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Feature Article of Thursday, 13 December 2012

Columnist: Koffison, John

There Are Losers Within

Yeah, losers are ethnocentric and small town individuals who adrift in the big city, generally try to keep their head above water and when their party is declared a winner of an election, then they portray the Election Commission as a fair and transparent institution; but when the ball turns the other way around, then hell turns loose and the Election Commission becomes corrupt, an institution above the law, yeah that is the real attitude of losers.

Losers are individuals who habitually choose behavior which prevents the development of their potential. A great deal of human behavior can be explained by people trying to convince themselves that they are not losers. Remember, a loser's behavior is a statement about him, not a statement about others. When you call some people a bamsee you are not usually very annoyed with them or anything, it is kind of a light hearted way of describing loser behaviour.

Losers are people who are generally defined as a social outcast, "ones whose IQ is greater than their height and weight". However, losers are not always smart. They may vary in different ways as they invoke fear.

In fact, the behavior of losers not only prevents the development of their potential, it eventually destroys it. No one is born a loser; you have to work at it. Losers are made, not born. They are a source of much pain and frustration to those who love them.

Losers have characteristics of proving something over and over, because that is what they are, and that is the way they think, they will just continue losing. But how can you identify losers? There are definitive patterns and indicators. If the person you are wondering about possesses even one of the following warning signs, then he or she is a loser; and I will illustrate these indicators with some facts from Michael J.K. Bokor taken from his article: “Compelling reasons why Akufo-Addo must be rejected”
? A loser displays any sort of hostility or aggression especially when unwarranted and unreasonable.
? Displays bizarre behavior. (Take it from me. Akufo-Addo hasn’t given us any convincing justification to warrant his being elected President. All he has done is to bandy about extravagant and fulsome promises, hoping that they will be snapped up by the electorate. He is more invested in dangling promises than demonstrating that he is a more capable candidate for the job. Extravagant and politically motivated promises don’t build countries)
? Displays blatant selfishness. (Every sane person should be very much shocked if the electorate buy into these vain promises to elect him. The explanation is simple.)
? Is a judgmental and critical immoralist. (Since leaving Kufuor’s government—driven by the morbid ambition he is now pursuing after an unimpressive performance—he hasn’t added any value to himself nor purged himself of all the obnoxious impressions that have dented his public image thus far.)
? Commits illegal acts (such as involvement with drugs or other criminal behavior.
? Has a restricted range of conversation in general and cannot make decisions without consulting a family member (e.g. The party’s Council of Elders will meet Tuesday to decide whether to go to court or concede defeat in the December polls.).
? Has a cruel sense of humor such as “all die be die”.
? Is voted out by his or her peers.
? Has no interest in hearing the point of view of others.
? Engages in juvenile attempts to win the attention and affection of others, and this at all cost.
? Is disrespectful to family members, friends or others.
?
The losers really loses it. They get mad easily, blow up, and do dangerous things, like throw stuff, get into fights, or threaten others. Though the losers promptly assure you that they are not really angry with you, but at others or the situation, you can be sure that their hostility and violence will eventually be directed at you.

LIVING WITH A LOSER
Taking responsibility for him cripples him because it prevents him from doing those things he must do to be a fully functioning adult. How will he ever learn if you do it for him? Taking responsibility for him undermines his self-respect because if you take care of him he doesn't get the self- approval that comes from being responsible.

DO NOT SHIELD HIM FROM THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCES OF HIS BEHAVIOR
Consequences are what happens as the result of an antecedent behavior. In other words, consequences are what happens as a result of something you do. Consequences provide feedback as to the effectiveness of the behavior allowing the individual to stop, modify, or continue the behavior. In short, consequences are a learning device. We tend to continue doing things which give us pleasure and quit doing things which give us pain. If the consequences are removed how can we learn? While it is true not everyone learns from consequences, no one learns without them. To shield a loser from the consequences of his behavior is to teach him that the rules don't apply to him. He will therefore act any way he wishes believing someone will always rescue him at the last minute.

You must not act as if what happens to him is more important to you than it is to him. If you do, he'll let you be responsible for it. Consequences don't teach you anything if you never experience them. It is sad to see someone you love in trouble, but it is not an act of love to shield him from the consequences of his conduct. Every time you rescue him you are casting your vote in favor of him being a loser.

DO USE EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION
There is only one time when intervention can be effective and that is when it is requested. Advice is difficult enough to take when it is requested. Unsolicited advice merely strengthens resistance by implying a superior-inferior relationship. Don't offer to assist the loser do a single thing unless he requests that assistance. You may inform him that you have resources available to refer him to, but don't offer them unless he requests them.

DO SET REALISTIC LIMITS
Set realistic limits on the amount of dysfunctional behavior you are willing to accept and then stick to them. The area you need to place limits on is any behavior by him which detracts from the quality of your life. Do not permit the consequences of the loser's behavior to spill over into your life. You must firmly limit that behavior.

However, do not ever make threats you are not willing to enforce, and willing to live with when they are enforced. It is realistic to be unwilling to accept criminal behavior, potentially life-threatening behavior, and behavior that destroys your self-esteem such as chronic verbal abuse. Not putting firm limits on these behaviors is the same as giving permission for them to occur again. If this behavior occurs, demand that it stop. If it occurs even one more time, move him out and get a court order to enforce it if necessary

ACT AS A ROLE MODEL
The most positive thing you can do for the loser is to tell him you love him, but you understand that if he wants to destroy his life no one can stop him but himself. Tell him you love him, but you will not permit him to destroy your life also. Then live a life you would be proud to have him imitate.

John Koffison
New York, New York (USA)

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