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Made in us
Leader of the Sept

Lately I have been getting salty during games and it gets to be almost clockwork and I don't like it. It seems no matter what I play I get upset and frustrated, even if I win to the point I don't feel like a win.
I need help, my group says it's bad, but that because they all know me outside of it, they know I'm more angry at myself than them. I even hit a table.
I know it's just a game, but it's hard enjoy if I keep getting my booty handed to me.
Can I get some help? Breaks don't help, and I'm not normally and angry person and I hate myself after it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 07:07:45

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Made in ca
Anointed Dark Priest of Chaos

British Columbia

I would go waaaay out of my way to play some games devoid of the competition that's frustrating you.

Try some games where the outcome isn't just I win you lose. (How many turns can the Ultramarines first company survive against endless Tyranids, or a classic mission like the Last stand at Glazers Creek)

If you have people in the group who DM RPGs have games where a DM adjusts and brings in new units/events just for gaks and giggles. (Bonus points if this is you) Just try to get back to enjoying the background and the time playing with friends (The strength of 40k. Pretty dreadful as super serious contest of wits and cunning)

 Crimson Devil wrote:
That's what 7th edition is about. Yelling "Forge the Narrative Pussy!" while kicking your opponent in the dick.
 BlaxicanX wrote:
A young business man named Tom Kirby, who was a pupil of mine until he turned greedy, helped the capitalists hunt down and destroy the wargamers. He betrayed and murdered Games Workshop.

Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard

Newcastle, OZ

You must learn to separate your ego from the game.
Getting angry at the game doesn't change the result. It may make people stop playing YOU, though.

Forget all of that "everything happens for a reason" crap - sometimes gak happens for no reason and there's no way in hell you can stop it. Either learn to ride that wave or duck your head and let it wash over you.

I'm 50.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.

That is not dead which can eternal lie ...

... and yet, with strange aeons, even death may die.
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero


not sure if this will help, but just remember, its only a game, and a game decided by dice rolls at that. take a little time to think about the bigger picture and the world outside, and the things you're grateful for. Hobby wise, maybe focus on a new army for a bit, or try some more story driven skirmish games like Inq 28 as stated above.

Heresy World Eaters/Night Lords Genestealer cults.

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Made in us
Awesome Autarch

I definitely occasionally get pretty grumpy in a game - not often, but it happens. It tends to be based around my dice rolling sucking - rather than other things. I don't mind getting my ass kicked, but when I have a game where I accomplish nothing (normally dice-related) it really ticks me off.

Oddly, one thing that helps? I admit it to my buddies mid-game (even if they've obviously noticed it). I'll apologize and say "Sorry guys, I'm really struggling to enjoy this right now." You can be more blunt and simply say "This is pissing me off...I need a snack." etc. but try to do it with a smile. If you're gaming with friends, it may also be time to simply quit mid-game and restart or just stop playing for the evening. Good friends should sense when you're having a bad time and should be fine delaying or quitting the game if that's what needs to happen to prevent you from hitting a table.

It helps a good bit to simply acknowledge it. Also, I find the undercurrent of my general pessimism tends to be related to my life around the game, and not the game itself. I'm in a pretty poor spot in life right now, so it feels extra-gakky when a hobby that I'm supposed to joy is going south. I know that's not related to the game, but it feels like being kicked when you're down.

There are a number of other ways to address anger mid-game, ranging from genuine psychological help (if it's a manifestation of your life and not the game), and a couple of stratagies to grab mid-game ---- changing your focus from winning the game, to accomplishing minor victories. You can also reduce the stress by playing campaign and narrative games instead of competitive games (particularly if you're not very good!). I don't mean that in a harsh way, but rather an honest one. If you're not particularly good at 40K and rarely win...you need to lower those sights and concentrate on a level of the game you're comfortable playing.

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Mighty Gouge-Horn

Anor Londo

You need to keep in mind that while the objective of any game is to win, the point of any game is to have fun.

Made in us
Douglas Bader

Stop playing. Problem solved.

