Every era has its own conception of loser, whether that proved valid or not.
When we Baby Boomers were in high school our homeroom teachers and guidance counselors hammered us with the need to fit in and to do that we had to in order be well rounded. Or at least pass for that.
I joined the drama, debating and future nurses clubs. That evidence of joiningness was what we put on college applications. The losers were those who allowed their lack of social skills to show.
When affluence took root in the American economy, the new winners were those who knew how to make money, either as an employee in Corporate America or as a vendor to that dominant entity. The losers couldn't get a hang of that. They were sidelined socially. It was assumed their relative poverty was contagious.
On this July 20, 2014, there are myriad socially adept and/or wealthy human beings who are losers. Sure, they have their networks to reinforce that they are not losers. But already they have gotten it that they are stuck back in 2013 or, horrors, the 1990s.
Their signature characteristics:
Being critical of what is
Planning and sticking with Plan A
Being afraid and attempting to mask it with increasing bravado
Throwing out thunderbolts of hostility.
How can contemporary losers become winners? One tactic is to simply say to themselves, "I have no idea what the hell is going on but now I am willing to try to find out." Willingness is everything.