The Zero Sum Game (What is A Zero Sum Game and How To End One)

The Zero Sum Game (What is A Zero Sum Game and How To End One)


Zero Sum Game You’ve most likely heard me talk about the zero-sum game as being one of the most
dangerous social strategies, also the way to ruin a
relationship completely. But do you actually know
what a zero-sum game is? Today I’m going to unpack the concept of the zero-sum game, so that you fully understand it. A zero-sum game is a scenario in which one person’s gain is
another person’s loss. It’s essentially win – lose. Now by definition, seeing this, you can see that it would
set up a social dynamic that is antagonistic by nature. Not only that, it implies a conviction to the idea that resources are finite and limited. What this does is it makes it
so that people stop functioning in a cooperative way and instead, they begin to function
in a competitive way. This creates danger in the social sphere. What it creates is a
person that can’t take somebody else’s best interest as
a part of their own best interest so they begin to act selfishly. In fact other people’s best interest, including needs desires and preferences, are viewed as a competitive threat. So you can understand the
zero-sum game better, I have a few examples for you: 1. A toddler sitting in a highchair; He says: “I’m not hungry.” his mom will not accept this. He won’t accept that this
is in his best interests. Thus she rejects his truth and shoves a spoon
of food in his mouth or makes him sit there
until he finishes it all. If he does, she wins and he loses. An employee demands a certain salary even though this is not in the
best interest of the company at all. He says: “Pay me this or I quit.” A father decides he is uninterested in facing his personal insecurities and therefore begins to focus on
one of his sons being his problem. He turns his son into the
scapegoat of the family. He designates his other son as the
one who he loves and identifies with. This son has to let go of his identity to stay on his father’s good side. He turns this son into the
golden child of the family. He is in fact playing a zero-sum game with both of his sons. A couple is having problems
with their sex life, the man wants more sex and the wife isn’t interested in it. If the man demands more
or else he will cheat, he is playing a zero-sum game with her. If the wife says no and he’ll just have to deal with it, she’s playing a zero-sum game with him. 5. A conversation takes place between two politicians
who are in conflict, they enter the conversation completely focused on debating
to win the argument and win support of the observers. They’re not interested in considering
each other’s perspective. They are both interested only
in their own best interests, which is why they’re interested
in winning the debate. they are playing a zero-sum
game with each other. A person is hungry and therefore hunts and
shoots an animal for food. Two opponents square off at a sports game. There will be one winner and one loser. This is a zero-sum game. But what sets this zero-sum game apart, is that both have consented
to potentially losing. Neither person has been
forced into a situation where they have to fight to win. Both are consciously engaging
in the zero-sum game for mutual best interests. Such as the improvement or expansion of their craft. Or the mutual opportunity to add to one’s personal
achievement record. The zero-sum game is the hallmark of dysfunctional relationships. Any type of social group will develop zero-sum games if they’re in a dysfunctional state. This doesn’t just include partnerships, this also includes company dynamics and most especially, probably most importantly, family dynamics. In a dysfunctional family what sets the stage for everything is the zero-sum game. The law of the land in a
dysfunctional family unit is: “Every man for himself.” The reason that it’s
hard to recognize this is because people develop all
kinds of different strategies in order to meet their needs. For their own self-centered interests, in this type of a family dynamic where the law of the land is: “Every man for himself.” For example, one person
may turn into a dictator and start punishing people when they don’t cater
to his or her every whim. Another might begin
to self-sacrifice entirely as an attempt to see
themselves as saintly. But the thing is, is that the strategies that people pick for their narcissistic endeavor
in a dysfunctional family unit, becomes a lose-lose for everyone involved. For example, if the person becomes a dictator they win by getting their needs met, but the people around them lose by
having to conform or face consequences. The person who becomes a self-sacrificer will get their self-esteem, but will have to set someone in
the household up as the “bad one” in order to keep that identity. In situations where a zero-sum
game is being played, there’s usually a very poor understanding or respect for boundaries. But that being said, most people have no idea what
I mean when I say boundaries. They’re thinking of a fence. When I say boundaries, most people
are only thinking in terms of “NO”. So you can understand
boundaries more in depth, I want you to watch