Also, consider therapy to work on your anger issues. That kind of behavior is annoying in a hobby, in other contexts it can get you fired, divorced, etc.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 09:39:12

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

Have you tried acting as a referee instead of playing?

when a game is getting to you like this you need to put it down for a while and play something else, something new where perhaps your expectations of winning are lower.

We have someone locally whos not exactly salty over losing, but the frustration is very obvious as the factions he has simply cannot work the way he wants them to work with the rules at present.

solution so far is to play other games, games that are by design a lot more narrative and allow team play
Made in de
Ladies Love the Vibro-Cannon Operator


Being angry during the game could also lead to situations where you don't reflect the current battle and thoughts about the next steps. Thinking and planning ahead is key.

Former moderator 40kOnline

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Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider

 Peregrine wrote:

Also, consider therapy to work on your anger issues. That kind of behavior is annoying in a hobby, in other contexts it can get you fired, divorced, etc.

going to have to agree with P here, everyone has the odd moment of grump or salt but if its constant there is no shame or harm in getting professional help

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 10:26:12

Made in de
Battlefield Tourist


Usually, if I am angry a lot, it is because of something greater going on in my life.
When I was in my early 20s I had a job that made me utterly miserable with a boss who harassed and bullied me. So I became a grumpy git prone to explosions of temper outside of my job. It was really hard for me to see it at the time, because I felt like work and leisure were separate, but it infected every part of my life.

Not saying this is the case for you, but it could be that something bigger than the hobby is eating away at you, and that that is what needs addressing. The problem is, those things tend to be hard to solve!

Good luck. If it turns out it is just the game itself that is making you angry, I would suggest playing the game in a different format, playing more narrative games or systems, and generally getting yourself out of the rut you might be in with your "standard" game. Most of all, try to practice self awareness and see when you are getting angry and as has been suggested, apologise to your opponent and take a step back to reflect.

People suggest professional help, and that is a good idea if you can afford it. But there are many things you can do to help yourself even if you cannot, and self reflection and mindfulness are really important there. Look after your mental health, you only get one brain!

Btw, kudos for asking the forum for help with this. Not enough people are brave enough to do stuff like that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 10:38:24

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka


You've been here a few years so I'm going to assume that this is a more recent development or realisation rather than something which has been historically true for you. Furthermore that you feel bad afterwards further suggests that its undesirable behaviour on your part and that it is, again, likely something new or that has crept in.

Based on that there's a few possibilities that this might be linked too:

1) Stress/strain/pressure in other areas of your life is spilling over and releasing into the game experience. You're using the game to try and relieve stress, but you've so much bundled up that instead of releasing it, its instead annoying you that the gaming isn't relieving your stress - its not working. So you start to get agitated, angry and lash out. This would account for why you're lashing out even when you are winning the game because even winning isn't releasing that bundle of stress and strain you've built up.

2) Medical. If you're sick or ill or worried that you might be this could also be causing shifts in your behaviour; its essentially the same as point 1 (stress that is not being released) but its from a different source than work/life/taxes etc...

3) Lack of self confidence whilst playing. If you lack self confidence then it might be that you're considering every loss because you're worse than everyone else and every win an accident or gifted win from your opponent. Ergo you're projecting your own lack of self confidence and its manifesting as anger. It's anger are yourself, but its being projected onto others around you. This can explain why its happening in games, but not elsewhere in life.

If its medical or stress from other parts of life (remembering you might not fully realise this) then I would encourage you to seek medical/counselling support from a professional. It might be a few simple mental tricks or a check-up or even just getting to openly talk about those issues could help release some of that stress and strain and give you a new way to vent and tackle with it without resorting to anger. It might even shift it away from gaming altogether as a release for stress; letting you enjoy the game for what it is.

If its more gameplay side then you might find that toning back on games and playing more open and narrative games could help. Or even scale back on gaming and start a new hobby. Sometimes fresh and vibrant. Another angle might be to increase your education and awareness of the game to improve your skill - though you have to be careful there as you're already feeling angry at yourself so you don't want to add salt to the wound. Another is to simple put down the game for a bit and step back for a while.
Again if its getting to a point where you're getting violent and stressed out some counselling support might well be a really good thing.

