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How A Little Bit of Pride Can Bring A Positive Force To Your Life

How A Little Bit of Pride Can Bring A Positive Force To Your Life

Nobody likes a show off. Pride is a double-edged sword. When you aren’t proud enough, you have trouble feeling successful. If you’re too proud, people mistake you for a narcissist. Are there ever times when pride is a good thing?

Today, we’ll take a look at the different types of pride and how it manifests itself. Pride is more than meets the eye, and you may discover some ways that pride is beneficial for us.

When pride goes wrong

Nothing in excess is ever a good thing–even a sense of pride. Pride is often negative because it puts emphasis on the ego and self at the expense of the group.

Too much praise can inflate a person’s ego and create a drive for external validation. If you rely solely on external praise for motivation, you’ll have a hard time with self-motivation. Enjoying undeserved praise can also get you into the bad habit of bragging to elicit praise.

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People with too much pride develop a sense of superiority over others. When an individual is too proud, they may also be unwilling to ask for help, which can make their lives miserable. For these reasons, we generally don’t like to be around people who are too proud.

Pride doesn’t have to be all bad, though. It’s healthy to give and receive praise when it’s been earned. It’s important to offer appreciation when someone does something well, and it’s equally crucial to be appreciated.[1] As long as people accept praise with a balance of pride and humility, there’s nothing wrong with being recognized for doing a good job.

5 reasons to enjoy the positive side of pride

1. You’ll hold high standards

Individuals who take pride in their work are more likely to have higher-quality outputs.[2]

2. You can push back against negativity

When something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you need some pride to keep going. Pride makes you resilient.[3]

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3. It’s a sign that you care

If you don’t take pride in what you’re doing, you probably don’t care about it.

4. Pride spurs leadership

When you really care about something, you’re willing to fight for it. If a project, organization, or place is in jeopardy, a proud person will become a leader to protect it.[4]

5. Proud people look after their families

When you’re proud of your family, you go to bat for them. You try to give them the best things in life, and you won’t allow them to suffer in poor conditions.

How to use pride to your advantage

As long as you nurture the positive aspects of pride and keep your ego in check, pride can be a real asset. Remember, pride is about setting high standards, living up to them, and avoiding narcissism.

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Hang with the right crowd

There are many ways to nurture pride and avoid selfishness. Surrounding yourself with the right kinds of people can go a long way to putting you on the right path. It’s been said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, after all.

The right kind of people are the ones who will provide support and encouragement, but they’ll be honest with you. People who dole out praise when it isn’t deserved can over-inflate your ego. If you spend time with individuals who offer appreciation when you’ve done something well, they can help you build up a healthy sense of self.

Stay humble

You can feel a sense of pride and still show humility. Just because you do something well, doesn’t mean that you have to go out of your way to brag or seek praise. Be comfortable with knowing that you are doing your best work without having to have validation from outside sources.

Try new things

When you try something new, you give yourself permission to not be the best at something. Whether you’re setting out on a new creative endeavor or developing a fresh skill set, pick something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. This will remind you what it’s like to be a beginner, and when you do master that skill, you will feel the pride of having achieved something new.

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Do what you love

People need more external validation when they are unsatisfied with their work. For example, if you despise your job, you might develop an inflated ego to protect yourself from negative feelings. Work doesn’t always have to be fun, but you should derive some satisfaction from it without having to brag and seek rewards all the time.

Take time for self-reflection

Stopping to think about who you are, what you value, and how you’re feeling about life should be ongoing practices. Build in some time to think about how you feel. Are you noticing tendencies that suggest that your level of pride has become selfish?

By monitoring your feelings, you can adjust before extreme pridefulness damages your life. Create a plan of action for when you feel that you have developed an unhealthy ego. If you have trouble recognizing these things in yourself, look to a trusted friend or loved one to steer you in the right direction. The people you have the closest relationships with will have no problem telling you if you’re full of yourself.

Do something outside of yourself

Use your skills to help others. This could mean taking a new co-worker under your wing or volunteering your time in the service of those who need it. Serving others keeps you grounded, and it gives your life meaning. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can make the world a better place in small ways.

It’s okay to feel accomplished

There’s nothing wrong with believing in your ability and feeling good when you’ve done something well. Even as you advance, remember to stay grounded.

Reference

[1] Wholistic Fit Living: When pride is good
[2] Changing Minds: Pride
[3] Debate.org: Is Pride a Bad Thing?
[4] Lifestyle Magazine: 19 Reasons pride is important in a man

More by this author

Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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