Hey Harmony: I'm a Sore Loser


Hey Harmony,

I’ve been dancing competitively for two years, and I absolutely love it. Nothing feels better than heading to rehearsals or taking the stage for one of my solo performances. But, here’s the problem: I never, ever win competitions. Like, NEVER. And, the worst part is that I almost always lose to my best friend.  

I keep practicing and trying to work harder, but it feels like nothing will push me past fourth or fifth place (or worst, not even placing). When they announce the scores, I can’t help but feel angry and jealous of my friend. She doesn’t even work as hard as I do! It’s just not fair and it’s starting to ruin our friendship. Last week, she even told me I was a sore loser.

I don’t want to act like this, but I don’t know how to make myself feel better when I lose competitions! What should I do?

Hmmmm, let me think…

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Wow, that’s definitely a tough one. It never feels good to lose...believe me, I’ve been there.  I made it through these tough times, and you can do it, too! It just takes a few changes to your attitude, and you’ll be a winner in the ways that REALLY matter.

Here’s my first piece of advice: Winning isn’t everything. Seriously. It may feel good in the moment (who doesn’t love to win?!) but at the end of the day, it’s about how you feel about yourself and who is standing by your side.  

It sounds like your BFF is pretty hurt that you’ve put competition over your friendship. I think you need to talk to your friend about how you’re feeling, even if it’s tough to talk about your deepest fears. It’ll make your friendship stronger, and help her see things from your point of view. Friendship is about cheering each other on in life, through the good times AND the bad times.  Next time she beats you in competition, you can cheer for her onstage, and then she can come over to watch your favorite movie together and cheer you up!

You say you love dancing. Dancing and winning aren’t the same thing! You can have the time of your life on the dance floor and push out those worries about winning or losing. You may even find that some of your nerves melt away and you’re able to dance even stronger, but if not, at least you’re out there living your passion and having fun! That’s what I always tell myself when it comes to acting: it’s about feeling like you did your personal best. You get to define what winning means to you, and that’s pretty empowering - if I do say so myself!