Pride Is the Origin of Many Conflicts
Because there are no definitive categories or absolute definitions in life, there are multiple ways to look at pride. Psychology defines two types of pride, one positive and one negative. Positive pride is called self-esteem or self-confidence, and negative pride is called arrogance.
The former is necessary to feel secure and balanced, value yourself in the right amount, and find your place in life. This is completely healthy. The latter, which separates us from others, is one of the biggest catalysts of conflict.
The negative side of pride is defined as excessive regard for oneself and one’s merits, which leads the person to believe they are superior to others. This type of pride prevents you from recognizing and rectifying your mistakes and having humility.
Humility, which is the opposite of pride, is what allows us to adopt an open, flexible, and receptive attitude towards learning new things. People who are too proud complain a lot about other people, situations, the weather, the country, etc. due to their inflated ego. This inevitably leads to some type of conflict.
“If we do not moderate our pride, it will be our worst punishment.”
When pride turns into arrogance
Arrogance is the belief that one is above others. It’s a feeling of superiority that leads the person to boast about their qualities or ideas and minimize those of others. Pride can devolve into arrogance if the person becomes too vain.
Feeling superior every time they compare themselves with someone can lead to an inferiority complex, which in turn can lead the person to try to prove they’re always right and show off their merits, virtues, and achievements.
These people can be very intolerant of other ideologies, clinging to a singular stance and not allowing anyone else to give their input. Their capacity for self-recognition is very low, and they’re highly resistant to apologizing and changing themselves. They don’t even think about changing, because they think already do everything right.
Arrogant people display emotional coldness and distance. It’s very hard for them to forget an offense. These characteristics interfere with their interpersonal relationships.
“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
-C. S. Lewis-
Use honesty to break down your pride
Honesty can be very painful at first, but in the long term it’s quite liberating. It allows us to face the truth about who we are and how we relate to our inner world. This is where the path that leads towards emotional well-being begins. There are many therapeutic effects of cultivating honesty.
First of all, it reduces the fear of getting to know yourself and face your dark side. It also stops you from wearing a mask to please others and be accepted by your social and work environment. At the same time, it prevents you from shoving your emotional conflicts under the rug.
Honesty gives you the strength to question yourself and identify the deceit, lies, and temptations that threaten you from within. To the extent that you integrate honesty into your life, your pride will fade away once you no longer feel like you have to play a role and put forth the image of somebody that you’re not.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”