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Guy Berates Partner For High Fiving Woman Who ‘Humiliated’ Him After He Criticized Her Rock Climbing

A woman stands in front of a rock climbing wall
John Fedele/Getty Images

Competition is a vital part of life.

It keeps humans on our toes and can help us strive to be better.

But humans can take the concept of competition a bit too far.

Sometimes the attitude may get in the way.

Case in point…

Redditor djru183 to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for high fiving a stranger who ‘humiliated’ my b[oy]f[riend]?

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My bf and I go to the climbing gym regularly.”

“He is really into it, and I just started climbing a few times a week.”

“He’s stupidly competitive about it and quietly insults beginners who are not as good which makes me feel self-conscious because I’m a beginner.”

“Last night we were at the climbing gym again, and he was doing a V6.”

“There were about 6 people taking turns on the problem probably because it’s a newly installed route and they were all failing.”

“Then a girl came and flashed it.”

“She made it so easy but at the end, she didn’t hold the final hold for 5 seconds, and my bf called her out after she was done.”

“Holding the last hold for 5 seconds is supposed to be the ‘right way’ of finishing a route, but she was doing it so easily she definitely could have.”

“I think he was just being salty because she did it when he couldn’t.”

“She laughed and told him he didn’t even start the problem correctly and walked off.”

“I gave her a high five because she was walking towards me and did amazing at the problem (and knocked my bf off his high horse) and she was surprised but high-fived me.”

“My bf turned to me and gave me an angry look and wouldn’t talk to me the rest of the night.”

“When we were heading home he ranted that I couldn’t be trusted to watch his back if I chose to take a stranger’s side over him.”

“I was shocked that’s what he took from the climb and told him she shouldn’t have nitpicked her when she clearly climbed it correctly, and he got mad and argued I was supposed to take his side over people I don’t even know.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. He was being petty, jealous, and a bit sexist calling her out.”

“None of his business, and she told him off.” ~ WholeAd2742

“I went to climbing practice for most of Middle School.”

“The way our trainer explained it, at the professional athlete level, male climbers do better because they are able to build more muscle, which does make a difference at the very top.”

“For absolute beginners, women do better because they weigh less, and that matters a lot for your poor abused fingers that can’t keep up early on.”

“And for the vast majority who keep practicing but don’t make climbing their life, there isn’t all that much of a difference.”

“Which was why the climbing practice was mixed.”

“I was a foot taller than my same-age step-sister, but she passed me on like her second or third session and never looked back.”

“It was like she was running up the practice walls most of the time.” ~ Rhamni

“It is possible that he changed his criticism just for being outshined though.”

“Guys do this towards other guys, and it’s just a way to detract from someone else’s win because you are overly competitive.”

“It’s like someone in MMA winning a fight where they were the underdog and, after the fight, they moon or flip off their defeated opponent.”

“People will criticize him for bad sportsmanship, etc., even though he still has the win. (Note: I don’t condone doing this and hate poor sports).”

“BF should have been more willing to congratulate the climber on the successful climb.”

“Which is 99% of it; instead of pointing out the tiny 1% detail that kept it from being perfect.”

“Fragile ego. Not necessarily (though quite possibly) magnified by the fact that it was a female who did it.”

“If I weighed 110 lbs I could easily do that too’ says someone with a bruiser’s ego from the sidelines, not someone with sportsmanship.”

“OP is NTA.”  ~ johnnylongpants1

“This is my take as well.”

“Not definitely sexism, but sexism is more often than not a silent contributor rather than overt Adam Tate.”

“I suspect it, personally.”

“Either way though the dude has an arrogant yet fragile ego and is an a** about it.”

“That kind of baseline tends to come out in ugly ways.”

“Dude should be celebrating victories, not nit-picking people who are better than him. (NTA)”. ~ pdubs1900

“I’ll break it down for you.”

“We can be competitive… like… a lot of life is about competition.”

“Getting picked first in sports, getting the job, getting the contract, getting the girl, beating your friends at a game… like… a LOT of life is built around being better than other people.”

“These are all things that permeate our day, and if you look at any of them, we don’t have control over most of the outcomes.”

“We are at the mercy of life, others, capitalism… whatever.”

“Your boyfriend doesn’t have a competitive problem.”

“He has a competitive nature and a control problem… a positive/negative.”

“He doesn’t feel in control of the situation, so he takes it out on others/this girl/you.”

“He can’t control your reactions, so he leaves you behind.”

“That’s something he can control.”

“He wants someone to ‘back him up’ so he feels like he has support.”

“To a lesser extent, he wants to signal to others ‘his way’ or ‘his qualifications’ are the ‘right way/rule.'”

“The climbing girl has been competing with herself since she was your skill level.”

“She’s gotten to a level where she is confident in herself, and she doesn’t need a stranger’s approval.”

“She has a competitive nature, without a control problem.”

“It’s a positive/positive.”

“She competes with herself… who she was yesterday.”

“Your boyfriend competes with who is around him today.”

“The path out for him is to become comfortable with himself, accept he can’t control everything around him, and inner focus.”

“There’s a path out, and it’s not a hard path to follow.”

“He just has to put in the work.” ~ Y__U__MAD

“Nah, you are letting him off too easy.”

“He was rude to the better climber at the moment, that could be an impulse control issue.”

‘But to continue to Bully his gf for days after the fact.”

“That’s just inexcusable a-hole behavior.”

“And why be snarky about new climbers?”

“That has nothing to do with competition.”

“BF is just a sexist AH.”  ~ JohnSavage777

“My husband and I are very competitive, and I love that because we have a great time and have fun.”

“OPs boyfriend is being a sore ‘loser,’ and I’d be so embarrassed if my husband acted like that.”

“He needs to grow TF up. NTA.” ~ Lipstick_On

“Sounds like a case of a fragile ego combined with toxic masculinity.”

“Tell him your ‘job description’ doesn’t include being his groupie propping up his ego.”

“Are you legitimately interested in climbing or are you learning for him?”

“If the former, I suggest trying to find someone else to teach you and go at a time when he isn’t there.”

“You’ll be able to build up your confidence a lot better.”

“If you aren’t really interested in climbing, I’d look for another hobby that interests you and keeps you active.”  ~ CJ_CLT

“I’ve only gone climbing once and have been thinking about getting into it.”

“If I overheard someone like your bf narcing on me while I’m trying to learn I’d consider not going to a climbing gym again, and I’m not even particularly self-conscious.”

“I can’t imagine this is the only arena in his life that he’s like this and at 23 it’s time for him to start reflecting on that in my opinion. NTA.”  ~ sthenri_canalposting

“I’m a climber and would be embarrassed if someone I was with acted like this.”

“If anything, I love the gyms I go to because everyone is so super supportive and motivating.”

“Tell your boyfriend to mind his own business and let others live.”

“He seems like an insecure and petty person, and you’re just seeing the top of the iceberg if he has no problem acting like this with strangers and/or in public.”  ~ ThePartyShark

“NTA. Your boyfriend sounds exhausting to be around.”  ~ itsMousy

“This type of person ruins every activity they participate in.”

“This has been a problem in my softball league with some other teams where people (almost always men) get super competitive and yell at people for missing plays etc.”

“Takes all of the fun out for their teammates and these teams then have problems retaining players.”

“It’s co-ed, beer league softball.”

“Chill out and let people enjoy it.”

“Fortunately my club is super supportive and friendly, and we all just lift each other up.” ~ Nylo_Debaser

Well OP, sounds like Reddit is with you.

You and your BF may need some separate rock climbing classes.

Safe climbing.