There are seven deadly sins, and which one is the worst is up for debate – it depends on the situation and person(s) involved. The deadly sin to focus on today is pride, as pride cometh before the fall.
It’s important that we, as human beings, and especially as women, have a strong sense of self. When we fail to understand ourselves, we’re vulnerable to someone else defining who we are. On the other hand, when one’s sense of self becomes too great (think: our ego swells) we become the victim of pride. What does this mean in the long run? Life is about striking the balance between confidence and humility.
Truthfully, I think we’ve all been victims of pride – either victimized or we’ve hurt someone personally because of ours. That being said, here are some items to consider when you realize that your pride might be standing in the way of your happiness in certain aspects of your life or situations:
Make the Apology
If you think you should, and you think it’s worth it, it probably is. Life is too short for your pride to be the reason you look back and wish you did something differently. Take the time to cool down (cooler heads prevail) but always communicate and talk through things. Too many important relationships (romantic, professional, friendship) have fallen to the wayside because someone’s pride would not allow them to apologize – they felt they were in the wrong or mistreated and that was the end of that. You can fix the situation, you just have to be willing to.
Ask for Help
It is not weak to ask for help. One more time, just to make sure you are reading this in the peanut gallery. It is not weak to ask for help – so do not let your pride get in the way of something you should be doing for yourself, someone you love, or a need. It is okay (it’s actually normal) to need other people. It is why animals travel in packs, we have friends, and we couple up – we thrive and survive when we have help. I am all in favor of independence, but when your pride won’t allow your friends and family to help you, it can lead to potential harm. Listen to those that support and love you, they know and understand you better than you think and realize.
Say Thank You… and Mean It
There are few statements worse than a false thank you – it hurts, and the individual on the receiving end can feel your insincerity from a mile away. Have enough pride to be genuine in your statements when you make them, and realize why it’s important to be sincere in your interactions. Do not be hurtful because you are hurt, and do not be boastful because you feel good about a situation. They tell you that you catch more flies with honey — the takeaway here is that you might need that relationship you’re willing to sacrifice when you’re feeling good at some point in the future. Don’t regret your words.
Listen, office settings, organized sports, and large groups are difficult times to keep your ego in check – but it’s important that you do. Take pride in your work, who you are, and how well you play the game… but do not let it over power what you do. We all know someone who has dominated an office meeting by only talking about what they have done, what they need, or how they make everything better. On the other hand, we all know a ball hog on a sports team. You don’t want to be either one of those individuals. Consider these examples the next time you realize your pride might have made your head just a little too swollen. Go ahead and toot your own horn from time to time, we all deserve it, but know when to pull back.
Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated
This one is tough, especially if it does not come easy for you, but we need to treat others the way we want to be treated. Here’s the thing about pride – it can cause us to (accidently) treat others differently because we may think we’re better or lesser. Check the ego at the door. We’re all equal, treat people as equals. Situationally, you rarely know what someone else is going through, so it is our responsibility to be helpful. Just be nice to one another – at the end of the day, we should be taking care of each other.
Here’s the real thing about pride, who can you share all your achievements with if you’ve isolated yourself from your friends and family? Sure, we can go make new friends, but the void from the first ones will always be there. The significance of the statement is this – we have reasons to be proud, we have reasons to share, we just have to make sure we are constructive and inclusive in the ways we do so.
It’s okay to win, hurt, smile, cry, (fill in your favorite action verb) – just realize that you can and should share those feelings at the appropriate times. We are all sensitive, and pride and sensitivity do not always go hand in hand. Occasionally, the ultimate demonstration of pride is vulnerability – and it helps you get exactly what you need to grow.