This Is The ONE Time I Don’t Believe in Keeping Score

May 6, 2022

When it comes to competition, I’ve always been the person who’s got to win. I get into it (sometimes too into it) and you bet I’m always keeping score. 

Competition is a driving source for me that allows me to be passionate about the things I enjoy. Even if I lose, I’ve gained momentum and energy to try again next time. By being competitive, I have the ability to strengthen my emotional wellbeing while building momentum. 

Keeping score can be helpful to your motivation, but when is it not alright? It’s not ok to keep score when it comes to your relationships. This is especially true when it comes to your significant other. 

Sometimes I find myself keeping score when it comes to my wife, like with who cooks the most or who the kids like more, but then I catch myself. I’m having an “I am the champion” mindset, when it should be, like Queen said: “We Are The Champions.” 

In those moments, I am being pulled in by competition when it shouldn’t be part of a relationship at all. The only thing that keeping score can do in a relationship is hurt it. You start by comparing how much money you make, to adding up every little thing against your partner. 

By doing that, you are critically damaging the relationship as well as your emotional wellbeing. Odds are, you probably care a lot about your partner, so this is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Your mindset has transformed from being about the relationship to only yourself. By keeping score, you are letting your need to “win” outrun the fact that your partner is supposed to be on your side. I’m not fighting against my wife, we’re in this thing TOGETHER. 

If you just spend your time tallying up the score against your significant other, things will only continue to roll downhill. That’s why my wife and I have AGREEMENTS with each other. By doing this, we communicate our issues and concerns in an open and honest way in order to avoid the competitive mentality and ensure our emotional wellbeing. 

So, How Do You Use Agreements To Boost Your Emotional Wellbeing? 

I know it’s hard to take the competition out of things sometimes, but to have a successful and happy relationship, it has to be done. There are three steps to stop keeping score and amplify your (and your SO’S) emotional wellbeing:

  • The first step is to know that arguments are normal. It’s ok to argue sometimes, but make sure that when you do you choose what you say carefully. It’s important to keep hateful language away to show your partner you aren’t trying to make things a competition. Take a breather, and then speak. 

  • No complaining just ‘cause. It’s totally fine to air your grievances to your partner, but ONLY if you are attempting to find a solution first. This helps us, and our kids, learn to be growth-owners that build up positive momentum rather than gaining negativity!

  • Break down walls and build up bridges. Start by replacing “you” when bringing up something your partner may not want to hear and instead say “I feel like…” By doing this, you’ll boost your emotional wellbeing by letting your SO know that you’re hurting, but they won’t feel blamed.

When you’re competing with someone, you tally up a score. A relationship isn’t about that, and we need to make sure we aren’t tallying up scores at the end of the day. To have a successful marriage, agreements should always be a number one priority. 

An Extra Tip To Bolster Your Emotional Wellbeing

Find some time to meet with your partner this week to sit down and talk. During this time, write down three things you think could help take your relationship to the next level.

Compare your lists and figure out which one you want to put in action TOGETHER. You can even use tech like your phone to gamify this process with weekly reminders telling you to keep it up!

Remember not to only think about yourself! A relationship is all about thinking about the ways in which you BOTH can win instead of fighting against each other in this crazy game called life. 

You can keep thinking of new ways to bolster your relationship and emotional wellbeing as time goes on, and soon you’ll be on your way to replacing failure habits with successful ones! 

Need More Advice?

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (Your 5 Cores), take this two minute Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.

Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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