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6 Undeniable Signs Your Pride is Taking Over Your Life

Are you letting pride take over your life?

“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.


The Takeaway

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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Noel Rosos: Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

View Comments

  • My pride kills me, now starting to see that I get lost in education, books, the gym, healthy eating, and I struggle to say I don't know, and wishing people well, although I say it, my feelings don't match up

    • The good thing about this John is that you recognize how you pride affects you. It is now up to you how you will overcome this difficulty and I know you can do it!

  • What you just wrote about it's just explaining a narcissist plain and simple. I have dated one on and off for seven years. That's why it's off for good now I'm tired of someone that would rather ruin a relationship tha to say they're sorry that is just ignorant

    • I agree Terry. Pride and narcissism can go hand-in-hand and it is a lethal combination. Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Hope you've found someone who is the opposite.

  • this is great, i think the person I'm dealing with now is too prideful and also narcissist.
    I'm dealing with someone for a lil over 3 months now and went through an abortion together, he was there for the surgery. I felt like he wasn't giving me the attentiveness, care, and nurture i needed after even when i voiced it out. i try to be strong and cool about it thinking i'll be ok but i clearly wasn't, I went about it passively too. He said " if u were tell me thats what you wanted you should've just told me" I just felt like it was a no brainer for him to turn up his care especially 2 days after the surgery. After 2 days of the surgery i had to drive 6.5hours away for a job i couldn't turn down, i told him i'm going to need you to keep me up so call me as often as possible he said "ok", 2.5 hr in to my drive he called me and told me he was going to be at starbucks working so he'll call me later. didn't ask how i was feeling. when i got to my destination i was like were you not concerned about me getting here safe ? He responses is " you always bragged about how good your driving was, why would i be concerned?, what could happen if you're so good at driving ? I'm was so confused and pissed that he said that to me again only after 2 days of the surgery, we got into and told him the abortion is affecting me and all i wanted was for you to just ask me more frequently if I'm OK.
    anyways, things cooled off that week and i had to drive back home 6.5hrs again. So i stopped by his house before i went home we had dinner everything was ok.
    I had a vape pen with me and when i left his i didn't see vape pen in my car so i texted about it he said no its in the car, i checked and it was there so I called him i asked he it might've dropped outside of your parking lot do u mind checking to see if its on the floor his immediate reaction was " are serious, I'm not your fucking slave, this situation is stupid i should've said no to checking for your pen and its NOT here," i was again confused why he would be so mad about it, he hung up and i called him back to apologize and i said i found the vape pen it was in back seat. He was still mad but no knowing that the vape pen has been helping me cope with the anxiety and the big situation we went through. i called him back for the 3rd time and i stared crying how its been difficult for me and he completely disregarded my feelings and said " how is your emotions my responsibility" I was completely thrown off like I'm pouring my heart to you and you're going that to me? and i told him the vape been has been my coping way to feel some what OK. so i started crying even more and he said " are you going to keep crying or are we going to talk" i started to cry even more and i just "I'm done" and he said " ok your done" and he hung up.
    5 days after that situation, i called him up, during the 5 days I'm was extremely hurt thinking how he didn't' even bother to check on me and just push everything else aside and check on my well being.
    we spoke briefly and I told him, I would like to speak in person about all this and he agreed and met up, i wanted to see how we can move forward from all this and if i told him i want to be nurturing towards me. he said it is not a problem but he also said have you of just told me how important that vape pen was too you i wouldn't have gotten so mad.
    things were ok after the talk but i didn't get the much clarity from it and i didn't get the apology from him for saying those hurtful things that made me cry even more, so i asked him if we could meet again the next day. He told me he doesn't apologize unless the situation deserves and apology and he was taught to only apologize when you know you're wrong, so i gave it a thought I told my friends about it and they said " he should apologize cuz this isn't just about the vape pen, it all stems from the abortion"
    We met for dinner everything was fine but then when i brought it up he said the same things, we got into he ended apologizing and he said DO NOT talk to me. I'm like your Pride is going ruin so much for you. so i didin't talk to him the whole night we went to bed and then we woke up and i grabbed his arm and he just turned the other way, I'm thinking to myself are you serious? you're still mad like this isn't just about you, i was the one who went through all the emotional and psychical stress, i should be PISSED that you're not MANNING up to be there for me.
    I tried talking to him and I asked him can we speak about this ? he ignored me and when i touched his arm he said " dont touch me" i said can we handle this like adults please, can you get off your phone and stop playing video games " he responds i can do whatever i want" i said " what are 5 years old, stop acting childish about this and talk to me" and he continue to ignore me. I asked him why is he so mean to me, he says " oh i'm the mean one i'm the boogy man " so asked again can we just talk about this please I said if you're mad about apology then tell me and if you need more time to cool off tell me and i said the abortion has been weighing on me and you being this way isn't fair and its NOt all about you. he ended saying " u didnt even have a baby in u to be this upset " i started crying really hard and i'm like you're really going to say that to me he said " i said it" and i was said if you hate me then tell me he said " i don't like u not anymore"
    I'm now at a point where I'm
    I just not going to take the abuse anymore " how could u keep saying mean things to me to keep having these tears run down my eyes"

