It’s good to be proud. Proud of your accomplishments, of the people you care about, your lifestyle — there are many things in which we can put our pride and still have it be expressed in a healthy way; but left unchecked, pride tends to become overgrown, twisting and turning into a perverse version of what it once was.
How many problems have arisen in the world because a leader was too PROUD to admit their mistakes? How many fractured relationships were never repaired because the people involved were too PROUD to put their differences aside and discuss the issue? Or the ever-classic scenario of those who are too PROUD to accept the help of others, letting negative situations continue for far longer than they need to.
The difference between the first set of examples and the second is that the first are examples of pride that don’t hurt anybody. Hurting others (or ourselves) with pride is rarely an intentional thing — our pride is an output based on numerous factors that determine who we are as people. It’s based on preferences, morals, paradigms and experiences. Thus, it’s difficult to really get a concrete image of what price is and how it works.
So what makes the difference between healthy pride and harmful pride?
Pride is a powerful thing, adding a hue to how we see the world — for better or for worse.
To make sure that you are in control of your pride and not the other way around, here are a few quick tips and exercises to keep in mind for the moments where a bias might be sending you down the wrong path:
- LOOK AT THE SITUATION OBJECTIVELY: If you’re entering a situation ruled by your biases and emotions, you may just be on a collision course with disaster. Take a breath, really look at the situation you’re in, and don’t let your pride and preconceptions dictate how things are going to go down.
- UNDERSTAND THE PERSPECTIVES OF OTHERS: If someone’s saying something that doesn’t jive with the things you say, don’t automatically think that they’re wrong. Analyze what they’re saying and see if there’s any truth to it. If not, feel free to politely correct them and move on.
- DO A SELF-CHECK: Check to make sure that you’re in the right with whatever you’re doing — we can often let our egos and opinions run away with us, and start to think that we’re better than others or more deserving of things than other people. Seeing as how we’re all based on the same genetic makeup, this is very likely untrue. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
- DON’T IMPOSE YOUR PRIDE ON OTHERS: Just because you feel highly or strongly about something doesn’t mean you need to force-feed it down the throats of others. There’s no need to be holier-than-thou or telling people I told you so. Be proud in the things where you hold your pride, but respect that others may have differing opinions.
- SLOW YOUR ROLL: If someone attacks the things that you’re proud of, retaliation is likely the worst course of action you can take. You need to slow down, take some breaths, and defend your views without getting violent, hot-headed or doing something stupid. It’ll do better for you in the long run!
Pride can be a silent killer if we don’t watch it. It can kill our reputations. It can kill the bonds we have with people. The body count is immeasurable and won’t be shrinking anytime soon.
Don’t be pride’s next victim — start mastering YOUR pride TODAY.