When I am down, my mom will often challenge me to a game of Bananagrams. Although I usually win (sorry Mom), her attitude is mostly cheerful which makes the competition friendly instead of intense.
Sometimes, we need to be challenged in order to distract ourselves from worries or prove that we can face something difficult. Competition also can teach us how to deal with life’s ups and downs. If we lose, we must learn to be gracious while thinking about how to improve next time. When we win, our response must still be gracious as we think of what we did right.
These ways of thinking can be applied to many areas of life, not just games. For example, how do we handle being the employee chosen for a promotion or winning an award? Conversely, what is our response to being turned down for a date or not being hired? These types of situations arise often in life. Learning how to deal with being challenged by fighting hard but staying respectful of others involved is important.
The coping skill of challenging someone takes a great deal of brain power and thinking. That is part of what makes it so helpful. You become immersed in a task other than your worry, depression, or unhealthy urges. Doing this challenge with another person adds to distraction even more. This can give you a break from the struggles that you are dealing with at the moment.
Here are a few ideas of friendly challenges that you can have with friends or family:
- A board, card, video, or computer game
- Running, biking, or another athletic activity
- Fantasy football or guessing what team will win
- Scavenger hunt
- Cleaning faster or more
Some of those might sound a bit strange, but others might appeal to you. Just ask someone that you trust and be sure that neither of you will end up hurt in the end. Then, you can start the challenge. Sure, losing might sting and winning might aggravate the other person. However, if you learn how to manage each situation well, you will be wiser for using this coping skill.