​How to Deal With Being Salty (And Salty Players)

​How to Deal With Being Salty (And Salty Players)

Losing sucks, but how do you respond to it?

You and your opponents agree to playing a more casual game of EDH. The problem is that you each have different ideas of what that means. You and one of your opponents both decide to take a one hand land; it’s casual after all, who really cares. Turn four rolls around and the third player combos off, winning the game. Wait, what?

Step 1: Relax.

Magic is just a game. You do not have to win every single game you play. Sometimes you just get curb stomped for what feels like no reason. Whether it be the example above, or three players are all ganging up on you, it happens. Just let it slide this time, everyone makes mistakes. Maybe they didn’t intend to gang up on you, maybe they all just benefited from swinging at you. Give them the benefit of the doubt, just assume that it was a fluke. Evaluate the board: what did they all stand to gain from attacking you? Play a second round, maybe you just lost. Don’t blame other players for an occasional loss, everyone wants to win. Don’t forget that. EDH isn’t a game for you to just win, it’s a game to play and have all players have a chance at winning. Does it happen again in the second round? If the opponents make it clear that they get no benefit from swinging at you, and are just doing it because they want to swing at you, I’d suggest finding a different group to play with. They either don’t like you, your play style, or your deck. It happens, sometimes play groups just have some sour grapes you need to avoid.

“But Kyle, you didn’t address the situation you started the article with!”

Yeah, I did that on purpose. With everything I’ve mentioned so far, what do you think the issue was? The answer is actually nothing I’ve said so far. The deck he played was the only one he owned. The player who started with one land and I both had the same idea of casual: casual means playing a powered down deck to string out the game and kill time. The third player only owned one deck; it was casual to him because he hadn’t streamlined it yet. It was a combination of a good hand, no responses from me and the other player, and seeing a combo that he hadn’t found before that let him steal the game. Spoiler alert: shit happens.

Step 2: Leave that game at the table

I’m going to say this as bluntly as possible: don’t ever bring feelings from a past game into the current one. That’s about as impolite as it comes. Now this is a bit more extreme of an example, but picture things from the opposite perspective. Imagine you’re at prerelease, round 3, and your opponent throws their box down on the table. They give a stern “hello” and toss the dice for play. How do you respond to that? You don’t, you just play and hope they calm down. Two outcomes are possible. One, you lose. They might cheer up a little, but you can tell that it didn’t really change how they feel about the previous game. Two, you win or the game ends in a draw. Now that person has lost two rounds in a row. If they weren’t angry before, they definitely are now. Will you remember that game as a highlight of the night? Of course not, you couldn’t interact with your opponent, you couldn’t have fun, you couldn’t enjoy Magic together. I’ll be honest, one of my favorite memories is when my opponent and I sang a piece of a song together. We were both tired, we weren’t in the right mind set, but we had fun! That’s the important part of Magic, is enjoying the game. When your games are done, you need to leave your emotions at the table and move to the next match. Magic is just a game, there’s no need to get angry at other people for the outcome.

Step 3: Cool off if you need it

If something happened that really pissed you off, chill out. Don’t think that just because I’m writing this it means I don’t get mad at Magic, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes I do get angry with the games; when I get teamed up on or someone rubs me the wrong way, I can get pissy. But I’ve learned how to deal with those emotions. I go talk to the person running the register for a bit, tell them what happened, drink a soda, or maybe open a back. I get my mind off the game, and I’ll play another round, fresh. I understand that this doesn’t always work for everyone, so find something that does work for you. I’ll be honest, sometimes even doing everything I’ve mentioned doesn’t work. At that point, I take a break from playing. Sit out for twenty minutes or so; fume until you feel stupid for being mad. There’s no reason to ruin someone else’s day just because you’ve had a bad one.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you keep your cool after games. I didn’t really talk about how to act during a game when you get salty, but that’s because usually when someone gets salty, they don’t want to be told they’re salty, or they’re too salty to realize they’re salty. It’s really hard to act proactively when you’re getting mad, so I’d rather people focus on the reactive side of things. I’d rather everyone try to fix things afterwards and succeed than try to fix things during and fail. One final note on getting salty during a game: if you feel you went a little to far, apologize. Toughen up, get over your embarrassment, and apologize.

