|Killer Queen by aussiegall, cc license|
Challenging conversations can work similarly. How many times have you gone into a conversation with the purpose of convincing someone, getting an apology or something else you know you deserve (such as a raise), fixing a situation, or even delivering bad news without the other person feeling badly? And how did it go? My guess is that it was a less-than-ideal interaction and, at best, you felt anxious and on edge for most of it.
When you have a very specific outcome in mind for a particular interaction and a fairly rigid path for how to get there, you're pretty much doomed. Much more useful is to go in with the goals of understanding the other person, being understood yourself, and then moving forward collaboratively. When you detach from the outcome, stay in the moment, and let the conversation unfold more naturally, you will be pleasantly surprised with where you find yourself. I realize, of course, that this also involves having some faith and letting go of control - topics for another time, perhaps.
Happily, the same principles can be applied to board games. Staying in the moment and just enjoying the strategy and the good company is much more pleasant that clawing your way to a win. I can now respond to my husband that, yes, I will share how honest and gentle I am during board games - without a hint of sarcasm.