my video called: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness
(How to Develop Healthy Boundaries) Part of what comes along
with personal boundaries is personal best interests. Now, why would we be concerned
with personal best interests when we’re talking about any of this subject? Because, the definition of trust; To trust something is to rely upon it to capitalize upon your best interests. Essentially trust happens when somebody takes another person’s best
interests as part of their own. And by definition this creates a win-win scenario. So you can see that by definition a zero-sum game destroys trust. Trust and love are the
most important things to develop in a relationship. Now this is like, I’m
saying the same thing that everyone has ever said
about relationships before but here’s the thing, most
people have no frickin clue what trust is and what love actually is. So what I mean to say is, what love actually is and
what trust actually is, is the most important thing
to fill in a relationship. The zero-sum game is absent of both. And this becomes a gas light. A gas light is, you didn’t
see what you saw, you didn’t hear what you heard, you didn’t feel what you felt. It’s basically when you know the truth of something is one way, but everyone’s saying it isn’t. Now in a dysfunctional family unit where the zero-sum game is played
or a dysfunctional relationship, people are likely to say: I love you so much and you can trust me. But let me assure you that
there is no actual love and no actual trust present or possible in this type of relationship. It is by definition an
unsafe relationship. to understand more about trust and love, watch my videos titled: What is Love? & How to Have a Safe Relationship? There may be situations in life where it is not possible to
find a win-win scenario, the way you’re thinking about it. When this is the case, the focus of both people becomes
about the incompatibility. The way to keep a relationship safe when incompatibility exists, is now the two people who
are involved in the situation, decide together what to do about that incompatibility. They still take each
other’s best interests as a part of their own, but both look for the closest
win-win scenario they can, given the incompatibility. For example if there’s no win-win way for a couple to stay together, the win-win becomes about
the highest and best way to part ways for both of them. People who have learned to play zero-sum games in relationships are often the worst at
looking at incompatibility. They refuse to accept incompatibility. Even if being in the relationship is destroying the other person. They’re playing and I win
you lose game, right? So they don’t really care
whether the other person actually is an alignment
with their best interests in terms of staying in the relationship. For this reason, it is critical for you to understand and accept incompatibility
in relationships and learn what to do about it. For this reason, I urge
you to watch my video that’s titled: Incompatibility
(A Harsh Reality in Relationships) In order to end a zero-sum game in any relationship, your need for peace, connection and mutual happiness actually has to be higher than any other need that
you’re currently fighting for within that relationship. Of course this is easier said
than done for most people, because they haven’t really chosen that what they want above everything is healthy and safe feeling relationships. Why we blame them; because they’ve grown up
in a world and in a society, and they’ve grown up in families, they’ve grown up in other
relationships beyond their family that teach them that if they
don’t fend for themselves, no one else will. It’s very hard to let go of a: “Thinking about myself and
my own needs” strategy, when it doesn’t feel like anyone
else is gonna look out for them. Now the one exception to this rule that I’m giving you, that your need for connection and your need for mutual happiness, your need for that closeness has got to be greater than other needs, is with triangulation. When somebody is triangulating, the specific need they’re trying to meet, quite literally is connection. However, they’re creating that connection and that sense of closeness and
security in the relationship By creating a zero-sum game against someone else. The very worst thing about a zero-sum game is it locks you into one yourself. Even if you don’t want to be playing one. It puts you in a lose-lose. And here’s how; If somebody begins to play a
zero-sum game with you, if you don’t fight for
your best interests, you lose. If you do… Not only does that
destroy the relationship with the person you’re playing
the zero-sum game against, it’s also a guarantee that
even if you do win, you’ll get hurt. Integration is the end
of the zero-sum game. In a state of integration, what you’re doing is you’re
taking the other person as a part of yourself. You’re taking their best interest
as a part of yourself Therefore, you can’t hurt them without hurting yourself. Also to the flip side, you can’t hurt yourself without
hurting them. Can you? So what this creates is, you’re not going to self-sacrifice and you’re also not going to
bulldoze their best interests. You’re going to commit
