Losing an Overwatch match is tough. Losing a competitive match is even tougher. Watching your ranking go down never feels great. People yell at one another or, even worse, leave the match altogether.
After Reddit user SirBenny kept complaining about a string of losses, he filled out a dialectical behavioral therapy (more commonly known as “DBT”) worksheet, as suggested by his wife, who is a therapist. In it, he outlines each negative emotion and cognitive distortion associated with his reaction. “My team is hot garbage” is the first entry, followed by “I should be higher than silver”.
There’s something eye-opening about seeing these complaints on paper, but more so the positive beliefs that come after the anger has subsided. It’s tough to stay positive in the moment and way easier to blame your teammates. The frustration behind “nobody playing DPS” later makes room for gratitude that there were a lot of healers and tanks in the match. It’s hard to put things like that into perspective unless you’re seeing it on paper. “I can learn from my mistakes” is later inked in after he blames the rest of his team for not performing well. It’s a helpful thought that can only come after reflecting on the initial knee-jerk reactions of rage and blame.
DBT has useful techniques that can counter the negative all-or-nothing thinking and overgeneralization that can come with queuing (or even worse, solo queuing) in Overwatch. Sometimes we may not even be aware that we’re applying cognitive distortions to things in our daily lives, like the games we play. It’s an interesting thought, and SirBenny followed up in his post to say that it helped. Maybe we should all benefit from the worksheet.