Luise Lee

Cheating to win: confessions of a foolish girl

All this talk about cheating lately has gotten me to ponder the reasons why people cheat.  I have done a little browsing on the internet and have come up with a few answers to the question as to why people cheat:

1) Because they aren’t good enough at whatever it is they are doing to win “honestly”.

2) Because the thrill and excitement of whether or not they will get caught gives an addictive adrenaline boost.

3) Because they cant stand losing, they are insecure, and winning (at any cost) gives them a twisted sense of pride or ego boost.

4) For the money

5) Because they are miserable, angry, conceited or self-centred people and don’t give a rats ass about cheating their opponents out of a well-earned win.

6) To rebel against authority

I hear people complain about number 1 so often, but honestly, I really don’t buy that as a reason.  You need more than simply lack of skill in order to bring you down the level of cheating to win. 

I actually used to cheat  (gasp!  say it ain’t so!)  No, really, I did… My reasons for doing so were probably a combination of number 2, 3 and 6 — NEVER reason number one, and certainly not reason 5.  I had tons of skill and could have easily taken down any opponent in my path in any challenge or competition I entered (though, I admit, not every time.  There is a factor of luck that one must take into account). Hmm — I suppose I need to add “to offset the luck-factor” as #7 on my list of reasons…

I also stole things when I was in high-school.  I stole a ton of things.  I remember I went to an amusement park for a field trip once, and I didn’t have very much money to bring.  My friend and I were bored, so we decided to go around to strangers to ask them for a quarter to use the phone and call home to get our parents to pick us up.  We would go to the phone and pretend to make a call, then pocket the quarter and go ask the next person.  I think we probably earned enough to buy 3-4 more rides on our favourite roller coaster that day.

There are other incidents that I could relate.  I cheated at games (mostly card games… never any money involved), I cheated on tests in school (not often, because I’m brilliant, but occasionally).  I knew at the time that what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t care and I did them anyway.  I was so afraid of failing… so afraid of letting those around me down, (afraid to let MYSELF down), that I couldn’t care less how I got the results — I just needed to get them!  Failure was not an option!

I remember the last time that I ever stole anything.  I was at another amusement park with my friend (perhaps I should add “Because you had a bad influence” to my list of possible reasons for cheating?) and we were clearing out the souvenir shop of trinkets that we felt were overpriced.  I liked this small stuffed cat, and I remember my bag was so full of crap that I had trouble closing the zipper in my bag before I turned around to leave.  As I turned around, I met face-to-face with this woman who was staring me down.  BUSTED!  I slunk out of the store, and then I was so terrified at what might happen to me I raced away from that store so fast that I could have given Ben Johnson a good run for his money.  I never stole so much as a dime from anyone since.

When I think about all of the incidents from my past, I am ashamed at myself for being such a foolish, insecure and immature girl.  I suppose everyone has skelletons in their closet.  Well, those are mine.  I hope you don’t feel any less of me for sharing, but I can tell you that it feels good to get that out in the open.

1 Comment

HanniOctober 10th, 2009 at 10:04 am

Luise, that was quite a post! You are to be commended for somehow seeing these things in your life realistically. It took me lots of years and a fair amount of sorrow to accept some of the things I, too, had done. I haven’t confessed much tho, so you are way ahead.

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