    i need some help understanding this sort of abusive, prideful behavior and what should i do?

    • Sorry about everything that happened to you. I can't imagine how difficult and painful these have been. Please reach out to me via one of Facebook. I would like to help you with your situation but we have to do it privately and not here in the comments for everyone to see. Just let me know so we can talk.

  • I think I have too much pride and I just lost the love of my life because of it. I fight over little things with my ex fiancée she just left the house because of a stupid argument that escalated and instead of admitting I was wrong I let her go. I don't know what to do to make it better I've been this way my whole life I don't think I'll ever be able to change I don't know where to start

    • The fact that you admit you're wrong is a good first step. The next thing to do is learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and if you really love her that much, that pride should not get in the way. Never too late to change but it must start with you wanting to change.

  • Pride is a silent killer of destiny, because you will never know the impact of your actions until it is late.

  • hi good day i came to this post because i dreamt of pooping so many that ive cleaned it myself. The meaning is embarrassing but it kinda relate to what I am going thru right now. I am not psychologically and emotional good, and i think its because of my pride.
    I'll statt at my workplace- i am a support, not really on a high position yet i have been so many arguements already with different people. And so I think there's really something wrong with me. I hate people in the office who is lazy, hardheaded and etc and how I handle it? I am really rude only when i felt its too much though. Every after arguement with someone, it would take few months before i become okay with them or depending how i see changes in them. I not saying i am always right but sometimes that how i deal with bad behavior, to correct them. But my pride is so much eating me. This is also how even responded to my boss everytime i felt he's overboard, if he doesn't make sense and if i see him with so much pride as well. Sometimes, he is even the one to reached out to me.
    Second is with friends, there are these friends i have in the office. One friend at some point become so close to me and now i decided to not speak with. When i started to have boyfriend, she was so mean not to invite me whenever she plan for an eat out. I reached out still tried to involve myself to where they go but its just too much when right in my face she asked other except me. So we have not been talking for awhile, i hate to share it to our other friends coz i hate drama and because she is too close to on of them. I kept it to myself until now it still feel the same everytime they go out and not being inviting. I felt she really isn't my friend coz she never even confront me when we start not to talk anymore. I admit i mve put wall from people and that i should not care those i felt are fake friends. Yet too much pride in me i think is eating me. She was very much still okay with others and look happy and all. I am left out but really dont care than being with fake people. Yet
    Third is with my boyfriend, whenever we fight, its always difficult for me to reach out first. I say sorry but i never ask reconcilation first. I think these are all because of pride. I still dont know what to do, its hard when your eaten by your pride. :(

    • Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story Jerah. Of all the bad negative things you've mentioned, one positive thing stands out to me and that is that you recognize that you are prideful and that it's somehow hurting your relationships. That's a good place to start because in that way you can device a plan on how to overcome this problem. Think before you speak and think before you act. Realize the consequences of your action before it happens. Will it hurt the people you love? Will it ruin your relationship with them? Is it worth it at all?

      Sometimes its better to be happy than to be right. I wish you all the best Jerah and I want you to know that I believe in you and that I believe you can overcome this problem with pride. All the best!

  • Yes the points u hav mentioned by you regd this true to almost my behaviour. My girlfriend said me that I m being so much pride , nd will never become successful having it... So pls give me some tips to overcome my pride....I will always feel that I m humble nd gentle but now getting to know that it's fake..nd getting to know the real myself.uu