“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”
― Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam tweet this!
My wife and I have been together for more than ten years and our relationship has been through several storms so to speak. I believe it’s part of every relationship to have misunderstandings and it’s perfectly normal. In fact, I believe it’s healthy because it is through these petty quarrels that spouses get to know each other better; that they learn what the other likes or dislikes so that such lack of communication won’t happen again.
Ever since we were dating and even until now, one of the traits I saw in my wife (which she doesn’t deny because I asked her before writing this post) was her refusal to say sorry even when it’s obviously her fault. Well, she just told me that there was never a time she was at fault so I guess I have to accept that explanation or I won’t be sleeping in our bedroom tonight.
Kidding aside, I know my wife so well already and know that even if she doesn’t actually say it, there have been times in the past where her actions told me otherwise. She’s not as prideful in other things anyway.
It’s amazing what pride can make us do. After all, it wouldn’t be considered the most serious of the seven deadly sins if it wasn’t a big deal. It was even said that it is the source of the other sins. The best example would have to be the story of Lucifer whose pride and desire to compete with God was what caused his fall from Heaven.
Unfortunately, some people gives pride permission to take over their lives which they don’t realize can cause so much damage not only to themselves but also to their relationships and happiness.
One of the reasons I started this blog is because I want everyone to experience happiness and that won’t happen if you have so much pride present in you life. When will ever learn that too much of anything or a lack of it, is always bad for us?
If you are not aware, below are 6 signs you should look out for to know if you are letting pride take over:
1. You find it difficult to admit your mistakes
I’m sure we all had this happen to us when we know we are wrong but we’re too embarrassed to admit that we are. It’s a natural tendency for people to deny that they were wrong but what we don’t realize is that it doesn’t really take away all the negative feelings if we do that because at the back of our minds, we would always know that we were wrong that won’t go away regardless of what kind of excuse or alibi we come up with.
I had a colleague before who made a critical mistake that he was fully aware of. Instead of informing management, he tried to resolve the problem on his own but the impact of that mistake was far too big already when management learned about it. He lost his job because of this and had he informed immediately, the result might have gone the other way.
2. You find it difficult to say sorry even when you know you’re wrong
This happens a lot specifically with young people in relationships as well as between family members.
When I was little, my friends and I would always get into a fight over small things like not lending a toy or when one of us loses his cool because of constant teasing. I remember back then, such quarrels happen, the two boys involved would get out of their way to “recruit” friends to take their side and divide our group into two factions. This will normally last for a week or two before everyone realize how stupid and childish we all were.
Unfortunately, adults can be childish at times too. I’ve known several people who don’t speak to their parents for years or siblings who has been at odds with each other for the longest time because they had a disagreement and none of them had the humility to take the first move towards reconciliation.
3. You refuse to back off an argument even if you know you’ve lost
Ever heard of the saying it’s better to be happy than to be right?
This is one of the best examples of how pride can be blinding. You get into an argument, you lay out all your points, you realize your points are weak and that you lost the argument but you continue to impose what you believe. not because you are right but because you don’t want the other person to win. CLASSIC!
We had a childhood friend before who has this bad habit of always trying to top everyone. When someone says he has a Bumblebee action figure, this guy will say he has an Optimus Prime. If your family owns a car, they have two. If you have a dog, they have a tiger. Okay, the tiger part is just a joke but do you get what I mean? In every discussion or argument, he always has to be the best even if he has to lie.
Learn to choose your battles because there are some that you just cannot win.
4. You always compare
According to Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, one of the reasons people get into debt is because of our tendency to compare ourselves to others.
If neighbor A buys a new car, we feel obliged to buy one too even if it’s not in our plans and even if we don’t have the budget. We just feel like we need to buy one of our own so as not to be left behind.
Run your own race and stop competing with others.
5. You’re afraid to ask questions
As a manager, I prefer people who ask a lot of questions if they’re not certain about a particular subject than act on their own without resolving their confusion.
Pride seems to give us this idea that when we ask questions, we tend to look weak and not knowledgeable enough but you must remember that even if you are the CEO of a company, there are still things that others know better than you and that it’s not a sign of ignorance to ask questions when the situation calls for it.
This is one of the mistakes I made when I was a new leader. My idea was that I should know everything and that asking questions would make me look weak and not worthy of my position but this decision made life even worse because it lead to mistakes instead of good decisions.
6. You’re afraid to say “I don’t know”
Pride can make us pretend to be someone we are not especially when it comes to admitting our lack of knowledge of a particular subject. Like I said above, you cannot know everything and that there will be subjects that other people will know more of compared to you and this is not bad at all!
Even Wikipedia doesn’t have all the answers so why prolong the agony of pretending to know everything? If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say you don’t know. That’s it!
It doesn’t make you less of a person to admit that you don’t know something.
You can’t be happy if you let pride run your life because it will eventually eat at you and drive the people you love away from you. Stop being self-centered and let other people have their moment from time-to-time and give credit where credit is due.
Over to You
Are you letting pride run your life? Do you consider yourself prideful? If yes, why?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below or share your stories. I would appreciate it!
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