability to not take everything so seriously is critical to success.

Embracing failure is just as important as celebrating success. We all need to sit and ask ourselves” what’s wrong with being a loser?”



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Image from pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/war-chess-59197/

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