Giving and Taking: The Lose/Win Philosophy of Relationships


This is a part of a new series that I am doing about the different paradigms of human interaction.

These paradigms are based on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So far we have done,

Win/Win
Win/Lose
Lose/Win
Lose/Lose
Win
Win/Win or No Deal

Today we are talking about the Lose/Win philosophy.

“Win/Lose has no standards – no demands, no expectations, no vision. People who think Lose/Win are usually quick to please or appease. They seek strength from popularity or acceptance. They have little courage to express their own feelings and convictions and are easily intimidated by the ego strength of others.”

This is the opposite of Win/Lose, obviously, instead of showing selfishness, you are showing selflessness – but on an extreme. The Lose/Win mentality is the one that lets people take advantage of you. You avoid confrontation and just let things happen because you want to preserve the peace as much as possible, it much as may hurt you, in the long run.

You know who loves these people? Obviously, it’s the people with the Win/Lose mentality. They feed off of you just to boost their egos, have the upper hand, and take advantage of you to get what they want. And you know what Lose/Win people do? They give in. They give up.

So let’s see here, how can I put this in a way that can drive it home really well?

Lose/Win guys are the “nice guys that finish last.”

In relationships, the Lose/Win will do whatever it takes to prevent fights and please his or her mate. He will sacrifice his identity for the sake of the relationship. It’s probably one of the worst mentalities to have in a relationship. And it’s not just because you give up all the time. It goes much deeper than that.

By letting this go, not expressing their feelings and allowing themselves to get taken advantage of, Lose/Win people hold EVERYTHING inside. You can’t possibly think these feelings won’t resurface later on, right? They may come back in the relationship as a total lashing out against your significant other. It can come back as an internal beatdown. It’ll crush your self-esteem and completely lower your sense of self-worth not just to your mate but also to the world around you. Your relationships will deteriorate to nothing if you just accept the Lose/Win mentality. People will take so much from you that there will be nothing left to take from you.

Both Win/Lose and Lose/Win mentalities drive themselves from personal insecurities created from past events and it’s so easy to go between the two. The perfect example given in the book goes something like this.

The Win/Lose starts as selfishness and inconsideration then goes into guilt and loss of courage as Lose/Win then frustration and anger sets in and in a fit of rage, a more aggressive Win/Lose mentality kicks in. Either mentality will not be good for a long-term relationship.

In the end, you have to battle your inner demons and resolve issues of the past in order to clear your mind and be truly ready to embrace the Win/Win mentality.

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