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How to Respond to Intimidation

How to Respond to Intimidation
By Ehsan Honary - Monday, October 01, 2012
:: 3 Comments :: Article Rating :: Psychology, Diplomacy, Strategy, Negotiation

 You have played Risk for a long time. You think of yourself as a good player. You decide to join a new Risk game site to play Risk online. You join a game and in this game you find yourself playing against a number of players who have a fairly high overall score. You still think nothing of this. After all, you are fairly good.

During the game you start to chat with others. In return you only get very short replies. The message is simple; you are not welcome. While still in the initial stage of the game, one of the other players says, “This game sis getting boring now…”, followed by other similar remarks. They are implying that you, the new player, is ruining the game for them. They don’t respond to you text as much and tend to ignore you.

You now start to feel anxious. They don’t want you here, they are not enjoying the game and they are not very impressed with your game. You now feel intimidated. This makes you feel angry. You want to show that you can be quite dangerous in the game and they should not underestimate you. One particular player seems to be very annoying and you tend to plan your invasions around a single objective; to eliminate him.

After a few turns, you succeed in your objective. Unfortunately, by now you have become vulnerable. You have stretched yourself too far and need a turn or two to regroup and strengthen key borders. This seems to be what other players have been waiting. As if to prove what they have said earlier about weaker newbies and wanting to prove themselves right, they all start to attack you turn after turn gaining territories. Before long, you have lost your advantage and at this stage of the game the chances of getting back to it becomes remote. Even after regrouping to a corner of the map, they don’t leave you alone and continue until you are totally eliminated.

This was not what you expected. Your conclusion is that the people who play on this site are just nasty people. You feel disgusted and promise yourself not to come back to this site.

How to Improve Your Risk Game

However good you might be in the game of Risk, intimidation can always threaten your presence of mind. Unfortunately tackling intimidation is a difficult job but one that requires self-control, having an eye on the overall objective and constant persistence.

In this example, you have been simply intimidated by the selfish action of other players. The biggest problem is your conclusion. Rather than acknowledging intimidation and that you have lost control of your emotions, you have externalised the problem and have decided to blame your loss on the mannerism of others.

There is no such thing as an unfair game. If you lose, it is your fault. You need to reflect back and understand what you did that led to your loss. This is the only way that allows you to improve and become better at what you do. In this case, you simply got agitated by their remarks (which in some cases can be a lot more nasty and brutal than expressed here) and lost view of your aim which was to win the whole game. Instead, you decided to teach a lesson to one of the players and your emotions prevented you to see the cost of such a manoeuvre. Eventually however, the move cost you the game. You might have got the satisfaction of kicking out a particular nasty player, but that is nothing compared to winning the game. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is to be the last man standing, literally.

To stay unintimidated, convince yourself that other players are in the same position as you are. They have the same limitation, the save anxieties and the same vulnerabilities. See the facts behind the person, not the reputation or the myth. In your mind, think of the player as a child, someone who might have insecurities or could be indecisive in critical moments. By reducing the significance and size of the other person in your mind, you can help yourself to stay mentally well composed and ready to win no matter what the opponent throws at you.


Post Rating


ProStrategos By ProStrategos @ Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:38 AM
Nice article, Mr Honary. This only thing I'd like to point out is this scenario, the type of opponent 'I' am facing seem to be the thoroughly nasty type. They may have secretly agreed and planned to eliminate you already, and regardless of your skill, 1 on 3 is virtually impossible. Then, I think, in this case, taking out the bigger bully may be a good move. What would you suggest?

Ehsan Honary By Ehsan Honary @ Thursday, October 11, 2012 7:12 AM
You are right, it depends on the context as well. If taking out the bully is part of your overall strategy of winning the game (and not just to satisfy some emotional urge) then go ahead. In addition, a bully can also bring the entire game down by annoying others or making others annoy you too. Again, eliminating the source of trouble can be wise, though I should stress that this must be a tactical move as opposed to a revenge move; one is logical that helps you to get closer to winning, the other is an emotional move which can lead you to make rash decisions.

Great Alan By Great Alan @ Tuesday, October 23, 2012 9:51 AM
Everything is futile if your opponent really secretly plan to eliminate you regardless of any situation.

You humble the stronger opponent, then the others take advantage fo this and scoop upon you at once, the result is same as you do nothing. This is just the reckless move.

The only way to go through this is iron-hearted will, never act panic, or weak before your opponents; Never act rashly or enraged by opponents' trivia word or threatening move. Always seek a chance to shatter their advantage. No opponents care about your feeling, all they care is strength and their desire.

Find anyway to break their alliance, persuade them; If not success, then hold your position firmly, gradually decrease their will / desire to smash you, while fortify yourself well.

I don't believe a number of your opponents want to destroy you anytime coincidentally, or always hate you so much to act swiftly against you anytime.

Once your will is stronger than their alliance, that's nothing to be feared.

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How to Respond to Intimidation
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