together in all scenarios to find the highest and best
win-win in any scenario. The second thing to do to
end the zero-sum game, is holding both love and trust (what they really are) as the pillars that you build
your relationships between. There is a space between any two entities, the space we could call “us”. This space is in fact where a relationship develops. And that relationship can be
treated like a third entity in the relationship itself. Like a child. All relationships must be treated as if it is a child. Anytime you are playing a zero-sum game, you are in fact destroying
that third entity, the relationship itself. You might as well be
starving a child to death or abusing it. The win-win scenario is what strengths this child that we could call the “US” or the relationship itself. I also need to remind you that even if you do “end a relationship” you’re still in a relationship
with that person. It’s just a differently configured one. The reason is that this person
didn’t cease to exist, in the universe, the second that you stopped
having a relationship with them. Therefore there still needs to be a
commitment to the win-win scenario There still needs to be a commitment
to the safe relationship. Even though you’ve decided
that what’s safe or good for both of your best interest, is not to be with each other anymore. For example, you’re now ex partners
instead of partners. So there’s still a third
entity to take care of. The zero-sum game should never begin if
you break up, so to speak. The commitment still needs to be
to the highest and best win-win that can be found. A win-win scenario, is the third element or the third option within any scenario. Our commitment needs to
be to this third element. Now finding this third element is very different than
compromise in a relationship. For those of us that are interested
in healthy relationships, compromise is in fact a dirty word, you might as well be swearing. A compromise is by definition an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each
side making concessions. Concessions implies giving something up that you don’t want to give up. Therefore what people are really saying when they’re compromising is: “I’ll take a little pain and
you take a little pain.” The thing you’ve gotta
understand about humans is that people can’t actually do this. Most people aren’t aware
they can’t actually do this, it’s just, they compromise
and then down the road they’re still feeling resentful. The reason is that if you
give up something you don’t want to give up
and it causes you pain, that pain causes you to feel “bad blood” or negatively towards the other person, who you’ve compromised for. It’s a way to set your
relationships ups for failure. In a true win-win, even if you end up giving something up, the giving up of that thing
won’t in fact cause you pain. In fact it won’t feel like you’re
making a concession. It will feel like you found
something that’s also a: “Yeah, that alternative
is also good for me.” The zero-sum game is not really a relationship. It is I, me and mine. Now you can’t actually
do this in a relationship. Why? Because you have to accept that if you are going to stand squarely on the side of me, mine and I, i.e. playing a zero-sum game, You run the very real risk of actually losing that relationship. Now, this is something that so many people in relationships have had to find out the hard way. This is something that companies
have had to find out the hard way. So many marriages end because of this. So many business partnerships dissolve because of this and so many parents lose their children once they become adults, because of this. These parents spend the formative years with their children, playing zero-sum games
with their children. Of course, they’re not conscious of it, they just call it parenting. It’s what their parents did to them. They spent those formative years subconsciously putting these
children in the position to lose, but to Gaslight them by saying: “It’s good discipline.” “I’m doing this for your own good.” “everything I’ve ever done was
for you.” and “I love you so much.” If you can’t see your child as a person, a person with boundaries, meaning personal needs, personal feelings, personal desires, personal best interests, and work with those, instead of just making
the decisions for them, you are playing a zero-sum
game with your children. In any relationship, there can be no true winner
when there is a loser. There is only strength in the relationship if there is mutual benefit in it. As so many people who
have lost relationships have found out the hard way. The time has come on this planet for human beings to end
the zero-sum game with everything in existence. With themselves, with the world itself, with other species… Thing is in a relationship, if one person wins and another loses or one being wins and another loses, both of them ultimately lose. The great history of wars on this planet should perhaps be the greatest
teacher of this concept. Have a good week. Subtitles by: Tanya Duarte
www.tanyaduarte.com Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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100 thoughts on “The Zero Sum Game (What is A Zero Sum Game and How To End One)”

