I’ve been struggling lately with how to get my thoughts out about how much negativity I see online. And how badly I will fight to keep positivity in the gym.
It’s always been easy, since the invention of chat rooms, for people to hide behind their screens and spew hate. These trolls have you at their mercy. Why do I put it that way? Because there is no “winning”.
Wrestling with a Pig
Have you ever tried to convince someone online of your point of view and they just spewed negativity back? You can try logic, you can try emotion, you can try spewing it back to them but nothing will change their opinion or even get them to listen to yours. They aren’t trying to have a conversation, they are trying to get you dirty. And if you don’t take a step back and realize what is happening, they will succeed.
As I struggle with these things, I reach out to people I respect and get their ideas on how they handle all the negativity around them all the time. One of the people in the world I most admire, seemingly, never has his feathers ruffled. (At least he doesn’t show it in public, certainly not in writing.) Chris Cooper, said something that stuck with me. “When you wrestle with a pig, two things happen. 1. You get dirty. and 2. The pig likes it.”
Don’t Feed the Animals
Trolls online need us. They need good people to put good things out there so they can comment on them and try to bring them down. They need people that read posts and comment with a positive spin, so they can tell those people how worthless they are.
People that attack you online, whether they know you or not, are sad, unhappy people that seek out attention like toddlers throwing tantrums. Instead of harboring ill will, what if we felt pity for them and realize they are seeking the attention and control they are missing somewhere else in their lives. Remember, when you “wrestle with that pig” that is what they think they want because it keeps that mud pit they are in sloppy. They want you to get dirty along with them, and they enjoy that feeling. They are bringing you down with them. Let’s stop feeding them.
Adding Positivity in the Gym
I just spoke to someone on the phone today about coming in to meet us. She is on the calendar and we are thrilled to have her in! We talked about there needing to be a mutual fit. If she didn’t like us, she wouldn’t be motivated to come back. If she was negative, that would affect the well-being of us and everyone else in the gym and that negativity would affect their motivation. We talked about body shaming and judgement and that there is no place for that here. Now, she sounded like a very pleasant person and I’m not worried at all about her fitting in. She said she has family of all different shapes and sizes and she knows the feeling of people judging, and would never want anyone else to feel that way. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time so we are clear early on.
Protecting You from Negativity
We do this because we have experience having to weed people out. In the moment it feels like a “financial” loss and that is tough – especially considering all the negative spin about joining a gym lately. What business refuses to take money from someone?? Well, we have met people that we wouldn’t have working along side you at the gym. I remember this one day Patrick and I met someone who, even in the beginning of the conversation, just didn’t seem like a positive person. Not as in he was having a bad day, I mean just seemed like he had a lot of anger.
I think he only came in to tell us that our class times were wrong. I can’t tell you how many times he told me that ALL the other gyms around us offer such and such time and we don’t. He said he was looking for a gym and needed this specific time. I explained that when we had enough demand we would add that time, but at this point it wasn’t on the schedule. I wanted to ask him was “Why don’t you go to one of the many gyms around us that offer that time?” I didn’t, because that wasn’t the problem. There was something else he wanted. He wanted to be unhappy. He wanted to debate me. I wasn’t going to wrestle. That is not my sport.
Since then, we have added that class time, and we still have it. Most gyms, most great gyms, keep in contact with people that have come in to see them. They send them emails and texts with tips, keeping in touch, etc. This would have been a great opportunity for us to reconnect and say “Hey guy! Guess what? We now offer a xx:xx class. Can we get you started?” I didn’t. Patrick and I didn’t even discuss, we knew we were not interested. In fact we don’t communicate with him at all. Money from someone that will make our members unhappy is not money I will take.
Happy Happy, Joy Joy
So why do we focus so much on positivity in the gym? Who would you rather workout next to? Carolyn (pictured above who is always happy, maybe even silly sometimes!) or someone who wants to be mad about something.
My family comes first. My members come next. My potential members come after. The trolls don’t have a place in line.
Set up a time to meet with us if you feel like you would excel in a positive atmosphere!