What Is Pride?
THE Relationship Blog
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Pride is defined as ‘a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. (Dictionary.com)’. They also mention self-esteem and self respect. CoupleDumb would refer Dictionary.com to its first definition and hide the words ‘high or inordinate’. The related thesaurus puts words like self-esteem and conceit side by side. However, pride and self-esteem are not the same things. One is ego based and the other is a general appreciation and regard for oneself. Pride, for all the conflicting definitions, should come from appreciation and love, not conceit.
Why are we bringing this up? Well, we were talking the other day about relationships, as we do in the CoupleDumb salt mines, and we came upon one of the most destructive forces in any relationship; pride. Pride is the ugly cheerleader who makes you keep arguing a point even when you don’t have one. Pride is the feeling of needing to best your spouse or guy/girl because losing is not an option. Pride is the evil little voice in your head that tells you that if you give up or give in, you lose everything. Pride is that overgrown part of us who has listened to too many disenchanted lovers, love songs and watched too much crap on the boob tube, telling you to take pride in yourself and don’t let anyone get the upper hand on you.
Pride is a one of those feelings that is fraught with double messages. ‘You should be proud of yourself for doing that!’ ‘Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up (Gandhi).’ ‘Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need (Kahlil Gibran)’. ‘I’m a black American, I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride and dignity (Michael Jackson)’. ‘
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4.)’ What’s right? Is it a good feeling about yourself or is it wicked?
What we can say is that pride is the culprit to most marital discord. We learn early on that we must be strong in relationship for fear of loss. Men must never let a woman pussy whip him and a woman must never be a doormat. There is no happy medium. Either position is a lackey to the spouse with the greater pride. Pride, in this case, is a power struggle.
When we argue, ego must never be part of the conversation. However, the moment we see our side slipping, our ego goes into hyper-drive and is willing to fight dirty to not lose. We even forget about winning at that point. It becomes this incredible need to spare ourselves the humiliation of losing. So we have learned that straying from the topic, bringing up past wrongs and even becoming violent is the way to regain some semblance of pride; your ego run amok.
What we forget is love. We forget that love does not live in the cold of ego saving. Love and relationships are not about saving your pride but creating a deeper feeling, happiness. So go ahead and stroke your pride and we hope it keeps you warm on the couch. We’ll be happy over here basking in love and happiness.
(For our GLBT friends and family please do not get in a snit over the word pride. We are so full of admiration and love for all you are.)