The Distinction Between Pride and Being Proud. And Why It Matters!

Prideful vs. Being Proud. A story from my new job in interior design

A month ago I accepted a position as a designer for a remodeling company. It turns out the Hollywood cliche of “starving artists” applies to writers as well. Hopeful, I went back to work to fund my passion and achieve some financial goals.  I was excited about working for this company for several reasons. 1. My daughter works there 🙂 2. Creativity fuels my spirit and this job would fit the bill. 3. An aspect of my investment career that I enjoyed was working with wealthy clients one-on-one in their homes. Consequently, I knew that opportunity would happen as the company does a lot of work in that niche. Little did I know I would get a clear lesson in the distinction between pride and being proud.

The air was different; I detected arrogance

I had my first appointment with a wealthy client just last week. The client lived in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in SWFL (there are many) with homes starting at $1 million dollars. Since I had met with similar clients dozens, perhaps hundreds of times in my former career, I wasn’t nervous. I was excited if anything. Previously I would be gracefully ushered in to sit down and talk about the client’s needs. I would enjoy a warm welcome and friendly small talk over tea.

Unfortunately, this meeting was starkly different. Unlike before, from the moment the client opened the door, this meeting had a different air about it.  To that end, she led me straight to the job site (the laundry room), gave brief instructions, and left me to measure. Similarly, when I finished, there was a quick conversation about next steps and she led me to the door. To put it another way, I felt more like “the help” than the helpful advisor that I was accustom to in my previous job. At this point, I had a choice to make. I could allow her pride to crush my spirit or I could be proud of the decisions I had made to fuel my spirit and live the creative life I desired.

Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you. tweet

The distinction between pride and being proud

To clarify, let’s begin with the definition of the two.

Pride – a high or inordinate opinion of one’s dignity, importance, merit or superiority

Proud – feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as creditable to oneself; having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

To put it another way, pride is thinking we are better than someone else while being proud is about taking satisfaction in ourselves and our accomplishments. Pride crushes our spirit and the spirit of others. While being proud enlivens our spirit.

Things to be proud of

With this in mind, will you choose to allow your spirit to be crushed or enliven your spirit? Here is a short list of things you can be proud of and enliven your spirit. Recognizing these things don’t make you better than anyone else will keep the spirit-crushing pride at bay.

  • The difficulties you have overcome in life
  • Challenges you have faced with courage
  • Educational or professional achievements
  • Skills, talents and unique abilities
  • Healthy relationships with people you love
  • Choosing the high road (like not letting a prideful person crush your spirit)
  • Your habits, discipline or self-care

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow

Take a few moments and reflect on the distinction between pride and being proud. Journal your answers to the following questions

  1. When was the last time you allowed someone else’s pride to crush your spirit? What did that feel like? What is the truth about how they were projecting you were less than?
  2. Make a list of things you are proud of in your life? I even recommend making a daily list of “what went well today” to remind yourself daily that you accomplish good things every day.
  3. Who do you know that currently has allowed their spirit to be crushed? How can you help remind them of the great things they have accomplished and the wonderful person that they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *