DOES PRIDE GET IN THE WAY OF COMMON SENSE?
Do you know someone who:
- Holds on to a grudge for years
- Has an inflated view of their own importance
- Is self-righteous, sanctimonious, and “holier-than-thou”
- Likes to win and hates to lose
- Has to be “right”
- Likes to argue and debate everything
- Wants to avoid taking responsibility
- Refuses to admit mistakes
- Criticizes and blames everyone else
- Believes life must be fair and equal with everyone all the time
- Is suspicious of others and constantly defensive
- Is easily hurt, victimized, and takes everything personally
- Covers up hurt with anger
- Plays victim and whines about the delicious agony of life
- Has difficulty recovering from a failure or set-back
- Denies their bad conduct and instead protests that they were misunderstood
- Accuses others of the very behavior they routinely display
If any of these habits sound familiar, you may notice that hanging on to PRIDE wastes time, money, relationships, and happiness. For example, take a look at the U.S. Federal Government. Many of our elected officials are so routinely prideful and partisan that they would rather remain strident and argumentative rather than act like adults and use common sense. Their PRIDE prevents them from reaching agreement. Instead, they continually argue, stall, blame, and block progress with the other side, all the while at the taxpayer’s expense.
PRIDE IS VERY EXPENSIVE!
Here are some examples of PRIDE getting in the way of common sense. These examples may remind you of someone you know, perhaps even yourself.
“YOU CAN’T UN-RING THAT BELL.”
- You say something to a friend/relative that is cruel, vulgar, thoughtless, or hurtful. Clearly the other person is emotionally wounded. While you may regret saying what you said, you are reluctant to apologize. You now want to tap-dance or clarify what you meant, all the while rationalizing that your explanation will fix it. Your PRIDE often creates emotional scar tissue that lasts a lifetime.
“THAT IS OUR POLICY!”
- The department store is unwilling to provide a refund for a purchase you made during the holidays because you lack a receipt. The department store is so wrapped up in their policy that they are willing to lose a customer and have you tell others about your bad experience… over the cost of one item! Remember, there are many other retail options available. Their PRIDE is very expensive!
“HE WASTED A DECADE WITHOUT HIS FATHER.”
- Your friend’s parents divorced when he was young. When his father left, he took it personally, and his mother did her best to alienate him from his father. Everyone paid a huge price in hurt feelings, confusion, and emotional scar tissue. After being estranged from his father for many years, he finally reached out — shortly before his father’s death — to enjoy a terrific relationship. His PRIDE prevented him from reaching out sooner; a decade was lost.
“THEY WANT TO IMPRESS YOU AND PRETEND THEY’RE A BIG DEAL.”
- A group of friends goes out to a fancy dinner and one guy (we will call him “Wanna-Be”) wants the others in the group to think that he is a big deal and highly successful. He insists upon picking up the tab for everyone. Wanna-Be is now over-extended on his credit card and experiencing major difficulty living within his means. His PRIDE fuels the constant need for status and his need for status in their minds is bigger than his need for his own self-respect.
“I LOST MY SISTER OVER THIS.”
- Many years ago, my sister got upset when I said something that profoundly hurt her feelings. I believed my comments were innocent and that she was over-reacting; she chose to remain angry and sever the relationship. I love my sister and miss her, yet we have let years go by without contact. We both have emotional scar tissue that refuses to heal. Sooner or later one of us is going to die, and we will have both wasted an enormous amount of time because of our mutual PRIDE!
PRIDE IS VERY EXPENSIVE!
If any of the scenarios sound familiar, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you really want your PRIDE to waste your time, money, relationships, or happiness?
- Is your PRIDE so important that you will compromise your own self-respect?
- Is it finally time to replace your PRIDE with Common Sense and wisdom?
IF YOU ANSWER YES TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, CONSIDER THESE IDEAS:
- Take responsibility for your actions, decisions, habits, behavior. Admit when you have messed up. Apologize, own it, and clean up your mess.
- Make the first move. It is irrelevant who “should” make the first move. Do it. So what if “they started it.” Step up and be the adult, otherwise you will regret that you wasted so much time.
- Decide that life is fair, unfair, and both. There is always an ongoing gap and difference between how life is supposed to be and how it is. Play the cards that are dealt. Deal routinely with how life is and go from there to improve it. Decide that reaching some kind of compromise to make reasonable agreements that can be lived with is better than continuing to argue, blame, and remain in conflict.
- Spend more time contributing than criticizing. The only person that is wrapped up in your PRIDE is you. Everyone else is either unimpressed with your PRIDE or wrapped up in their own. Spend your time improving things, repairing relationships, forgiving, and reinforcing.
- Offload your need to keep up appearances. When your need for status in the minds of others is bigger than the truth and/or your self-respect, you have shot yourself in the foot. Start with your self-respect as a monitor for your decisions, standards, and habits. People will respect you more when you respect yourself first.
- Reach out to those people that matter. Call, write, text, and visit people you miss and care about. Tell them that they are important to you. Life is too short to waste it on PRIDE.
- Forgive yourself and them. People are imperfect and they make mistakes; this includes you. Forgive yourself and forgive others for their stupidity. Let go of the mistakes and get on with your life.