Claudia Chan

Professional Certified Life Coach
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How Playing Mortal Kombat Taught Me to Fight for Me

July 3, 2024

Monday was Canada Day, so my son wanted to play on the iPad, I decided I want to practice some Mortal Kombat moves on the Switch.

I was familiarizing myself with the basic moves and specific character’s moves, then my son got interested in it too.

We shared the control between the two of us, until I went to the washroom. He went ahead and chose his own character.

When I came back, I told him I was in the middle of playing!

He went off crying. I was thinking, why the heck are you crying? Arrg.. 😣😣

So I said, “Ok fine, you can choose a character to play. But you can only play for 15 min.”

He started practicing the moves. I had this pressure building up in my chest… I thought, “now what the F am I going to do?”

I saw some clothes, so I ended up folding them.

Then my husband asked me if I was ok, that was when the tears started falling down my face.

At the 15 min mark. I told my son to turn off the game. He had the nerve to say, “You didn’t say please!”

That blow my lid off, so I said harshly, “I didn’t say please because I’m upset at you. I was supposed to be playing but you cried when I tried to take back the game. So please turn off the game now!”

I got emotional midway through the sentence and I started crying, which made him burst into tears and cried too.

Luckily my husband was there to help him with his emotions.

After reflecting on it, I realized how my people-pleasing tendency showed up.

When he first cried, I should have held my ground to say “No, I’m playing.” And help teach him about waiting for his turn.

But rather, I gave up on the game because I didn’t want him to cry. I let him play, and then resented the fact that “he’s now playing the game”, I’m mad that it’s not fair.

In reality, I was actually mad at myself for not standing up for me, and then blaming him for the unfairness.

And that is how people-pleasing tendency looks like for me. Giving up on my own happiness to make other people happy, while I’m mad at myself for not standing up for me.

Yeah.. it wasn’t fair, for the both of us.

I also realized how much pent up emotions I had bottled up since childhood.

Since I was the oldest, I was always reminded of the need to share, let things go, be the bigger person. While it hadn’t been fair for me.

Now, here’s the kicker. After my husband talked to him, he said, “Tell Mommy that life is not fair!”

No 💩 Sherlock. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

Yeah, life is not fair, and I get to stand for me, even when other people get upset, even when they cry and yell, even when they try to threaten me.

And thanks to Mortal Kombat, I’m learning to fight for me.

Often times, we have a tendency to get mad at other people because we somehow believe that they “forced” us to give up something we want.

But maybe it’s our people-pleasing tendency coming up, it was the need to make sure other people are happy, at the expense of our own happiness.

Or maybe, we believe that we have no other choice but to do that thing we don’t want.

But maybe it’s because we don’t want to face the consequences of other people getting mad and upset at us.

When was the last time that something had happened to you, that you felt it was unfair, and you were mad at the other person, but reflecting deeper, it was because you were mad at yourself for not standing up for you?

Claudia Chan

Professional Certified Life Coach

TORONTO, ONTARIO CANADA

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