Have you ever had a beef with someone and thought, “Maybe I should just call this person and apologized.” But then you got worried about how it might make you look. Have you ever missed someone, but refused to talk to them? Have you ruined relationships over one or both of y’all being stubborn? Congratulations! You let your pride take over the logical side of your brain and now you have to deal with it.
Let’s be honest here, people tend to learn from mistakes, so that means people have to make mistakes in order to learn what not to do in situations. But when it comes to not letting pride make the final decisions this can be a lesson that is taught over and over again. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any pride and you should fight for every single relationship that presents itself in your life. It does mean you should acknowledge your pride and let it take a back seat sometimes.
Often pride gets confused with selfishness and stubbornness. Yes, these things come into play when dealing with too much pride, but these things aren’t the same. According to our handy dandy Webster dictionary, pride has two definitions: (1) the quality or state of being proud and (2) proud or disdainful behavior or treatment.
See, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and have self-confidence. The first definition is when you have the right amount of pride. The issue comes into play with the second definition. When that self-confidence stops you from connecting with people you care about, or walking out on someone when a mistake has been made. This is a result of too much pride.
From personal experience, I can say my pride has gotten in the way of more than one relationship and I have my regrets. I thought letting the other person know exactly how I felt made me look weak. I thought too highly of myself and I felt like I didn’t need this person in my life because they weren’t perfect, but nobody is.
Some common signs of pride according to author Eric Geiger include: comparing yourself to others, you can’t learn from people different than you, you feel you are owed, and you don’t think you struggle with pride.
Refusing to acknowledge you have a pride issue is the biggest issue. Having a better understanding of what pride is and how you deal with it is the reason it will always get in the way of your relationships.
I know it’s some overly prideful people reading this article making sly comments, but that just further proves my point. You can still be confident and still acknowledge your flaws in a relationship. Constructive criticism isn’t always negative and if there’s something negative about how you interact with people changing it doesn’t make you less of yourself. So go ahead and let some of that negative pride go.
By Triniti Maye, Sophomore, Saint Xavier University