When Does Pride Become Bad?Jun 05, 2023
Pride is a double-edged sword: it can be a source of inspiration leading us to significant accomplishments, or it can become an unhealthy force that consumes our lives and clouds our judgment. Too much pride can lead to arrogance and a misguided sense of superiority, which can ultimately cause more harm than good. To avoid excessive pride, we must find a delicate balance where pride motivates us without dominating our lives.
Excessive pride is when things go wrong.
There is a very thin line between when pride becomes good and evil. How much of it we exercise determines how good or bad pride is.
It's normal to feel proud whenever we do something good, such as accomplishing a goal, becoming successful at something after all the effort and time we poured into it, obtaining something nice by buying it with our hard-earned money, doing something great for others, or feeling nice in general about our traits and qualities. It is considered authentic when pride comes from within and motivates us to improve.
The very same things that comprise authentic pride can easily be distorted and turn into hubristic pride when we focus too much on feeling proud and exaggerate it, especially when comparisons and attention on oneself arise. Therefore, one must realize when pride starts to become wrong before we suffer adverse effects, such as destroying our relationships with others, stunted personal growth due to closed-mindedness, and isolation due to people not wanting to mingle with us due to our excessive pride. There are signs when pride starts to go the wrong way, and we should be mindful of them before pride starts to eat away at our souls and change our perspectives.
1. Many things start to become a contest of comparison, and people will look like competitors to you
Good pride starts to distort once someone attaches something else to it. It is very easy to have thoughts of comparison once you do well or achieve something, significantly if you attain the best status or ranking at something or did something that not many people achieve. You may think you are so good, and no one compares to you when you reach something that puts you on a higher status than others. It is normal sometimes to have such thoughts, but letting them take over you can change why you do things. Instead of doing things to achieve success and self-improvement, you may start doing them to be better than somebody else; you may begin to use others as a point of comparison and think others should be lower than you in status and power to make yourself look good. When you start looking at people as competitors and turn many aspects and areas of your life into a competition, you can become a proud person negatively. The need to feel superior becomes your central perspective, and you may often compare yourself with others to ensure you are always at the top.
2. You don't take criticism and advice from others easily, and your mind becomes more closed
One common characteristic of prideful people is focusing more on themselves than others. Therefore, anybody who they deem is not their equal in terms of skill and knowledge is somebody they may not listen to when they give advice or point out something wrong that they did. Therefore, even those with more expertise and experience may go past the radar of prideful people since they may see them as competitors and a threat to what they want to achieve. The problem with this kind of unhealthy pride is that each of us has our limits to what we can do and achieve by ourselves, and directly or indirectly, others will need to provide some support to get us to where we want to go, but if we close our minds due to pride and refuse to listen to what others say, we are depriving ourselves of different opinions and perspectives that can open more opportunities for growth and success. Such a prideful mindset can prevent us from growing and isolate us in our world.
3. Lack of gratitude and sense of entitlement
Everyone is special, and we can take pride in what makes us unique, and this improves our self-worth and confidence. However, this thinking can quickly turn into a self-centered perspective where because you think you are special, then that must mean you are entitled to receive various things as if people owe you something. This can lead to behaviors and actions that cause one to trample over other people's rights. Also, having such a mindset can make you feel that nothing is enough, and you often need to acquire and achieve more than you have. As a result, gratitude may fall on the sidelines, and you may not appreciate what others do for you.
4. Exaggeration of what you have or know, as well as what you don't
People can feel insecure when they have low self-esteem and poor self-worth. So whenever they see someone possess or do something, they may instantly get envious for thinking somebody is better than them. So to boost one's ego, a prideful person may start using their pride to feel good by exaggerating what they can do or have for others. They may even tell lies that tell stories of success and achievement when there isn't anything like that under their belt. During conversations, one can quickly notice who these people are by seeing which ones like to direct the focus of the discussion to them and with a hint of trying to demean others to make themselves look better. Pride can become wrong when it starts to act like a cover for one's deficiencies and create and say things that do not exist with one's reality.
Feel proud without hurting others.
Pride makes someone improve and be more motivated if it is used properly. So nothing is wrong with feeling good about your accomplishments, especially if they took time and effort. However, when exaggeration, comparisons, and destructive behaviors get mixed with pride, that is when it becomes a bad thing. You are no longer doing something for your improvement and possibly making good use of your talents to help others; a distorted pride makes you do things to make others look inferior and put yourself at the top at the cost of others. You may notice your pride is becoming distorted when you find yourself in conflict, often with people, and they start moving away from you, as hardly anybody wants to be with an arrogant person that makes them look bad and possesses annoying behavior. Therefore, it is essential to have good self-control when it comes to pride, as balance is critical to ensuring it is used correctly and not letting it affect your well-being and relationships with people.