10 Traits of Losers: Are you One?

Written on 8/07/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.loser-hand-sign-300x290

What is a loser? Well, many people define it differently. Some believe that a loser is someone who has no money, no job, no family and no friends. I happen to think that a loser is someone who does not trust, does not love, and does not respect others.

Perhaps the latter leads to the former but for this article, we’ll skip the semantics and use my definition as the basis.

If you have no integrity and nothing but your own interests in mind, you, according to me, are a loser. Despite the large bank accounts, luxury sedans, and 5-car garage, you also may be a loser as assets don’t define us. On the flip side, perhaps you’re not a rich loser, perhaps you’re a broke one. Regardless, let’s get to the bottom of why this is so.

Qualities of a loser

    1. Inhibited integrity
      Integrity means that your values, what you think, say, and do are all aligned. You could argue that a serial killer has integrity because this person thinks, says, and murders consistently with his word. I would argue that this isn’t really the core value, because the core value of human beings is to love and be loved, and a short circuit in this person’s brain is creating a disconnect between the core moral values and the thoughts that lead to being a big loser.
  • Unnecessary gossip and slander
    In Judaism there is a word for this, Loshon Hora, which means “prohibition of telling gossip, truthful remarks about a non-present person or party.” Another word, Motzei Shem Rah means “slander and untrue remarks”. If you’re known as a person that gossips and slanders, you’re a loser, and as such, people will not have trust in you. 
  • Chronic pessimism
    I’m not talking about slight pessimism now and then, but serious, consistent, and unrelenting pessimism that makes people shy away from you and causes you to miss out on the beauty of life. Such pessimism is both stifling and paralyzing. 
  • Pass an injured man
    No matter what activity you are engaged in, you must never fail to be concerned for another person. If you can pass a man bleeding on the ground, leave a child crying and unattended, or simply refuse to be there for someone that needs you — you’re a loser!
  • No ambitions
    They say no man is an island, and as such, you have a direct influence on the people around you. By exhibiting the contagious quality of no ambition, you are very actively and directly taking away from, and polluting, anyone you come in contact with. You should read up on mental suicide.
  • Mean and hateful
    Walking around like a ticking time-bomb, waiting for a look, word, or an impression to light your fuse and set you off is no way to live. It’s not what’s going to get people to show you reverence that comes from love, and trust; rather this false reverence can be a product of fear, which adds negatively to the lives of others. 
  • Don’t believe in or respect yourself
    It’s no secret, and no lie, that before you can respect someone else you must respect yourself. How can you be fully involved in the game of life, cheering and supporting other people along, if you can’t even believe in yourself as a person. The fact is that this is a choice that stems directly from positive attitude, and anything else is your refusal and resignation from taking action on a higher level.
  • Quit before you sweat
    Listen, I’m not talking about running at the gym, although that’s one possible sign that you give up too early. I’m talking about chasing your dreams, finishing what you start, and being a stand for your own integrity and core values, especially if it means dying for these beliefs.
  • Closed mindedness
    Our perception is divided into 3 parts. What we know (that’s easy), what we know we don’t know (for instance, we know that there’s something in outer space, but we just haven’t found it yet), and what we don’t know we don’t know (You cannot even acknowledge this because you don’t know what it is you aren’t acknowledging). If you’re closed minded you forget about the third one, that which you still have not discovered, even conceptually. However, if you refuse to accept that you don’t know everything — your life will be dark forever.
  • Take no responsibility
    Passing the buck and blaming others does nothing more then delay a solution and perpetuate a problem. If you’re not a winner, you’ll never take responsibility, and you won’t be the one person that will change the world. Simply reversing this will make you a winner.

If you tread through life being self-centered, egotistical, and not give a damn about anyone else you’re a loser. Being a loser isn’t about how you view yourself, or what wonderful things you can do for yourself, rather it’s your unwillingness to contribute back to your fellow man.

You don’t have to donate a lot of money, stand in a soup kitchen, or rack up your community service hours. You can contribute by giving back to the world the best version of you, giving your time to a friend (without expecting anything in return), or help someone find a job so they can take care of themselves.

When you consistently exhibit the qualities of a loser, you are a loser, no matter what you think. People in your life will eventually figure you out, so instead of living in an endless cycle of insecurity, all you have to do is reverse all of the above qualities and you’re well on your way to being a winner.

“If you’re not a nice person, don’t stop to analyze it. Just start thinking, speaking, and acting in a nice manner”~Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

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Alex

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