Magnitude of a loss, or a win

I have come to the conclusion that in events where there are winners and there are losers, the losing side or party or individual experiences MORE pain, than the winning side or party or individual experiences happiness or satisfaction.

In other words, the magnitude of the loss is more than the corresponding magnitude of the win.

The wins and losses that I’m talking about here are personal ones. Not the ones that you experience second, or third, hand. For example, let’s say you’re an Indian and you were overjoyed when India won the World Cup in 2011. Would you have been equally sad (as you were happy) if India lost in the finals? Maybe, but then maybe not. But let’s suppose you are Gautam Gambhir. Would you have been more crestfallen had India lost? I think so.

This “condition” generally does not manifest itself in situations where fortuitousness plays a greater part (like gambling, lottery)  in the outcome of the event than skill or hard work.

I come to this conclusion, after suffering my share of losses. In football (soccer) games, in the recreational leagues that I play in. It is a wonderful feeling to score a goal. But the bitter taste of a defeat for the team overshadows your personal achievement. Then on the other hand, when we win there is a distinct feeling of oh-we-should-have-won-this-game-no-big-deal.

Can this be attributed to human nature? Evolutionary traits that were passed down? Any psychologists out there (budding, qualified or otherwise) who want to take a dig at this? I think I will start to make an effort to enjoy my hard-won wins more from now on.

Categories: Demystify | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Magnitude of a loss, or a win

  1. Vinny

    Well written and well said. There are a lot of psychological theories which center on the subject of victory and loss,,,but essentially what I believe that a victory is sweeter if you have tasted loss .Either way you end up at both end of the spectrum.

  2. Steve Barrera

    My question is, if India wins, so what? If India loses, so what? Life keeps going on. Enjoy what you have and don’t get bent out of shape if you lose. The journey is the fun.

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