This isn't an article about your dog or buddy that you used to go streaking with. Nor is it about the guy that banged your girl that she left you for.
It's about what could be your best friend in lifting. Or your worst enemy. And I'm not talking training partners either. Though they can directly give this to you.
It's called criticism.
The cry baby -
Years ago I used to talk, fairly often, to this kid who was a lifter who always had these preposterous goals. He'd hit something in a particular lift, then make claims that he was going to do 50 more pounds than that in this really absurd time frame like a month or two.
Eventually, I grew tired of his nonsensical bullshit and told him if he hit this particular goal of his, I'd send him a t-shirt, or something of that nature.
He then proceeded to get a massive case of the butthurt and sandy vag at the same time. He told me that he was all vagged up because I didn't give him positive encouragement about achieving his goal. He never realized I had done nothing but that in the past, and he never succeeded in accomplishing any of these lofty goals he kept setting.
So for once, I mocked him a bit. Not terribly bad, but I felt like he had enough coddling about his lifting. Some tough love was in order.
Well, he crumbled like a deck of cards.
He was a fucking cry baby.
Let me be fair for a second. Everyone has a little cry baby in them. Even the toughest of mother fuckers. Whether it's about how their woman is treating them or what someone on the internet said to them or how their buddy didn't meet them at the bar for drinks. Sometimes you just like a bitch about something.
Just don't let that be WHO YOU ARE.
If you can't take someone razzing you a bit, just get out of the game you weak, spineless bitch.
Generally the cry baby only responds to being coddled, or the "you can do it, Corky!" speeches. And there's nothing wrong with positive encouragement from time to time. But everyone needs a case of tough love now and then. And if you can't handle that, you might not want to do something where you'll find other dudes who might call you a pussy sometimes, or mock you for not achieving the things you keep saying you will. I've taken plenty of shit for not hitting 1800 beltless yet, but I put it out there. Until I make it happen, I will catch shit for it. That's part of the game. If you don't like the rules, get the fuck out.
The man -
The man, on the other hand, knows he needs criticism to become better. Good or bad, he'll take it. If it's worthy of application, he'll apply it and get better, or he'll toss it out and say "meh, didn't work for me." He takes someone throwing an insult at him as a challenge, and he responds to it.
He also isn't afraid to ask other experienced lifters what he should do to get better. No matter what he lifts or where he's at in his life. He knows that learning is power and will help make him power. And when you stop accepting criticism, you stop learning. When you stop learning, to cease to get better.
In the end, you get to decide how to handle criticism. The criticism leveled at you can be both negative and positive, but YOU get all the power in deciding how you use that energy. You can wilt and be a cry baby bitch about it, or you can say "fuck that guy, I'm going to shove those words right up his ass." You can get mad because your friend tells you that you need to get better, or you can say "I know I need to. I'll listen to anything you have to offer that might help me do that."
Criticism is always going to be just around the corner. Just be a man about it, and use any of it and all of it, to make you a better one.