Now, what do you do when someone else gets salty? The quick answer is nothing. Don’t tell them they’re getting mad, because that will just make things worse. Have you ever been told to calm down when you get angry? People tend to act defensively when they’re upset because they feel as though their emotions are justified, so when someone says to calm down, it’s almost like being told that the way you’re feeling is wrong. As true as that can be sometimes, just let people cool off on their own accord. If they need to step away for a bit, let them. If they need to vent, let them. Just like the guidelines above, don’t get mad too.

I recently had a match where someone scooped and stormed off because they hand peeked and saw a card they didn’t like (to this day I don’t know what it was), and we were all a little surprised by this. No one else saw reason for him to do that, and I joked about it, but looking back now I understand why he did it. If his emotions were getting the best of him, he did the right thing by leaving. That’s the kind of self-control that keeps things from getting out of hands. He felt as if he needed to remove himself from the situation to keep things from escalating, and it takes a big person to do that.

If anything, I hope you can come away from reading this with a little more insight into how you react to things that happen in the game. Now that these steps have been pointed out, I hope that you can see yourself getting mad when you’re playing a game; knowing when it happens is the first step to becoming a better player. Remember, letting your emotions control your game play is the easiest way to make mistakes and lose. If winning is what is important to you, keep a level head. If you don’t mind losing and it’s players that get the best of you, then try to avoid them, or learn how to tune out the things you don’t like.

Cover Image Credit: Kyle Siegl

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Life lessons can be found from your job, family, and even strangers. A handful of mine came from the hit TV show "One Tree Hill." The famous "Scott" brothers rivalry taught me how to give chances to those you never thought you would. Brooke and Peyton's friendship taught me that through the hardships that life brings, the right people will stay with you. Watching these characters turn into successful human beings while staying connected has taught me so many lessons that I apply in my everyday life. The quotes in this article are the ones that stuck with me the most. For this, I thank you, Mark Schwahn, for 9 seasons of pure bliss.


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3. "Love means giving chances when there are no more chances left to give." — Haley Scott

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Why Cool Girl Isn't So Cool

The implications of Cool Girl aren't as cool as she is.

Cool Girl--you've definitely heard of her. She's everywhere. She first became known after Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl made the term popular, but she has subtly and dangerously crept into our social consciousness for years now. In basic terms,

Cool Girl is the manifestation of the male fantasy (that is, the heteronormative male fantasy that it spoon fed to males daily), a girl who is both naturally hot and sexy and seemingly into all things sports, video games, etc. She does not ever complain, she loves to hang with the "bros," and she always wants to have sex. Boy, what a woman!

But Cool Girl isn't all fun and games. Yes, many women do love the aforementioned things, and there is no judgment surrounding women that love what our still very binary culture deems as "masculine," but what is problematic is the woman who is solely an extension of the male desire, which is what Cool Girl really is.

A woman who feels afraid to express how she is truly feeling in fear of losing her partner. A woman who is constantly performing. The insidious thing about Cool Girl is that she doesn't actually have a mind of her own--instead, she is a formula meant to be devoid of real human emotion and flaws. Cool Girl may exist, but she shouldn't.

Women no longer should feel the pressure to conform to the ideals that Cool Girl has laid out. The idea of her must no longer be fed by us. Why should we have to be her anyway? She is impossibly constricting, sucking out one's ability to think autonomously. So I say F*CK COOL GIRL.

I am not Cool Girl--instead, I am a woman who believes that her inherent worth is not reliant on the ability to please a man. Instead, I am a woman who has her own wants and desires, who refuses to be another cog in the misogynistic machine.

And yes, I can do this whilst eating a hot dog and watching football and loving sex, but no, I will not be doing this for the sake of any man. I will be eating and watching and fuc*ing because I want to.

The work of eliminating Cool Girl does not rely solely on women. Men are equally responsible for perpetuating this performative model, and this needs to come to a stop as well. If everyone is aware of her dangerous presence and what she actually signifies, then maybe we can start putting an end to her for good.

Eventually, the woman of "Gone Girl" cracks at the pressure of having to constantly be the perfect wife, the perfect cool girl. May we learn from her breakdown that Cool Girl is, in reality, not even that cool.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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