Monopoly Almost Ruined a Friendship
Do me a favor and think about what game or activity brings out your competitive side. Maybe everything is a competition to you but what is the one thing that brings out that ugly (win at all costs) competitive side? Go ahead, take a minute and think about it.
Is it a video game or a board game? Is it a sport? Is it an activity?
For me, the answer is simple. The game that brings out my ugly competitive side is Monopoly. It almost ruined a friendship. Honestly, I almost ruined a friendship while playing Monopoly.
My wife and I were playing Monopoly with some friends many years ago. When I play Monopoly, I like to make deals with the other players throughout the game. Sometimes I would have a piece of property that someone else needed in order to build houses and hotels. They would ask to buy it and we would settle on a purchase price. I would also throw in a stipulation that I would NEVER pay on any of those properties that they were now building houses and hotels on.
It was also common for me to buy a piece of property from other players who were slowly falling out of the game. When they needed a little stash of cash I was happy to take a few of their properties. These moves were not the most popular with the rest of the players.
As my wife and I and our friends were playing, some of these strategies were carried out. At the same time, the game unofficially became a battle of the sexes. So the guys were against the girls.
With the added pressure of beating the opposite sex, my ugly, ruthless, competitive edge came out in full force. I was having a good old time. Talking smack and raking in the dough. It was great!
The fun soon came to an end when my wife and friends had had enough of me. We literally had to stop playing the game because we were fighting and arguing back and forth so much. Grown adults were fighting with each other because of a game. Ridiculous? Yes, my competitive nature is ridiculous.
Needless to say, Monopoly does not come out on game nights anymore. In fact, for the sake of friendship, I no longer play this game with friends. I play occasionally with my kids (because I am pretty confident I can win), but to this day my wife is hesitant to play Monopoly with me. I'm not kidding.
I think competition can be healthy (if it drives you to grow and be better), but it can also lead to hurt feelings and even broken friendships or relationships. During the month of January, I want to write about competition. I want to talk about how it has influenced my life in some pretty obvious ways (like while playing Monopoly) and in more subtle ways as well.
I'm excited to explore the topics of competing with yourself, cooperation instead of competition, and the finite vs the infinite game. These topics have been rolling around in my head for the last few months. It will be great to write about them and free up some space in my mind.
I hope you will have the time to read the rest of the posts in January and maybe make a comment or two. If you would take a minute to subscribe (scroll down) to this blog you will receive an email every Monday when a new post is published. As always, thanks for reading.
Until Monday, Josh