Pride can both be a good and a bad thing. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people.” While it is also considered as “a feeling of happiness that you get when... someone you know does something good...” its darker aspect can make you believe “that you are more important or better than other people.”
Psychology Today notes that there are two kinds of pride. One is authentic pride, which comes from feeling good about yourself, while the other is hubris pride, which is linked to arrogance and egotism.
While most of us aim for just the right amount of authentic pride, there are situations when your ego gets the best of you. Arrogance stems from feeling that you’re always better than your peers, and this can cause a lot of negativity down the line for you and the people around you.
This is why it’s important to be conscious of whether you’re acting out of well-intentioned confidence, or if you’re wallowing in selfish insolence. Here are several situations when you should just forget about your ego and be strong enough to take the hit:
1. When you’re wrong.
Did you screw up at work out of negligence? Or maybe you got into an argument with your SO because of something that you did or didn’t do? Every time you know that you’ve played a hand in brewing trouble, take the higher road and apologize. Don’t pass the blame onto something that you can’t control – such as office bureaucracy or EDSA traffic – but instead, accept that you made a mistake and that you’re doing your best to make things better. Owning up to your faults is the first step in rectifying the situation and improving as a person.
2. When you need help.
There’s no shame in admitting that there are things that you just can’t do on your own. Whether it’s something as simple as carrying something heavy or as complicated as trying to move on from a loss, it’s important to know that you can always ask for help. Admitting that you can be vulnerable isn’t weakness – it’s a sign that you’re strong enough to allow other people in your life.
3. When you realize your limitations.
There’s comes a point when you can only do so much. You’re human, after all, and although you can always aim to do your best, there are times when you’ll fall short of your goals. When that happens, don’t feel like you’ve been cheated out of your success. Instead, use your limitations as fuel for you to recover and move forward.
4. When you need to learn.
Someone will always be better than you at something, and acknowledging that you still have much to learn doesn’t only do justice to your peer’s achievements, but also to the determination that you have. Authentic pride isn’t something that should keep you from personal growth; it should propel you forward and give you the boost you need to be more than who you are now.