“Don’t let your pride get in the way of your relationships.”

“Don’t let your pride get in the way of your relationships.”

We’ve all felt the comfort of pride. It comes after someone has hurt us, or wronged us. It comes after we’ve achieved something monumental, or done something against perceived odds. Pride can make us feel good, it can protect us from harm (or so we think), but despite what it can feel like, it can have a negative impact. While pride can manifest itself in many ways, today I will be focusing on one type of pride: the kind that holds you back from connecting, or re-connecting with the people in your life after a conflict.

Sometimes others can hurt us, and as much as we may not want to admit it, our pride can be used as a tool to hurt them back in a passive way. We look at the hurt and think to ourselves: “I’m better than talking to you.” And we cut off contact. Or perhaps we’ve recognized to ourselves that we wronged/hurt someone in some way, but we are too proud to apologize for it fearing that it will somehow make us look weak, or that the person could embarrass us.

While there are some circumstances where it is better to “love and let go”, there are many more instances where pride can and should be overcome for the greater good. Two friends can become distant strangers after a fight, and their pride can easily be one of the culprits that keeps them from coming back and moving forward together.

In a conflict, there are almost always 2 parties involved, and both have some stake in causing or perpetuating (or simply not resolving) the conflict. Its easy to let our pride comfort us and say that none of it was our fault. And it can be very difficult (whether or not we have any part to blame) to swallow our pride and be the first person to re-initiate the relationship. But unless one part steps forward and realizes that their pride is not worth letting the relationship dissolve, then the relationship risks further deterioration.

Imagine if after a big fight with someone you care about you could be the person to step forward and re-initiate contact with that person. Imagine if that person is waiting for the door to open up before they too can get over their pride. Imagine two parties who desperately want to reconnect, but choose not to because they are too proud. Our connections with those we care about are what make life worth living. The journey of life is much more bland when we have no sidekicks or partners or companions or friends to share it with. And for all of its benefits, pride can have a catastrophic effect on a relationship. It may protect us from the outside, but it also keeps us trapped.

As morbid as it may sound, people often realize the high cost of pride when it is too late. We think our lives are infinite when they are really not. We think that an opportunity will present itself, but our opportunities are limited only to our control. If we do not act, then very little will happen. If you’re too proud to reconnect with someone you care for, take action: don’t let that pride turn into the regret of having wished you’d made an effort. Open the relationship doors that you’ve welded shut and step through them. At the end of the day, it’s up to the other person to choose to step through as well. But by leaving the door open, by stepping through, by being the first to extend that olive branch, you can be sure that if the relationship can be saved, then it will be…and if not because the other person will not meet you in the middle, then perhaps it truly is time to let go.

Pride is intangible, a single selfish shade of violet. People, and our relationships on the other hand, give life a million vibrant colours. Which would you pick?

Thoughts? Stories? Share them!


17 thoughts on ““Don’t let your pride get in the way of your relationships.”

  1. Agreed. As a life coach, I have to say that you are right. Sometimes there’s more power in gentle humility than pride gone out of control. As a life coach, I always keep in mind that we want healthy, balanced confident based on a well lived life. Let’s keep the conversation going I’m on http://www.mariewetmore.com

    1. “Sometimes there’s more power in gentle humility than pride gone out of control.” VERY eloquently put. I’ve started following your blog and quite enjoy your posts!

    2. I can’t agree more with you. I have let pride get carried away in my life that I have lost myself. I have gotten hurt and let pride take over and let anger and toxic behaviors control me instead of controlling my emotions and being a bigger person.. I was actually being childish and Immature. It all happen due to making other people happy instead of me and I always gotten hurt and I became cold and bitter, no trust in anyone even myself. I began hating myself also.

      1. The beauty of life is that we have so many opportunities to learn from our mistakes and grow from them…It sounds like you’ve done exactly that πŸ™‚

      2. Hi Julie I can’t agree more pride can turn in to anger and turn everything toxic , it becomes like a desease spreading to your soul , this has happen to me during the last year , so much so it has unfortunately affected my mental health ,see I had an accident and in a retaliation and the feelings of being unjustly treated by everyone in my care and the perpetrator of the accident I wanted him to pay heavy for his mistakes. The longer it’s gone the more anger I have felt , to the point where it has turned into toxicity thro out my whole mind and body it’s a terrible thing and can be mistaken for other issues , like fight or flight anxiety , what do you think?

  2. This is a beautifully written reminder
    All too often this is absolutely the case. Pride is certainly the cause of many broken relationships, and our egos, more often than not, get in the way of reconciliation and our own happiness. I would, however, caution those who always extend the olive branch, who are always the peacemakers, who are always the ones to restore harmony, to be careful not to be trampled and taken advantage of. It is important to note that reconciliation should be a joint effort. BOTH parties must seek to understand the other. As stated, “…and if not because the other person will not meet you in the middle, then perhaps it truly is time to let go.” I think the mutual respect that allows for humility in a relationship where both parties can move forward feeling valued and understood is a factor that bears repeating. Humility must not be mistaken with self-debasement.

    So certainly, be the first to extend the olive branch, be the first to say you’re sorry, but be sure that you are not the only one working to restore good graces. Yours are worth working for as well.

    1. There’s so much in your reply, but by far my favourite is: “be the first to extend the olive branch, be the first to say you’re sorry, but be sure that you are not the only one working to restore good graces. Yours are worth working for as well.” Wonderfully put.

    1. Sometimes fault has nothing to do with it. There are many stubborn people out there. If your objective is to mend the relationship you may still consider the olive branch to ease any tensions, before speaking to them directly about fault. That’s what it may take to break the ice so that you can get through to them.

  3. The price of an olive branch is nothing, and might bring the fruits you long for. The cost of pride is disaster, likely to bring you only sorrow. We must decide: do I want a loving relationship or do I want isolation & grief? The olive branch costs me nothing & may gain me everything.

      1. I like what you said when you said that you will gain you everything, and that is so true and you will only realize it in the end of just doing good and swallowing your pride. :).

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