Being a good player alone doesn't bring success. And even if you pair up with another top class player, that too doesn't necessarily guarantee success. This is because there are many other factors which are vital in one's pursuit of glory and fame.......... none more so than having that elusive " partnership harmony ".
Indeed, many authors have addressed this topic from various different angles. Blaine Howe, a few years back, wrote a marvellous article entitled " My Seven Deadly Partnership Sins ". So having taken a lead from that little masterpiece, I have decided to focus my attention to answering the question : " What tends to undermine partnership harmony ? "
Clearly, there are many factors on which partnership harmony is built. Factors such as mutual trust, co-operation and forgiveness : the true and most important foundation stones. There has to be also compatible attitudes, values and beliefs about the way the game should be played. Communicating a strong belief and confidence in the other's ability to do what is right is a vital component too. Therefore, if anything undermines these factors, then partnership harmony is seriously under threat. And so I have listed below all the unsavoury and destructive forces that have cause disharmony in the ranks, causing many a partnership to break up acrimoniously. These forces, in essence, represent behavioural traits which are both shameful and reprehensible :
1. Theatrical body language that conveys contempt, hatred, anger or despair
2. Snide comments often invoking sarcastic cliches, barbed jokes, pointed remarks and cutting quips
3. Displays and/or outbursts of blatant hypocrisy
4. Non-stop, relentless preaching, where the focus is on belittling partner rather than offering friendly advice
5. Selective blindness, observing mistakes only from the opposite side of the table
6. Exposing a massive superiority complex, which is completely unfounded
7. A passion for post mortems on each and every hand
8. A ticking time-bomb personality, where the smallest incident can pull the trigger
9. Applying double standards, where the same mistake warrants a far more severe reprimand if committed on the other side of the table
10. Arrogance which is so self-destructive, it brings on tactical immaturity, and rash decisions
11. A zero tolerance level which manifests itself in the form of extreme impatience, petty-mindedness, impetuosity and acts of negative behaviour
12. A sadistic tendency to ridicule and humilate partner infront of others
If as a player you believe in the importance of partnership harmony, and the benefits that this brings, then do not..... under any circumstances...... allow yourself to succumb to any of these unfortunate character traits. And more importantly, don't ever stay with a partner who sadly has succumb to one or more of these inner forces of destruction. Not only will you enjoy your bridge more, but your results might well start to improve.