A few thoughts on wanting to always win arguments


When I was a little boy I had a very bad habit of being angry and grudging when losing a game. I do not know why but I always felt I needed to win and be top dog. As a result my siblings, especially my older brothers got angry with me a lot and at some point they were playing with me less in such games.

My parents noticed this and started to harp on it. It hurt but they did not let up. They did not beat me or mock me, they also never abused me over it but they were always quick to remind me that getting angry over losing a game was a bad attitude and I had to stop it or “nobody will play with you again.”

My mother had this proverb that she spoke often that stung and yet it was the truth. She would tell me that it is a bad workman that quarrels with his tools. In my case, why complain and be angry I lost at cards for example, when I am the one holding the cards and playing the game?

Gradually I started to see they were right and I stopped it. I do not even remember when I did. All I know is at some point I learned and saw it was a bad way to live. I started enjoying games and competitions more because losing was not so bad to me anymore. Sure, I loved to win but if I lost, I did not have to kill anyone or myself over it.

In adult relationships there is sometimes this hunger to be right all the time and “win”. This has led to many a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, and spouse saying and doing stuff just to win arguments and be right. It is not wise. Like I did then, you run the risk of provoking and alienating someone who thinks the world of you and that will only lead to the ruin of your relationship.

I have had many people come to me and complain that their partner or spouse is just too argumentative and never sees themselves as wrong. Now for some this is simply emotional responses to being wrong many times or rebuked but not everyone is this way. Some folks really are in this kind of a mess and they are getting tired of it.

This behaviour can be anything from good ol’ fashioned arrogance and stubbornness to not letting go of some idea/belief from ones life or past that now makes them think this is how so and so has to be and go or else. Again it is not healthy for your relationship.

Learn to talk things out and reach mature agreements. If tempers are flaring and things are getting too hot, take a time out and rest, and then you can come back together and discuss afresh.

Wanting to always win arguments is not a sign of maturity and it means you will eventually get petty, be rude and do some really dumb stuff just to score cheap points, especially if you see you are losing or have lost the argument. It is not worth it. Grow up and shape up. The health of your relationship depends on it by far.

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