November 23, 2014

Dealing with people who “always” want to win

Life is a competition, you either win or lose, succeed or fail, have power or weakness.

This is how people who always want to win see the world.

The biggest problem with this thinking is it makes working “with” others an illogical proposition.

Cooperation is seen as power sharing instead of combining strengths.

Making mistakes is experienced as an opening for attack from an adversary instead of an opportunity to utilize the strengths of others in accomplishing a win win outcome.

You win when your needs get met, they win because they were able to be of value to you by contributing their gifts in helping you achieve a desired outcome. The win win partnership is truly expressed when you do the same for them.

We all make mistakes

Either or thinkers get particularly pissed off by well intended people who encourage them to not feel bad about their MISTAKES because everybody makes them. Do you see the problem? What appears to be support is perceived as an encouragement to feel good about being weak.

Speaking of weakness, encouraging a competitive minded person (such as a spectrumite) to talk about their strengths and weaknesses is like asking a police officer to remove her bullet proof vest so she can be more vulnerable.

This black and white, win lose thinking is particularly problematic in relationships where collaboration is key, where shared ownership of the problem as well as the solution is critical. 

Can’t we both be happy?

In relationships, I’ve seen many spectrumites become upset if the other person is happy because in their mind, if both people are happy, then who wins? How can we both be happy? There has to be a winner and loser, the leader and the follower, the victor and the vanquished.

This goes to the heart of those on the spectrum who have the greatest difficulty connecting with others. There is danger in collaboration, in sharing experience, in sharing happiness for a mind that understands doing so as a sign of danger and potential defeat.

The solution, for starters, is to be a model for gratitude which reinforces the message, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Please share this with others and please share your thoughts by commenting below.

Photo Credit: Randombassist via Flikr

About Brian R. King, LCSW

Brian R. King, LCSW (ADHD & ASD Life Coach) is a #1 Best Selling Author, 25-year cancer survivor, adult with Dyslexia, ADHD, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He’s also the father of three sons ADHD and Autism Spectrum challenges. He is known worldwide for his books and highly engaging presentations that teach the power of connection and collaboration. His strategies empower others to overcome their differences so they can build powerful and lasting partnerships. His motto is: We’re all in this together. You can learn more about Brian through his websites and

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