  • I believe it takes people who are emotionally healthy, having consciousness, self honesty and selfless to accomplish loving, caring relationships. Sadly it seems to me there are very few of these type people, rather more that are all about themselves. I have become a loner for the most part and all good with that. Great vid!

  • Why its so hard?😢 but i have to accept that its so wortthhhhh because compromising my needs for others sucks….your words are soooo true..

  • The civilisations are built upon this principal. Someone has to lose in order for others to gain.
    Law of energy conservation – energy is transformed from one state to another.
    The moment the humanity becomes highly conscious, almost all development will stop in the manner as we know it.

  • I am a philosopher which means I am genetically 30 percent asshole. May I introduce the meta annoyance of the zero sum game of zero sum games. Now before I begin, it is necessary for me to underscore how important I think your message is to society at large. The one thing I loath the most is when people find an exception to a rule and therefor feel as if they invalidated it. Rules of social governance are not logic, they just have the burden of working a majority of the time. These type of rules are not scientific or mathematical principles. This rule that you are promoting works most of the times in most cases. This is important to note. Okay, without overturning the wisdom of this message, I just want to give it guardrails.

    You will often hear people say that whatever situation is not black and white. Meaning you need a nuanced understanding to both understand and solve the problem. They maybe correct depending on the situation. However this slowly turns into situations are NEVER black and white. There is never a situation that is simple and calls for very intuitive and direct action. That scenario simply does not exist. Aside from being a title of movie, this is a very clear and present danger. The grey area is seen as a new discovery that nullifies clear situations with clear answers. This trips people up and makes them turn into master strategists when they just need to pull the trigger on a very obvious decision. You're hungry with an empty refrigerator. You do have money. BUY FOOD! Now is not the time to research hunger, farming, or the culturally shifting power of disposable income. BUY FOOD! The "problem" almost vomits up the solution. All you have to do is make a food purchase. Now I would argue that there are moral problems that are the same. However, when you bring up morality everyone runs to their closet for a grey sweater. Here is an easy one. Those who implement a systematic genocide of a people are doing a bad thing, those who fight them are doing a good thing. I don't want to be misunderstood. There are plenty of moral tight spots where no one can come out a clear winner. I get it. I'm just saying that is not always the case. We have to size things up and decide.

    Now lets circle back to a zero sum game. I have made this point before, but I'm not above repeating words or examples, especially good ones. The compromise between slavery and full citizenship was Jim Crow. YOU NEED A ZERO SUM GAME! I will never shortchange black activists that took what they could get and kept pushing until the total freedom was achieved. This is not a knock on them, impart because they never saw Jim Crow as a good or final solution. The slave owners need to loose ALL THE WAY! This is an example when the zero sum game is super powerful and righteous. This isn't a poisonous ideology, it is just a specialized tool. It is something to be kept in the safe for when you really need it. The combination needs to be long enough so that you think twice before retrial. You may think that getting rid of a zero sum game eliminates a hegemony of thinking and interests. It does to a degree, but it also allows the weeds of a lot of really nasty ideas to persist. Everyone can use a medical check-up, but only a very select few candidates need triple bypass heart surgery. The popularity and success of check-ups should not condemn those with advance enough heart disease. Hold on to both, and understand that one is for popular use, and the other is specialized use. Nothing has to go in the trash bin.

  • Finally! I've been waiting for Blakes music! Intro is amazing! Sooo where can I buy his Songs?!
    Thank you Teal for your words

  • Can someone explain me this?

    Is sex something only good for men and it's something that is given from women to men? Or women has less desire for sex than men?

    I am asking that because I am innocent and from what I am observing it looks like women don't like sex at all and it's kinda like it's something they have to do like an obligation to please their husband, like a gift in exchange for something he did, a reward.

    I don't know how it works and I really want to understand

    Please, can someone give me a honest and real talk? 🙂

    Thank you.

