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Sports psychology for a jerk/whinger/moaner/cusser that wants to take it easy but still try hard.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
Zander Laskin wrote:

Well I'm glad your friend wan't actually appropriating indigenous cultures for costume attire.  My apologies.  It's just that with the climbing community being overly white, and overly male, I feel like we should be extra sensitive about how our words might be perceived by others, especially people of color.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one that thought you meant a Native American Headdress when you referred to a "feather headpiece", as apposed to a "Flapper Headband", which is clearly very different.  I don't mean to pick on you for your mis-characterization of the headpiece, but I think it's a lesson we as a community need to be aware of.  Unfortunately, even an innocent act, phrase, or even description of a costume (in this case) can be perceived as offensive to some, and the first step to making the climbing community more inclusive is being hyper-vigilant about anything we say or do, that might be perceived as offensive to any oppressed group.  

Honestly, the argument could be made that your male friend's choice to wear a Flapper Headband as a costume could still be considered offensive to trans-women, if in fact he's a straight, cis-male, as trans-women are an oppressed group in today's America, and under represented in the climbing community.

Just something to keep in mind.  Words matter.  When we speak, write, or interact in our community in any way, we are not only responsible for what we say/write, but we are also responsible for how others might interpret, or even misinterpret, what we say/write.   

I'm all for sensitivity, but I guess my sensitivity to cultural appropriation is not quite calibrated right. I'll go contemplate it, and my other poor life choices, while I listen to my Chinese co-worker give a seminar while wearing a Hawaian shirt... if that' isn't enough time, I'll keep contemplating while I eat Greek yogurt with Lithuanian black currant preserves for dessert, after I have some of the Thai curry that my daughter made with country sage sausage (it came out delicious, actually, but oh, the sacrilege of changing the time-honored recipes!).

I think you are coming from the right intent, but you are taking it into the ridiculous. My British-born Indian husband is fairly brown-colored. He would be very happy to discuss in great detail the Shashi Tharoor book and what British empire did to India, but he laughs with delight about the fact that Chicken Tikka Masala is now considered a national dish of Britain.  

BTW, I only know one trans-woman, not a climber, and her response to my question of what would she think about a straight cis guy wearing a flapper headband to make himself look silly was "good for him!" And are you sure you really meant to use the term "trans woman" and not a "cross-dresser"  or "drag queen"? Not to pick on your choice of words, but most trans women do not go for flapper headband level of flamboyance. They dress just the same as most women do.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
C Archibolt wrote:

Definitely not a doctor and not trying to give medical advice. Just saying what helped me. 

Your post was beautifully written, takes guts to share such things.

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 5,245

Thank you for your wisdom C. I like the part about remembering the stone cold fact that the rock ain't going anywhere, and that depression commonly manifests as anger in men. Those are some great pointers, the kind I hoped I would get by starting this self-flaggelation of a thread. I'm glad to hear that you are doing better. I too hope to do better for the sake of my wife.

Thank you for your book suggestion Aleks and others, I guess the consensus is that I should give the rock warriors way another burn; I will see if I can find something to apply to myself in it.

In response to the idea that hard effort is something you can't do while taking it easy... that is tempting fruit to sink my teeth into, but I do think that I can and should be less tantrum-prone when I climb, and while I realize that I'm not the biggest crybaby out there nor the worst partner, it doesn't mean that I should settle for being a jerk. I think the eternal struggle not to be a jerk is something we all have to work on.

Bill Czajkowski · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 30
Zander Laskin wrote:

This was actually my point exactly.  We all need to be hyper-vigilant with the words we chose because our audience may interpret our intent or actions very differently than we might have thought, but that does not mean we are not responsible for how our words make our audience feel. 

Hyper-vigilance. When I typed it the word vigilante also came up. I was going to say something snarky but decided maybe I should take the opportunity to reflect on connections that weren’t obvious to me. Thanks.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Abandoned User wrote: So... I like to go "a muerte" on climbs, and while I think that having le climbing passione is great, I want to be more positive about attempts for myself and for others within earshot.

I have a new climbing goal. It's not to freesolo freerider in the nude anymore, but to stop screaming 'F%$k' when I get frustrated while climbing. I am aware that it is neither cool nor productive.

Not always but too frequently I sound like a sailor when I'm going for something that I feel I can send but then screw up. It has nothing to do with falling, or like fear, it's just frustration.

Anybody got any sports psychology beta for me?

Help me internet trolls, you're my only hope!

Try "self-control." No fancy-schmancy sports psychology needed.

JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90

OP: as a licensed psychologist, I will try and keep it simple without online-diagnosing.

step 1: manage expectations.  and by that I do NOT mean to LOWER expectations, but rather go into the climb expectation-free.  setting expectations creates an artificial bar against which following events will be compared.  Sure, if you do better than expected it may result in a positive emotion, but many people set unrealistically high goals that then inevitably result in disappointment and/or frustration.  Being expectation-free results in a positive emotional experience due to the enjoyment of the behavioral experience, not due to the expectation:result paradigm. Translation: if you enjoy climbing, then climbing will be experienced with positive emotions.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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