Reactions to Wins and Losses

Posted by
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the last article, we discussed the two-sided effects of sibling rivalry. Today, as a bonus piece, we are looking at some of the possible responses to the different outcomes of a competition.

Types of reactions to losses (defeat)

  • Anger

Some people tend to behave rather poorly to defeat. They get angry with themselves for not being able to win. Some even get angry at their opponent and may accuse them of absurd things (like cheating). Although not many do, a few may demonstrate their anger on their surroundings. They can be destructive both verbally and physically which really isn’t good for their image.

In the animation “UNBEATABLES”, we witness an example of such a reaction. Ace’s anger at his first loss developed into hatred which, even though it made him more willing to succeed, led to his demise in the end (as do most successes based on the idea of vengeance).

At the beginning of “Stomp The Yard”, we see how the Mexican street break dance team’s anger at losing so much money led them to do something they regretted and paid the consequences for it later. There was a brawl which ended in the murder of DJ’s brother.

Hence, we can note that anger it’s not the best response to a loss. It doesn’t have a good end.

  • Good Sportsmanship (congratulatory)

This category of people accepts that even though they put in their best, it just was not enough. They congratulate the other team, let go of the loss and focus on the next agenda that requires their attention.

That’s one reason why I love Barcelona. No matter the outcome of the match, they always demonstrate good sportsmanship and congratulate their opponents – win or lose.

In addition, the Bible instructs us to “do unto others what you want to be done unto you”. You know you would like to be congratulated for a good game/ achievement and so why hesitate to do same to others?

Follow the example of the participants of a typical boxing match. After the match, the boxers approach each other and shake hands (no matter how they feel within).

  • Sorrow

I have witnessed soccer players cry at a loss. This is usually when they lose the championship finals (especially by a small margin). It’s not just soccer. Once the stakes of the competition are high (e.g. something of importance), it’s even more painful to lose.

The pain is doubled when you consider all the sweat, hard work, persistence and extra effort you put in competing. Most times, the best way the pain can be expressed is through tears.

I have had friends who, after seeing their IGCSE results, wept when they recalled the sleepless nights and sacrificed game time they put in preparing for it.

It’s alright to cry your heart out but then, don’t stay there… wipe your tears away and move on with life – there are many more opportunities out there.

  • Self-pity

The more you brood over defeat, your sorrow slowly becomes self-pity. Self-pity is a feeling of sorrow (often self-indulgent) over your own sufferings.

The problem with this is the very same people who have been trying to console you get fed up at this point and move on with their lives. Hence, you will be delaying your own progress.

Don’t dwell on the past!! Move on!

  • Quiet (Observatory)

These people don’t say or do much more than a smile here and there. No, they rather think and analyze the situation in their minds – find out what they did wrong and how to improve on it so that they stand a better chance of winning next time.

Learn from your mistakes. If you ignore them, you’ll end falling in the same ditch over and over again.


Types of reactions to wins (victory)

  • Excitement (celebratory)

It’s an exhilarating feeling to finally reach your goal – to emerge victorious (most especially in tough competition). You feel like you are going to burst with excitement.

Excitement can be expressed in various ways: some shout, dance, sing, jump around, go have a celebratory drink, hug others, cry, throw a party and many others.

Whatever it is you do, have fun doing it.

You deserve it for all the effort you put into making that achievement. Enjoy the moment, celebrate it and then focus on the next goal.

  • Sportsmanship of a sort

These people do not rub it in ( making the losing team feel worse or react in the wrong way). They understand that their opponents put in a lot of effort and so congratulate them on making it that far and wish them better luck next time.

So, before you give in to the temptation to rub in the defeat, think about this and reconsider.

  • Happy (Observatory)

This category normally comes up when people win but not in the way they know they could have. They are happy but are watching out for their mistakes so that they can correct them and attain a more satisfactory in future.

Getting a B is a pass. Be happy but you don’t settle for that when you know you could have gotten an A*/ A+.


This ends our series on SIBLING RIVALRY. I know you have a great time because I know I have.

The Sibling Rivalry Series:

Keep in touch.

Teen Voice.



  1. waoow its amazing site. your article – its very helpful to me. I really enjoying it is awesome. your website is totally different – I’m loving it

    thank you… 🙂

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

CommentLuv badge