Yesterday afternoon, men all across the country (I’m sure the world) were engulfed with the very thing so many of us have trouble explaining…feelings.
I know I speak from experience when I say that I was so anxious, scared, happy, pissed off, shocked, and disappointed as I watched “My Baltimore Ravens” GIVE the game away. In fairness, even if we made that very routine field goal in the end it wasn’t a guaranteed win but damn, did we play an amazing game!
Something occurred to me this morning though. I thought about all those emotions that go along with supporting our favorite sports teams. There are some guys that can watch a game, come out feeling happy or slightly disappointed (depending on the outcome of the game), and then an hour later act as though nothing happened. Of course, the reality and what’s much more common is mass emotions. If their team wins they are elated, the world around them is the most amazingly beautiful place and everyone is treated with love and kindness.
What happens if his team loses?
Watch out! Weeding out those guys that will actually get physical with someone you’re still left with your average dude. The average dude is going to be pissed if his team loses. Not just pissed for a few minutes either but for a while, maybe even days. He may take it out on his wife, his kids, his co-workers but he’s going to be pissed.
This morning I wondered why many men, myself included (in the past), take these things so personally and just get so upset! Many men are performance driven. We’re praised on the things we accomplish and criticized for the things we underperform in. What’s worse, many of us live under a false belief that we’re not good enough.
In the beginning of this post I intentionally referred to “My Ravens” and “we” when talking about the Ravens. I was born and raised in Baltimore so of course I support the Ravens. However, it’s more than that. The Ravens have somehow now become me. “We lost”, “We won”, “If only we…”, “How could we…”, and a myriad of other things we tell ourselves about “our” team. Some how the success or failure of the teams we support become personalized and we define ourselves by their actions. What happens is that the false belief of “I’m not good enough” gets reinforced. It’s not just that the Ravens lost. It becomes, “we lost”, “we suck”, “we’re not good enough”….
Of course, we don’t go around actually saying, “we’re not good enough” but that’s exactly what we tell ourselves inside. Afterall, what would explain acting out like a small child, screaming, pissed off, and overall sour over game?
We’re not going to be able to resolve these not good enough feelings in this post but the next time the guy in your life ruins the rest of his day, your day, and everyone else’s day around him remember the following:
He’s not this mad that the (Insert favorite sports team here) lost the game. He’s this mad because he’s been lying to himself about who he is and he was just reminded about that lie. Validate his feelings and let him know it’s perfectly okay to be pissed. More importantly let him know how much he’s loved and how important he is. Any opportunity you have to remind him that he is good enough will go a long way to ensuring that he doesn’t have to wait for his team to win to feel like a winner. He’s already a winner, he just doesn’t know it yet.