  • Thank you Teal. I see you as an inspiration and damn near enlightened. Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Much love.

  • Thank you so much Teal Swan. This is brilliant and so true. Strange that we don't always see this dynamic even though it can be played out right in front of our eyes. Thinking back I realize being anxious for no reason might be me being involved in a zero sum game, not knowing it but noticing the tension. Thanks for clarifying things we need to understand so that we can move towards change, A brilliant mind you got. Still new to your work. Thank you for helping so many. Much love to everyone! Truth feels good ✨✨🌸❤️✨✨✨✨

  • You are powerful spiritual teacher teal.
    You always stretch my mind as usual.
    You are absolutely right wen you said. They just don’t understand what trust is etc. your soul mate is lucky.

  • Imagine what the world would be like if this was how we looked at political parties or different nations…

    This is why I believe I have lost my previous relationship two weeks ago. I knew I was controlling but I didn't know what I should have done differently.

  • I would say each of us donate Teal $0,01 so she can get a good microphone for her videos 🙂 / Passive-aggressive comment to ask you to please improve the audio quality. Thanks!

  • I'd say it's long PAST time to end the zero-sum-game with everything in existence….and yet it seems we're headed in the complete opposite direction. The only hope I can personally see is the possibility that it reaches a breaking point. I don't think "we" (collectively speaking) are capable of grasping the idiocy of it without some ENORMOUS losses.

  • So why is winning a war, not actually winning a war. . . ?

    (If theoretically, your freedoms, your rights, your peace is being threatened by " the Opposition" wagging war on you. N won't except anything less for an answer).

  • Beautiful…As well said as I've ever Heard… 'Win-Win' is a Simple but always a Good Intention… What a Beautiful Teacher you are… Big Love from an 'Old Flame'… https://youtu.be/0eqcUHPcMEc

  • Thanks for showing us, how to dive in this concept and understand it for identify its several ways to appear camouflated, in our paths. Have good weekend !!! 🙂

  • It is time to make a video about G5, the shift of the planet, the new energies on the planet, inner earth, the massive awakening on the planet and the fact that humanity has raised the energy on the planet and it will be all good!! You just wasting time and energy on these kind of videos!! Make videos for the heart and not only for the mind… you just keep going in circles for a long time now!! Teal wake up!! And all the people who watch her!!

  • How about a 'Zero Point' Game Relationship? Looks kinda 'Infinite' that way… Much Bigger Love https://youtu.be/UHvGpxOMN6U

  • Absolutely in all ways… if two people can have a conscious relationship… and hold the highest and best for each other…. developing conscious relationships are essential in this age if people truly wish to experience real love, and develop trust! In all my Akashic counselling, there is typically guidance that asks people to step back from inside the relationship and develop a higher viewpoint to truly SEE each other and the experiences/lessons being learned from a relationship!

  • A 'Riddle' for you… How can 'One' who Masters 'One's Self', become a Master of All and Master of None at the same Time?… It's a '2' part answer… Much Bigger Love https://youtu.be/DC7sHxzRQAA

  • This is literally impossible on the planet – we compete with other humans and animals and plants for resources. We have to consume at minimum plants for sustenance, which by your definition is a zero-sum game with plants.

  • so can you please make a video about this third side/ creative solutions? Because thats where it is hard work, not in simply avoiding this dynamic

  • No se trata de ser dictador sino q hay diferentes capacidades intelectuales unos doninan a otros pero no significa q sean dictadores es la 3 dimension sur es sur norte norte pero cada uno cumple en algo del todo

  • I’m constantly inspired by you. Your teachings have been so practical that I feel like they are being used in my day to day lives. You are very different from other spiritual teachers and for that reason, I thank you.

  • You're Actually A Savage If You Read More

    Hello I think that nobody will even see this but if only one person read this it will make my day but to the few people reading this I hope you have a great life and good luck in the future and I know fame doesn't happen overnight but I'm trying my hardest to become a successful YouTuber one day and please wish me luck by hitting the subscribe button

  • Sometimes the self-sacrificer doesn’t set someone up to look bad, but if suddenly stops sacrificing and helping gets set up to look bad, ends up with PTSD and suffers in social isolation.

