Mountain Project Logo

Being Pressured to Try New Stuff I'm Not Comfortable With


Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210
jessie briggs wrote: For what it’s worth, climbing shouldn’t be dangerous. It’s a high consequence activity, but it shouldn’t be dangerous.
Climbing is inherently dangerous.  It’s literally the first thing most people learn and is the reason you have to sign that waiver in order to climb in a gym.
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 622

You know, Eli Poss, I think you are right.  My language in my post was probably too harsh regarding the briefly described SO of the OP.  This is a bit of a hot button issue for me because I've seen so much of this kind of cajoling, pushing, "encouraging" behavior at the sport crags over many years.  Not just men with their women partners, but from all sexes to/at all sexes.  
I just feel strongly that people should be respected to make up their own minds.
There's nothing wrong with suggesting something to someone, or encouraging them to try something.  But after being told, "no I don't want to", on several occasions, the person who's doing the "encouraging" has to stop and reflect on what their motivation really is, and what it says about them that they can't let it go.

jessie briggs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 235
Ted Pinson wrote: Climbing is inherently dangerous.  It’s literally the first thing most people learn and is the reason you have to sign that waiver in order to climb in a gym.

I don’t really climb in a gym. I’ve only climbed a few places outside that make you sign a waiver. Clearly you do not understand the difference between dangerous and high consequence. We mitigate risk by good decision making, skill and gear, which in turn should keep it relatively safe. If you can’t build a safe anchor to belay someone up on a trade route, you should seek qualified instruction from an accredited guide service. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210
jessie briggs wrote:

I don’t really climb in a gym. I’ve only climbed a few places outside that make you sign a waiver. Clearly you do not understand the difference between dangerous and high consequence. We mitigate risk by good decision making, skill and gear, which in turn should keep it relatively safe. If you can’t build a safe anchor to belay someone up on a trade route, you should seek qualified instruction from an accredited guide service. 

I’m not trying to derail this thread into debating something that is self-evident.  So here’s what I’ll say: Clearly, you haven’t had anyone you know die or become seriously injured while climbing.  I have.  Take a listen to the Sharp End podcast or a read of Accidents in North America and you’ll see that plenty of experienced people make what seemed to be informed choices and still get hurt.  Someone even died while being guided, and you bet your ass they make people sign waivers.  Complacency kills just as much, if not more than inexperience.

As far as this relates to the OP, it’s honestly pretty ridiculous that people are comparing climbing to board games or other activities.  Going up with someone is taking a risk, and one of the most important things we do as climbers is learn to assess risk and decide if an action is worth that risk.  Pressuring someone to take a risk they’re not comfortable with is selfish.  He’s made it clear that he would be totally stoked to bring you up a multipitch, now he needs to leave it at that.  You know where to find him when, or if, you’re ready.
chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 600

Give a multi-pitch route a go, but not with your partner.  Higher a guide.  This will alleviate relationship pressures, and hopefully assuage his questions should you choose not to continue with the sport.

Trad Princess · · Not That Into Climbing · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 1,175

Tradiban is going to get banned and his blood will be on all your hands

Ira O · · Hardwick, VT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 66

One thing worth considering further is his motivations in pressuring you. He wants to connect with you, fuse his love life and climbing life, sure. But if he can't convince you to climb with him, he may take the path of climbing more and more, bigger and bigger routes without you. And then you feel rejected and unimportant.  But maybe he won't climb less so he can spend time with you doing other non climbing things. Climbing could become divisive and push the two of you apart. Maybe for you to not climb with him marks a pivotal point in the relationship where the 2 of you have differently aligned goals and begin to drift apart. He senses this and wants to avoid it.

Pure conjecture,  but that's how it has been for me I mean, some people I know...

Justin B · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 10

regarding tradiban..
In my years of posting on forums in various hobbies, I've never seen a post get removed officially for "being a jerk." Seems like sarcasm, devils advocate, and unpopular opinions fall under that umbrella far too much around here. Shame.

Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 209
  • fart sound*
Mydans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 70

I love climbing with my wife but I am super careful to make sure the day is about US not Me and that we are choosing objectives that she is stoked on too.  We've been together for 7 years and have gotten up some big stuff (Grand Teton, rock climbing little Switzerland in Denali, and mountaineering in Patagonia) but I try to be careful to make sure that she is having fun and continues to want to climb.  She doesn't lead but she is stoked to follow long routes and is an efficient cleaner.  I started out by climbing mostly easier stuff with her and it was her that asked if we could start climbing longer and harder routes.  To directly answer the OP I think that pushing someone to face fears and expand their climbing is fine as long as that person wants to address them but if you have decided that big routes are not something you're interested in than it's not fair to be constantly putting you in situations you're not comfortable with or pushing you to do so.  Everyone has a right to make their "version" of climbing work for them.  If your version of climbing and his don't mesh than you should probably do what I would in that situation.  Find a different climbing partner. Or he needs to accept your comfort levels and go push himself with other partners.  Bottom line is that climbing can be intense and scary and only you get to decide what's right for you.

Wes Turner · · az / pa · Joined May 2003 · Points: 30

yeah.... I've been through this before. Just be honest with him. And very clear. i.e " I am not ready, I am not interested. period. If I am, I'll let you know. I want to focus on bouldering for now... love yoooouuuu" ………..which is what my girlfriend did long ago. She wasn't into what I was into at the time, and we found a middle ground.

Now I'm married... There is no middle ground. I lose pretty much every time.  Which is why I have recruited my daughters to the climbing ranks. My plan is to out vote her on all climbing decisions by the time they are 10. And I WILL RULE ONCE AGAIN!!! … p.s. don't tell my wife, i'll get in trouble. 

Sandi Bourne · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

Hey y'all. I did not realize how much this post was going to blow up. Thanks for all the replies and opinions. Truly helped! (And the Tradiban thing .. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ... Troll or no troll, I will say that there's a reason I chose to post in the women's forum **cough** Zero Tolerance Policy **cough**)
To those interested in how it turned out, I was able to talk  to my boyfriend about how this whole thing was making me feel, pretty much only a few days after I posted this and read the first 10 or so replies. He was reluctant, but he agreed to stop pressuring me about trad climbing and let me go at my own pace.
In response to some of the other comments: relationships are about supporting each other's opinions and interests, even if they don't always align. We're just lucky that our interests take us to the same general areas, and that our appreciation of the outdoors is what we love most about each other. We've found a good middle ground where he will come boulder with me on his rest days, and I his need to do multipitch and big wall; I've even come along as base camp support in some cases.
If anyone is going through this sort of weirdly specific point of friction, my advice is to go with your gut, make your feelings heard, and if you really don't want to do something, don't do it, no matter the cajoling and claims of safety. Yes, trad climbing can be incredibly safe, but my family has lost a fair amount of friends to trad accidents, so it's not really something I take lightly. Anyway, I'm not terribly worried that me not trad climbing will rend this relationship asunder into teeny tiny pieces.
At the end of the day, my boyfriend is a great guy and it's good to know now that he'll listen to me if I tell him something is up, even if it involves something he feels strongly about. Anyway, my dog loves him, and I trust my dog.
Again, thanks you guys, especially the ones defending my boyfriend's side. I definitely understand it a bit better. Maybe I'll feel ready in the future.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Women's Forum
Post a Reply to "Being Pressured to Try New Stuff I'm Not Comfor…"

There is ZERO tolerance for being a jerk in the Women's Forum.

Log In to Reply