Pride is quite a complicated word. It’s like a double-bladed sword that can connote both a negative and a positive meaning depending largely on how it is used and how much of it you have.
In a positive context, pride can be defined as a sense of satisfaction for one’s achievements or triumphs in life. When Michael Buffer introduces Manny Pacquiao in one of his matches, he would always mention “the pride of General Santos City, Philippines“. Pride, when used in this context is definitely a good thing. It has accomplishment written all over it.
On another note, pride can also mean something negative. So negative in fact that it’s considered one of the 7 deadly sins. In this context, pride is believing that one is essentially better than others and excessive admiration of oneself. It is considered the most serious of the seven sins and is even believed to be the source of the others.
Getting away from the formal definition, just like any other thing here on earth, too much and too little of something is bad. It is not a bad thing to have pride, it actually raises our self-esteem and lets us have a firm belief in our talents and abilities. It invokes self-confidence. So when does pride become a bad thing?
When you feel you know everything even when you don’t
One of my pet peeves is when a person tries to pretend he knows something but it’s actually obvious that he doesn’t. None of us is created perfect. That’s why we each have our own expertise and our own strengths. There are some things I know a lot of that you don’t and there are things you know every bit about that I have know idea of. In this scenario, pride makes us counter-productive. It is okay to admit that you do not have the slightest idea of what astrophysics is than make up something that would closely relate to the word “physics”. Allow yourself opportunity for growth by recognizing your weaknesses and doing something to improve them. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask.
This is a common problem with leaders. Some of them think that being the top guy means they have to know everything. Not really. According to renowned leadership and business adviser Chris LoCurto, leaders should actually be hiring people smarter than they are because they can’t have all the right ideas all the time.
When everything to you is a competition
Pastor Joel Osteen, in one of his sermons, said “There will always be somebody more successful, more beautiful, more talented. You have to realize, you’re not running their race. You’re running your race.”
I don’t know why but for some people, everything has to be a competition. Whenever they see people receive blessings or accomplish something, the first thing they do is to highlight their own achievements to undermine others’. Can’t we just all be happy for other people’s triumphs instead of being self-centered? This kind of pride can be dangerous because the person carrying this will always be looking to outdo others in every way possible.
When you can’t seem to be satisfied
Cosmetic surgery has been a trend for quite some time now. A little face lift here, botox there, you name it. People with a truck-load of money can afford just about anything to reconstruct what they think are body parts that still need enhancements. Celebrities who already look gorgeous with their looks can’t seem to find a place to dump the extra dollars and opting to donate them to leading plastic surgeons. The result? Faces so hard and tight they barely move or jiggle even if they dance non-stop. Lips so pouty, they look like a relative of Donald Duck. I even saw one in Entertainment Tonight where a lady looked like a cat after surgery and the only thing that separates her from them are whiskers and pointed ears.
Be contented with what you have. You are great at something, but you can’t be the best in everything.
I really hope Manny Pacquiao was just joking when he said he would like to be a playing coach in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) because if he wasn’t, I’ll be packing my bags to try out for a spot with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA.
When you can’t let go of the past
When I was in college, I had this two friends who had a falling out over something trivial. They didn’t speak for a long time (like years) despite us, their other friends, trying to become bridges for their reconciliation. They did reconcile eventually, but this only happened because one of them decided to swallow his pride. Funny thing was, they were both ready to reconcile back then and the only thing they were waiting for is for the other to make the first move.
We’ve all been through this whether you admit it or not. I have been through it at one point in my life but since then, I have learned to swallow my pride and make the first move. It doesn’t matter who started the whole spat or whose fault it was. Humility should always be shown in situations like this. We had a previous article you can read about the benefits of humility.
Have your pride put you in a negative situation?
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