This disorder is an extreme variant of the more commonly known Superiority Complex. Indeed, within the bizarre world of bridge, there is an alarming number of players who ponce around displaying symptoms of the Jonah Complex. The statistics beggar belief !
Victims of this condition all too often aspire to join the ranks of the elite, looking to partner players who have excellent bridge credentials and glowing reputations. These sought after players , blessed with wisdom, foresight, and years of experience, inevitably end up wanting to give these Jonahs instructions and advice on how to improve their game. However, two of the most acute symptoms of this disturbing complex include stubborn disobedience, and wilful refusal, to play ball.....almost to the point of doing the exact opposite of what they have been told to do.
Just like the biblical Jonah from the Old Testament, these bridge Jonahs question the wisdom of their expert partners, choosing to ignore their words with a brazen arrogance that is breath-taking. They constantly complain, work to their own agenda, and disobey instructions with an air of open defiance........all because they believe they know best. The consequence of this uncooperative behaviour becomes all too obvious with an endless succession of wretched scores and embarrassing results. So victims with this complex soon end up as pariahs within their club, players who are seen as jinxed.....the carriers of bad luck and misfortune................fools, who because of their condition, are unable to learn any lessons.
The sad truth about these victims is that their misplaced notion in their own superiority, and their I know best and why the hell should I listen to you attitudes, are too well ingrained into their psyche. But unlike the repentant Jonah, who eventually the saw the mistake of disobeying God, afflicted bridge players are destined to carry on regardless. Their conceit and arrogance clearly borders on open rebellion and gross impertinence. In other words, I find them as patients utterly incorrigible and incurable.
Not surprisingly, the Jonah Complex has given rise to a popular phrase, so often used by other bridge players to describe those with this terrible affliction : " Don't partner him......he's a right Jonah ". This of course is a carefully disguised euphemism for either " what a pompous bastard " or " he's flamin' cursed ".