How to win by losing

My wife is selling a desk

A buyer is coming to see it.

She’s asking $125. Before he gets here I role-play with her. “I’ll give you $75.” One-ten she says. We go back-and-forth like that on a few different prices.

He gets here and likes the desk. “Would you take . . . ” – alright, here comes the beat down.


Uhhh. Sure!

He unfolds the cash and starts talking about how he’ll get the desk in his little car.

Brenda pipes up, “You know what? I’ll take a hundred. OK?”

He’s confused. He stammers like Brenda did, “Uhhh, sure!”

Later, she says she could tell he wanted to say one hundred when he first came in but he just couldn’t.

He won by losing

Because he didn’t ask for more, and was willing to lose on the price, she felt free to give him what he didn’t ask for.

When you start to open a door and there’s resistance, what do you do? Push harder.

And when you’re on the other side and a door is opening into you, it’s the same – you naturally push back.

But when the pusher lets up, so do you.

It’s not just money. Think of anything in your family where some kind of persuading is going on, say where there’s disagreement on a new house or planning a vacation or where to eat tonight.

You can make things a negotiation to get the best “deal” and you’ll get the consequences of that: a deal of some kind. Or you can make things about being human and get the consequences that go with that: some kind of connection and affirmation.

Want the best deal? Want to get your way? Try to win. Make the deal the goal.

Want connection and bonding? Be willing to lose on the deal. Make bonding the goal.

You get to pick.

When have you experienced winning by losing?

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A Family Like Yours is 31 Days of encouragement to help you appreciate, influence, and love the family you have (no matter what).

This is day 10.

You can subscribe below or at the top on the right.

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. Mindy

    This is so true. It works. I have loved every one of these
    posts. I wish I had a book of all these to pass out to people.

  2. m

    It’s a rule in this home; put “others”needs 1st, your’s will automatically met! No matter what that looks like…losing ALWAYS wins, in this humble abode:) Thanks, G…blessings on your day! <3 M (ps. My linky wasn't working ystrdy, hence being mia) I <3 encouraging, one of my God given gifts:)

  3. Margaret Stephens

    Could you load today’s words in the inbox of everyone in Washington? Please? Thank you very much!

    • Ha! I’m afraid looking weak would be politically incorrect . . .

  4. Monkey Tamer

    Thank you Lord for Brenda, whose good works make me smile way deep.
    And btw I agree w Mindy, I’ll pass out books too. This is so awesome it makes me weep. Thanks.


  1. […] I told you my wife sold a desk for $100. The guy offered $115. She said no I’ll take less. Get it? The seller talked the buyer down. […]

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