Across all facets of daily life we have interactions with other people in which we can shape their future. And sometimes we do not even have to specifically interact with a person to bring changes into their life. But no matter if it is through indirect or direct interaction, it is obvious that our individual actions have the ability to dramatically change other peoples' lives. Every action we take can be grouped into four simple categories based on the potential impact it has on our life and the lives of others. The four categories are: lose-lose, lose-win, win-lose, and win-win.
These are the four types of “offers” we can make whenever we interact with our surrounding environment, and although it may seem obvious to some that win-win is the best possible choice, too many people fail to take this option regularly. Some people simply do not think this deeply about their actions and their respective consequences, others do not care, and some are not even aware that they have a choice.
But there is always a choice and this article is going to show you why you should always try to create win-win situations.
Four Offers You Can Make The World
This is a no brainer. Not only is it the obviously bad choice but it is also the most destructive and negative option. Offering (or accepting) a lose-lose situation in life is the worst possible action you can take as it can destroy everything - friendships, careers, and relationships.
Examples of lose-lose situations include “taking someone down with you” when you get in trouble, backstabbing your friends, and making a relationship turn sour because you do not have the balls to breakup.
The lose-win situation is when you are willing to accept a disadvantage (i.e. a loss) in your life so that someone else can gain an advantage. It may sound noble but unless you have utter and complete happiness in your life then offering a lose-win situation actually has a very negative impact. In fact, it is often worse than the lose-lose situation because you can convince yourself that you’ve done something good, even though the result for you is anything but.
Examples of lose-win situations are "being there" for someone when you know they wouldn’t do the same for you, giving someone the shirt off your back (literally), and not speaking up when the jerk at work eats your lunch.
The win-lose situation is generally exhibited by those that like to take advantage of others. This option results in you reaping great rewards (i.e. the win) for yourself but at the expense of someone else. Sometimes the win-lose can be offered to you (i.e. by someone else who lets people “walk all over them”) but this does not mean that you have to accept it. In fact you should definitely not accept it. It is up to you to make a little bit of effort and create something positive: a win-win situation so that everyone can benefit.
Examples of win-lose situations are all forms of stealing, bullying someone (in the workplace, friendships, or relationships), and...being the jerk at work that eats someone else’s lunch!
At last we’ve reached what is the only true option for living a happy and wonderful life: the win-win. Making this your default option should be your top priority as it promotes an environment of mutual advantage, where everyone can prosper.
The problem is that creating win-win can often be a damn sight harder than win-lose or lose-win. It’s easy for one person to gain an advantage but to ensure that everyone involved has a win requires a great deal of awareness, self control, and the ability to enjoy delayed gratification.
Examples of win-win situations include setting up a babysitting rotation with your friends, providing emotional support for a close friend or partner going through a tough time, or maybe taking on an extra workload so that your partner can quit their job and start their dream business.
Why You Should Only Create Win-Win Situations
When your actions have a direct influence on the outcomes for you and others around you, it is important to be always striving to create win-win situations.
You deserve more than a loss
If you are willing to accept a losing option, one where you are put to a disadvantage, then what does that say about you? What image of self respect does that convey to the rest of the world? How could you expect others to treat you well, and offer you advantageous opportunities when you don’t even do that for yourself?
By accepting a losing situation in your life you are essentially saying “I am not worthy of positive outcomes and I do not deserve to have good things in my life” and once you start thinking this way, your brain will try to find proof that it is true and other people will automatically align with this view of you.
Your life will become a perpetual series of lose-win (or worse, lose-lose) situations because that is all that your mind will be capable of seeing. Worse still is that you will only attract other people into your life that will also fulfill this arrangement. That means, in all aspects of your life, you will naturally find people that want to take advantage of you or people that want to feel sorry for themselves by creating destructive lose-lose situations.
Neither of them is a positive influence and neither of them bring any happiness to your life.
And your happiness is the most important part of your life. It is the key factor underlying your confidence, your relationships, and your success in life. Therefore, making someone else happy at your own expense is counter-intuitive. It may yield a superficial short-term burst of positive energy but the long-term effects are disastrously negative for your happiness.
Others deserve more than a loss
The same applies for allowing losing situations to occur for other people. If you like to take advantage of other people, or maybe just do not care about their outcomes, then what does this say about you? What sort of relationships will you create in your life?
The attitude of willingness to allow (and worse, purposefully create) losing situations for other people is rife with problems. Firstly, you create vicious cycle where you establish a connection with someone new and you coexist in a negative win-lose environment for a small period of time. But it is not sustainable in the long-term and your friendship/relationship/acquaintanceship will end, often badly, and you move on to the next person.
Which leads to the second problem with being win-lose oriented – you only attract negative people, emotions, and energy into your life. The action of taking advantage of other people (intentionally or not) never attracts a positive and happy person that can bring improvements to your life. These people are busy interacting with other positive and happy people, leaving you jump from one negative situation to the next trying to take your advantage.
The “wins” that you get from a win-lose situations are not good for you or your life because they are laced with the previously mentioned negativity. They are not real wins in terms of you progressing your life towards happiness. They do not provide long-term fulfilment, establish positive relationships, or lead to successful outcomes.
It is actually quite common for the win-lose oriented person to look back on their life with many regrets, simply because they filled their life with negative wins rather than positive ones. They are unlikely to establish close friendships and even less likely to have successful long-term romantic relationships.
Win-Win is the only positive choice
To avoid such negativity in your life it is imperative that you always aim to create win-win situations.
The win-win attitude is like a barrier that prevents negative people from entering your life. With this mindset you will only attract like-minded (win-win) people who will have a positive influence on your life. No self-hating lose-lose people, no self-wallowing lose-win people, and definitely no self-obsessed win-lose people.
Your life will become filled with positive people, emotions, and energy. You will be rewarded with fantastic opportunities, wonderful experiences, successful business ventures, and great long-term relationships. You will achieve far more than you could ever have imagined just by always working towards win-win situations.
Win-win is the only real choice for a happy and positive life.