What you are experiencing is likely normal, but also undesirable behaviour. It's likely in reaction to something and I've guessed at a few possible triggers; however it might be that some professional help would be what you'd need clear the air and really find out the root cause and thus be able to develop methods to tackling it.

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Calculating Commissar


I'd look to try some games which don't have a win/lose, like the co-op minis/board game hybrids. Or games that are too random to blame yourself, but still fun.
Even just a change away from GW - 40K is the only game I've played where the balance/pay-to-win makes it feel like the win/lose is a forgone conclusion and I can do nothing about it. It's depressing to roll up to a game knowing you've already lost, and then spending 3 hours putting mini's back in the case as you get steamrolled.

What exactly is it that's getting you angry? Bad decisions on your part? Bad dice? Pressure?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 12:25:26

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Ladies Love the Vibro-Cannon Operator


Maybe, games 2 vs. 2(or other multiplayer games) help.
They have a greater fun factor.

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Made in ca
Dipping With Wood Stain


Recognizing that you have a problem is always a great first step. I had the same issues with video games, where I'd get way too competitive and frustrated and, quite honestly, red-hot angry. To the point that it was unhealthy, unreasonable, and down-right immature. So I went cold-turkey for a couple of years, reset, and then approached with a different mentality, picking games that aren't just about the "win" (i.e. Borderlands, Skyrim, etc...more RPG/story based games).

Maybe that's something you need. Go cold-turkey from the game, at least for a little bit. Take some time to reset, focus on your hobby or on other things, and when you come back, try and approach the game from what makes it fun for you, or in a way that makes it less about the "win".

Narrative games, campaigns, doubles, are a LOT of fun. Do that for a while and you'll find your competitive streak might just lessen.

Made in us
Wicked Canoptek Wraith

Sounds like a frustration problem more so than an actual anger problem. With nothing to really go on though, I doubt we can get to the more specific source of the frustration though.

Consider your focus though. That is, what you focus on, in-game. Consider the following quote:

The meaning we attribute to objects or situations is not stable. What is important to one man is not necessarily important to another; likewise, the needs and desires of the child differ from those of the adult. The meaning of things depends to a profound and ultimately undeterminable degree upon the relationship of those things to the goal we currently have in mind. Meaning shifts when goals change. Such change necessarily transforms the contingent expectations and desires that accompany those goals. We experience “things” personally and idiosyncratically, despite broad interpersonal agreement about the value of things. The goals we pursue singly—the outcomes we expect and desire as individuals—determine the meaning of our experience.

If we, for example, derive that fun only comes from winning, winning from making correct decisions, then we can easily fall into a pretty frustrating trap, when say, a few dice rolls go awry and we lose, despite playing well. The game is "random" (or, at least approximately so) and so you can lose while making every correct decision.

The idea that it is hard to have fun while losing is paradoxically both true and very false. It depends on what aspect of the game you choose to focus on. It is actually rather easy to have fun in a game you lose, if your focus is specifically on having fun with the game itself, not only with the "end result." I've had many games that I won, but were not fun at all, and many games I lost that were a blast. I also recall games that were a ton of fun, so much so, I honestly don't recall who won at all. It's about how you derive meaning.

Consider too that your relationship to the game doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's pretty likely that your "real life" and things in it, the psychological factors in it, relate to this, but in a way that can't be analyzed from just your description of the problem.

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Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander


Have you by chance noticed any pattern to what seems to set you off?

Is it specific to certain games (just 40K) or any game/activity you’ve been playing lately? Is it specific opponents?

It never ends well 
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Contagious Dreadnought of Nurgle

It sounds like you have some kind of issue to work out, and the frustration you experience during games is only a symptom. This is very general advice, but find something you can derive meaningful self-worth from aside from games. When you can be comfortable with who you are and what you've accomplished (or even tried to accomplish, because as long as you're making an honest effort you're still improving yourself and learning from your mistakes) then games won't hold such a great sway over your emotional state.

