“If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 20:15
By: Chase Tolleson

… Then take a breath, relax, and ask if you’re going to add any value to the situation.

We’ve all heard it, and most of us have been guilty of one or two of these.

“This is so light.”

“That workout looks so easy.”

“I can’t believe I missed that weight.”

“This makes me look so fat.”

First, you. If you’re making comments such as these then there are probably mindset shifts that need to be made to tell yourself a new story. I have touched on that subject in previous blog posts, so today we’re going to focus on how your words can affect others in the room.

Nine times out of ten, the guilty individual doesn’t realize or intend that their words can hurt or discourage someone. Usually, they’re just rambling about their own personal issues without realizing the people standing within earshot.

Everything is relative, sure. A certain weight might be light for you but for the athlete across the room it probably looks like an unattainable goal. If you miss a 300lb front squat and get all pissy and say something like “I can’t even hit that weight?!” when the next heaviest barbell in the room is two thirds of the weight you have loaded well, you kind of look like a dick.

You may have been at this whole fitness thing for a while, and some scaling options may seem kind of mundane to you. Now, this is not a free pass to stand around in class and talk about how easy “x” is or how many reps you would’ve gotten if you scaled to “y.” These movements that look so simple to you are absolutely wrecking your classmates and when you talk about how easy they are or how it “wouldn’t even be a workout” (you’re wrong btw) you are not only making others feel inadequate, but also alienating yourself because obviously you’re much more talented and cooler than everyone else.

“This makes me look fat.” No, it probably doesn’t. In fact, you’re probably not overweight at all. There’s probably someone standing less that 10 feet from you who truly does struggle with their weight and heard what you said. How you you think they feel, now?

I’m not asking you to not speak what you’re feeling. More so, take a look inside and see if what you’re about to complain about is really the story you want to tell yourself and those around you.

If you miss a weight, that’s a first world problem if I’ve ever heard one. Guess what? You still got to go to the gym. Instead of getting all bent out of shape, try to asses what happened and where you could improve next time. Maybe you just had a poor night of sleep. Easy fix before your next workout!

If you are about to open your mouth and talk about how easy a scaled workout looks when you’re one of the most capable people in the room, think back to your early days in fitness and how it would make you feel if some meathead was blabbing about how easy your workout looked. Instead, try encouraging others and congratulating them on their effort.

Consider the image issues others may have before you let your own fragile ego spew something that could potentially make their day worse. Think before you speak. It will of course make others’ days better but even more importantly, changing the story you’re telling yourself will brighten your day tenfold.