When I Have to Win, You're the One That I Lose

This article is based on a song by Loudon Wainwright. He wrote it about his relationship with his grown children, his desire to heal, and his belief that change is possible.

Throughout the years we’ve been lucky to sponsor some pretty spectacular athletes including Adam Myerson, Helen Wyman, and Jonathan Page. We love watching people compete and putting everything on the line to win. As a society, we love to win.

The drive to win is an important part of the human spirit. But there are times when our need to win can be the very thing that makes us lose. I am referring not to situations in competitive sport, but to the relationships we have with people in our lives. 

The title of this article comes from a lyric in the song “The Days That We Die” by Loudon Wainwright. We have all experienced a moment in our lives where we’ve been at odds with another person. A quarrel with a spouse, a fight with our child, or a difference of opinion with a work colleague. It’s very natural to want to win in these situations. Unfortunately, it is our need to win that often makes the situation worse. It can lead to more division and pull us apart from the people we care about.

How do we stop this? For starters, the next time you find yourself at odds with another person, ask yourself, “do I want to win, or do I want to be happy?” Situational awareness is a great skill, and being able to catch yourself in the moment takes time and practice. 

Another skill to practice is to get curious about the other person. Ask yourself what is causing them to believe what they believe. You could also think about what would need to be true for their opinion to make sense. We do this without judgement. This practice will help you build your empathy muscle. It is through empathy that we find common ground and build bridges.

Practice these skills and you’ll find your relationships grow stronger. At the end of the day, it’s through better relationships that we win.

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You'll never change, neither will I, we'll stay the same till the days that we die.

I'll never win, neither will you, so what in this world are we gonna do

People hate change, they make a fuss, they stay the same, people like us,

Folks wanna win, when they can choose, but more important than that, folks don't wanna lose

When did it start how did it go wrong

Why in this world can't we get along

Each victory should be good news,

But when I have to win you're the one that I lose

I wanna change but I don't know how

We need to change though, I know that now

Its sad but it's true and I have to say, that the days that we die aren't that far away

You'll never change neither will I

We'll stay the same till the days that we die

I'll never win, neither will you

So what in this world are we gonna do?