Our society greatly encourages us not to improve ourselves or defer gratification, and instead to escape and bolster our self-worth through various superficial pass-times that give us a temporary fix of acceptance or accomplishment, but have no lasting value. Video games, table top games, social media, sports fandom etc. all can give us a hit of the neurological chemicals associated with positive results, but relying solely on those things for your self-worth and gratification turns them into a kind of addiction where you're constantly chasing that fleeting feeling instead of dealing with your actual situation. When used this way they become destructive rather than simply a hobby or something fun you do to blow off steam, which can be positive. If you can find something else to work on and improve yourself with, whether it be learning a skill, exercising, doing well in your career etc. will take the pressure off you when it comes time to relax and play a game.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/08 16:27:42

Made in us

If I had to guess - and I do have to guess - it seems more like 'real world' issues are at the heart of your problem when it comes to losing your temper during what should be a fun/relaxing part of your life.

Until those 'real world' issues are identified and addressed, I don't think there's much you'll be able to do about losing your cool during your hobby-time.
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Leader of the Sept

 Stormonu wrote:
Have you by chance noticed any pattern to what seems to set you off?

Is it specific to certain games (just 40K) or any game/activity you’ve been playing lately? Is it specific opponents?

It seemed to start after I played this one guy for winning the league we are in. I have been playing knights and enjoying it. Bit then he post tailered against me but proxying 3 shadowsords and a bunch of other stuff and wiped the floor with me.
As to other issues, I'm not sure, my home life is fine, my job can be stressful, but I love it, money issues are a problem but I'm working on that myself.
I honestly just get frustrated by games.

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Made in us
Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran

You claim that breaks don't help, but why continuously subject yourself to something that frustrates you?

Take some time every day for some deep, personal reflection and introspection. This could help you analyze and perhaps identify the core issue and work through it.

There's some pretty decent advice in here IMO. I hope some of it helps.
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Fixture of Dakka


One issue that can arise is when you, as a person, change but don't realise it. You might have not outgrown the hobby, but just changed as a person and the fighting/battling side isn't giving you the enjoyment you once got. In frustraiting you're taking it out on the game and yourself, but in reality it might just be that you need to take a break and try something new and different.

Step away and give your batteries a chance to recover and try something else. Might be a different game; might be shifting from playing to building/painting; could be walking, photography; sports; stamp collecting etc....

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Dakka Veteran

Charleston, SC, USA

I stopped playing 40k because my carefully painted Dark Angels army would get wiped off the table by a gray plastic internet list.

I switched to skirmish games with friends and never looked back. Still use GW models and lore though. Take a break from competitive and try narrative and friendly for a bit.
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Calculating Commissar


 hotsauceman1 wrote:

It seemed to start after I played this one guy for winning the league we are in. I have been playing knights and enjoying it. Bit then he post tailered against me but proxying 3 shadowsords and a bunch of other stuff and wiped the floor with me.

Does it happen in all games, or just ones where you get floored by a netlist / proxy / grey horde?

Have you tried playing a game that's better balanced, or using softer lists etc?
Made in gb
Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard

It may be a stress response. Games are exciting and your body may be reacting with adrenaline and a fight or flight response. As above just try to ratchet down the intensity and stress. Try some coop.games or a nice bizarre scenario rather than an edge if the seat you versus them type.game.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought


Anger-management classes.

Changed my life and stopped me turning into my dad.

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Made in gb


I would say indulging in some form of personal stress relief prior to the game should help you to remain calm prior to playing.
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Lit By the Flames of Prospero

Rampton, UK

I used to be like this and it got to the point in my teens where I just couldn't play because i would get angry and irate.

For me personally it got worse as I got older and turned out to be an early indicator of another condition which I have only just been made aware of and started getting treatment for.

I suggest anger management, I tried it and it just wound me up
I really wish id have persevered with it in my twenties and things might have been a little easier since.
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Ancient Chaos Terminator

Eye of Terror

Going to disagree with most of the posters here.

Chalking this aggression up as a problem is probably not constructive, there is probably not an emotional sherpa to guide you to some better path or resolve an inner turmoil that's coming out at games.

Competitive games train your brain to think in a certain pattern, the one that leads to the optimal outcome.