  • So. I definitely grew up playing "zero sum games" with my mother, but it was always for a good ~reason – she was a single mom and it always had to be her way because she was the only parent, or she was struggling financially, or she didn't have time, or she was too stressed out – everything was always a valid reason for why it had to be her way. It wasn't like a choice like this video describes, where someone's being mean just to be mean or whatever. I really feel like my mom loved me but also didn't make great choices and so she could never really provide for us properly and it cramped her ability to provide, and that trickled down into me just having to do whatever she decided – often just because she was stressed. Except over time this emerged as a pattern and finally I decided she did have a choice, she just always chooses the thing that will continue her life cycle of pain and poverty. Right now I'm not speaking to her. I can't even think about it. But I don't think she did any of this malevolently, so it's confusing. I never hear people addressing what poverty forces people to do or not do, the damage it does. Most spiritual teachers act like choices happen independent of circumstances, but what if it was very much tied to very tangible resources, and not just a freely made choice? It's hard to be mad and it's also hard not to be and it's also hard to digest in this wordless way I can't describe.

  • Very very common sick pattern in the American society, a pattern you see every time you turn your head, everywhere. People are obsessed every whr trying to prove themselves and others around they 'win', someone else lose, when they aren't really. I became aware of this pattern in few months I moved to the US. I have been wondering for years about the best suited term. Thank you Teal Swan for pointing it out. Healings always starts with recognizing. Love and Light💕💕

  • Capitalism is a destructive social order. Capitalism and cannibalism are VERY synonymous. Food doesn't grow on trees anymore, it has to be taken from someone else..

  • I agree with much of this… some things I am not sure of. Don''t really agree with the point on 'compromise!' Surely, there is nothing wrong with compromise, perhaps it can even be a good thing… as long as we don't compromise ourselves?

  • the law of this world is simple "DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO" it's a world governed by hypocricy born of power and priveledge…wealth..manipulation thru fear (royals…religion..government..police..military) if I have the power and u obviously dont what else but the use of my power over you is gonna happen? regardless of my standpoint I am correct because I am in power and u are the lawless rebel fighting against the power u exist in which is me…this is the elitist psychology…u either rise to become more powerful or are falling by degree and becoming disempowered….life is governed by competition which breeds brutality..violence and killing..it is how it is and u cant change it

  • A starving person hunting for food is a zero sum game? Doubt. That animal served its purpose and now that person can survive to live out their purpose. Circle of life. Does she think eating plants is a zero sum game too?

  • this really triggered me. just because what you describing no one can or don't really want to do – I donno if it's even possible to have a relationship without zero sum game…

  • Lezbehonest Teal. You made this whole channel so that you can have wild sex parties with the fans 🎉 🎉 #pleaseinviteme

  • Thank you as always, Teal! I truly enjoy your information and your insight! You have worked so hard on these video's and giving information for many years. We appreciate you! Sending love to you from Arizona ❤

  • I agree with what you're saying in this video, hearing the term Zero Sum Game for the first time. I wonder how much double bind is part of that game when an equal amount of love and hate is projected on others in a relationship. I remember a double-bind relationship of a once upon a lifetime and this experience is a teaching to me until this day. I observe immediately when that imprint is triggered and so I can make a new choice. The training of a new muscle. From the past in the present.
    Knowing the fairy tales I can tell myself, in order to make myself believe what is unreal, I've come to the conclusion that a person who is in a survival mode for a longer time, knowingly or unknowingly, isn't a rational thinking person. Discernment is covered by anxiety and fear.

  • This video explains so much even though I knew this! spoken in plain language for even the most inept in awareness to understand. With a 13 year old son I'll remember your words ledgered into my mind for his future. Thank you Teal! This will and most likely is groundbreaking for many! MJ x . Hit the likes guys get this out there!