My partner is very competitive when it comes to gameplay, whereas I am the opposite and play for fun, never expecting to win nor caring about the final score. There have been times when I happen to be performing better than usual in a game, and my partner worse than usual, so our scores are close. In those instances, I sometimes make choices that will allow them to win (think playing a low-scoring word in Scrabble when I have the letters to play a higher-scoring word). On one occasion they called me out on this. I denied it, saying that I’m just not as good as they are, which is generally true. I truly thought I was doing them a kindness, allowing a person who is invested in winning to have that experience, but is this somehow insulting or disrespectful? I get nothing out of the experience of “winning,” so I thought it made sense to let someone who is invested in the competitive aspect have their moment. It’s not like I pretended not to know the rules or treated them like a child. I’m just choosing to not take advantage of occasional random luck that would allow me to beat my partner at the odd round of whatever board game.
—Let Them Win?