I played Chess competitively from high school until after college. Everyone I encountered was personally aggressive, they just expressed it in different ways - sometimes physically, more commonly socially through the words they use to discuss others.

Players would present themselves as perfectly normal people outside of a game, but, if you talked to them about another topic and listened carefully, you could pick up on how much the framework of Chess influenced their view of the world. Politics, culture, comics, movies, school, work, jobs, relationships, family - everything was about how we got to a certain point, how there are sides to every topic, how there needs to be a dominant position ("controlling the middle" is a phrase that came up a lot) and there was a focus on how someone closes something out. Everything in the world seemed like a complex puzzle and it was their job to deconstruct it, often in a manner that sucks all enjoyment out of the situation.

I could deal with people's personal outlooks but it got annoying when they started going to therapy. You could kind of tell when someone was working on some strategy to get themselves outside the game and broaden the way they think. They would take timeouts, they would do stuff with their hands and feet to remove tension, they would repeat certain phrases to get them back to a happy place, etc. You could sometimes tell when someone was trying out a new anti-depressant, usually because their game would suddenly suck and they seemed a little confused about why they did certain things on the table. There were just so many people who saw themselves as these broken, miserable creatures who needed fixing, and very little of it ever seemed to work. After somebody started therapy, it was usually a matter of months before they stopped playing.

So these players were being talked out of something they nominally enjoyed or taking powerful, mood-altering medications that screwed with their ability to concentrate. The problem they were working to address was someone's competitive nature and these seemingly unhealthy ways of expressing it that were affecting other parts of their life. What is really happening here? Like, if you transplanted that same high-performing Chess player onto Wall Street and had them working a trade desk, would this obsessiveness and aggression be seen as a problem? Let's say the game wasn't Chess, it was Jiu-Jitsu, where you have these precise, controlled expressions of aggression, would those same qualities make someone better?

There's a connection between the patterns we train ourselves to think in and the aggression we let out into the world. You learn to think about situations a certain way and outcomes follow naturally for how you should behave. Sometimes they come out in weird ways that can seem really angry / violent and get you the wrong kind of attention from the people around you.

To the OP - nothing you described is a reason to hate yourself, don't use that language. There are plenty of people in the world who are going to come up with reasons why you should feel bad about yourself. Leave that for them, assume this competitive aggression is a gift you are learning to use properly.

Talk to a therapist if you feel that has value. The problem I have with therapists is the way they gauge your personal horizon, it gets compared with the way millions of other people are expected to feel / behave in society. Their version of normal is a mean average and finding someone competent at working with competitive / high achiever issues is rare. If you read the APA's Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men, you're going to an outline of what to expect from most therapists. Ask yourself if that vision is really in-line with the person you want to become - learning how to behave in a way that's perceived as perfectly average isn't everyone's goal in life.

I had some issues with aggression myself at one point. What got me past them was reading philosophy and classical literature. The first words written words in the Western Canon are "Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Achilles," in a story that helped me understand the challenges I face daily are the same ones everyone else has been dealing with since the Bronze Age. And I learned to see these things that concerned me about myself in a different way, where there wasn't something wrong with me so much as this interesting challenge of bringing together these different qualities I possess in a way that lets me be a useful, interesting person. Competition is where I engage in these controlled bursts of aggression, but the rest of my life is not dominated by some stupid pattern for how I win at games.

But something else might be right for you, and you are the one who needs to find it. No one can really tell you what to do. You are a human being going through the same developmental process everyone has for thousands of years. The fact you want to flip a table at the end of a game is not really that crazy in the big scheme of things and maybe you need a set of friends who are more understanding of where you are in life and what you are dealing with instead of a collection of people possessing a shared interest ready to judge you over some outburst. Something you might find useful is yelling and flipping tables at your own home just to release some of that aggression in a controlled environment where you won't be judged - that's why people used to keep Everlast body bags in their basement. Get it out of the way and you are free to do other stuff with the rest of your life.

But work on putting yourself together. Don't say you hate something about yourself, it's all part of the package. There's no reason to feel bad about who you are.

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