The Blame Game

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The legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi was credited with coining the phrase 'Winning isn't everything its the only thing.

The Blame Game

The legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi was credited with coining the phrase 'Winning isn't everything its the only thing'. Im with Vince, there's no greater feeling than when you win something. That moment of elation when you hear your name called is a wonderful experience. Counter that with the deflation of losing. That agonising dagger to the heart of rejection is something many of us struggle to disguise. I felt for Justin Rose as he smiled through gritted teeth, after losing to Sergio Garcia at last weeks finale to The Masters Golf tournament. Self control and an audience of millions wouldn't allow Justin to vent his frustration at throwing away one of golfs biggest prizes. He acted like he was happy for his partner. But behind his painted smile, Inside I'm sure he was raging.

At the Oscars, you have to pity all those poor actors as they are forced to stare into the white light of the TV cameras. Every emotion is recorded as they wait to hear if they will be invited up to receive a gong. The losers then have to smile graciously as they are publicly snubbed for the top prize, The two biggest lies at any award ceremony are the winners saying ' I wasn't expecting this'. And then the losers trying to sound convincing when they say ' I'm happy for them ( the winners) they deserved it.'. Remember nobody likes a bad loser. Kanye West saying he didn't think Taylor Swift deserved an MTV VMA' ( Video Music Award) didn't go down well.

Over time and after several rejections for prizes you thought you were a 'cert' for, you develop certain coping strategies, and adapt certain 'blaming' rules, that can help soften the blow.

The first rule of a rejection is always get your excuses in early. Here's some tried and trusted favourites that losers always turn to when they try to explain why the didn't win. Let's start with 'It's a fix'. Losers like to take consolation in the idea that their is some conspiracy to crown the chosen winner because they don't like you or are jealous of your talent. Losers also like to question the judges competency or lack of experience. , 'What do they know'. Then their is the accusation of bias, gender or regional differences, are always good reasons for not winning. And how about the old nepotism excuse 'What do you expect they (the judges and the winners) are friends/worked together/Family.

And finally the most outrageous excuse ' it's a brown envelope job'. The implication that judges are corruptible is always a dubious and one you might have dismissed as unsubstantiated , if it hadn't been for those World Cup representatives who got rich on deciding where the World Cup was going to be held. ' I mean if they can do it, in football why wouldn't anyone else, if you bung em enough'

The second coping strategy for rejection is the blame game. Find yourself a fall guy, who could take the blame for your failure, and them make sure as many people as possible know your loss was their fault. Miss direction is always a winning strategy.

'Smile like you mean it ' sang the Killers. And being gracious in defeat should go without saying. A good loser is still a loser and nothing will change that. The platitudes of other losers on the quality of your work won't change anything. So how does a loser become a winner? They pick themselves up dust themselves down. And start all over again. Losing is a reality check, a wake up call to do better next time, or don't enter the competition. But remember you have to be in it to win it.

Their was a news story recently that reported a chronic shortage of Boy Scout Leaders. Their are tens of thousands of boys and girls waiting to join the Cub Scouts.  Now What's that got to do with this article you may ask? Well it reminded me that the Boy Scouts have a motto — 'Be Prepared', maybe if more of us take Baden Powell's commandment to heart, it could all be so different. Granted it wouldn't change the fact that their will always be winners and losers but it may help us strategise our blame game a little bit more effectively. Maybe the scouts even have a badge for it

 

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