Pride: a great conflict producer

Pride: a great conflict producer

Pride: a great conflict producer

Last update: 14 September, 2022

As in all things in life, there are no definitive categories or absolute definitions. The same happens with pride, which can be used well or badly. In psychology, two types of pride have been defined: positive and negative. Positive pride is called "self-esteem", while negative pride is called "haughtiness".

The first is necessary to feel safe and lead a balanced life, to appreciate ourselves at the right point, to find our place in the world and to be proud of it; all of this is absolutely healthy. The second pride, that which distances us and places us above the world, is the greatest producer of conflicts and is capable of saturating our life with them.

The negative side of pride is defined as the excess of self-esteem and appreciation of one's own merits, therefore the subject considers himself superior to others. This kind of pride prevents us from recognizing our mistakes, from making up for them and makes evident the absence of humility.

Humility, a quality opposite to pride, allows us to adopt an open, flexible and receptive attitude in order to learn everything we do not yet know. Proud people transmit mental boredom due to their disproportionate ego, complaining about individuals, situations, the weather, their country, etc. This will inevitably make them jump from one conflict to another.

"If pride is not moderated, it will be our greatest punishment"

(Dante Alighieri)

When pride becomes pride

The term "pride" derives from the Latin word of the same name and describes a feeling that leads us to evaluate ourselves above others, an overestimation of one's ego occurs with respect to others. This feeling of superiority leads us to boast of our qualities and ideas and to despise those of others. We can say that pride can degenerate into pride. Pride is a proud attitude that finds its definition in the audacity of people who boast.

Pride, which leads us to feel superior every time we compare ourselves to someone, denotes an inferiority complex. This is where the arrogance with which we want to prove that we are always right comes from. We also make use of vanity, flaunting our merits, our virtues and our successes.

These people can be ideologically very intolerant, clinging to a single position and preventing any external input. Their ability to admit is very low and they show a strong resistance to asking for forgiveness and to change: they do not think about change at all, because they believe they are already doing everything perfectly.

They exhibit hardening and emotional distance and are unlikely to forget an offense. These characteristics limit their interpersonal relationships.

"Pride never voluntarily descends from its high pedestal, but sooner or later it will fall off it."

(Francisco Quevedo)

Honesty to defeat our pride

Honesty can be very painful at first, but it quickly becomes a source of liberation. It allows us to face the truth about who we are and how we relate to our inner world. This is how we begin the journey that leads us towards our emotional well-being; cultivating this virtue has many therapeutic effects.

First, the fear of knowing oneself and facing our dark side diminishes. Furthermore, it prevents us from continuing to wear a mask with which to please others and be accepted by our social and work environment. That quality also prevents us from hiding our emotional conflicts under the rug.

Honesty empowers us to question ourselves, identifying the falsehoods and lies that threaten us, as temptations, from within. As honesty is integrated into our essence, our pride will disappear as we will no longer have to play roles in order to give an image of us that does not correspond to reality.

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

(Thomas Jefferson)

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