How to Overcome Being a Sore Loser

Hold back on screaming insults when you lose.
... Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

Whether your team just lost the soccer finals, you lost out on a prime position at work or the object of your affection asked out your friend instead of you, being a sore loser only makes matters worse. Instead of pouting, shouting or acting younger than your years, pick yourself up and overcome the obstacles in front of you.

1 Hypercritical Obstacles

If your version of being a sore loser includes crying, pouting and wallowing in the sadness of your loss, take a closer look at who you really are. Ask yourself if you're being overcritical of your loss or if you started out with unrealistic expectations. Was it really your fault that the football team lost? Did your crush truly pick your best bud over you because you're a loser? Probably not. It's more likely that other factors -- such as a deep connection between your crush and your friend -- had more to do with it. Ask a friend or close family member to help you evaluate the situation and provide you with a realistic perspective, recommends psychology professor Thomas Plante.

2 Self-Esteem Sufferers

When you're down in the dumps because you aren't "winning," boosting your self-esteem is a must. It's possible that your lack of self-esteem is getting in the way. Instead of viewing your loss as a major flub, turn it around and make it a learning opportunity, suggests the article "How Can I Improve My Self-Esteem?" Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone loses sometimes. For example, instead of stomping out of the office because your friend got a promotion instead of you, remind yourself that you have your own talents.

3 Congratulations, Someone Else Won

Take a tip from pro athletes. Although there are certainly exceptions, for the most part after a "big game" you'll see the professionals congratulate the other team whether they win or lose, as noted on Even if you're feeling sad, mad or just plain annoyed that you lost, rise above the negative emotions and congratulate the person -- or team -- who won. This strategy doesn't just apply to the sports field. Translate it into your romantic or work life too. For example, if both you and your friend like the same guy, and he asks her out, act in a mature way and tell her that you're happy for her.

4 Keep Your Cool

Even though you might feel like screaming when you lose, throwing a a tantrum isn't the way to go. Keep your cool, calm down and relax instead of acting out with an attitude. Walk away from the situation if you feel your temper flaring. This gives you time to collect yourself and think about the situation at hand. Keep in mind that keeping your cool isn't always easy to do and will take maturity and focus. If you're in a group situation, your teammates' reactions can compound this challenge. Just because other people around you are being sore losers doesn't mean that you need to join in.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.