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5 Ways Your Pride Is Damaging Your Relationships

Love & Relationships

There's someone who I used to be really close with who taught me a very valuable lesson. One day, while we were discussing what we thought our core character flaws were (I said mine were impatience and fear), they told me that they know they are arrogant and prideful. However, because they are also smart, funny, generous, talented, and pretty friendly, I didn't give those two words as much attention as I should have.


And boy, I really should have. Over the course of our very unique friendship, I must say that when things were good between us, they were uncannily beautiful. But boy oh boy, when things were bad, the mixture of my impatience and fear along with their arrogance and pride made for the perfect storm that devastated feelings and ultimately destroyed our connection.

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Maybe one day, I'll get into how impatience and fear bring about their own set of complications when you're trying to build something with someone. For now, though, let's get into what pride not only can do but usually does do to relationships.

I'll start with this. One day, while laying in bed, I binged watched a few episodes of Divorce Court Before the Vows on YouTube. Something that Judge Lynn Toler said to one of the couples stood out—"You are the biggest problem you've got." If I were to define what pride can do, that's pretty much it in a nutshell. It can cause you to become the biggest problem you have. Shoot, even the Bible co-signs on it: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18—NKJV)

Unfortunately, a lot of us are SO PRIDEFUL that we don't even recognize what it's doing to us and those around us. But if what I'm sharing is tugging at you, even just a little bit, here are some pretty telling signs that your pride is costing you…a lot. Even if you don't see clear evidence of it…yet.

How Your Pride Is Ruining Your Relationship

1. You (Think You) Are Always Right

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Don't. Get. Me. Started. It's truly an epidemic, the amount of people who don't want relationships; they want teacher/student dynamics where they are always instructing someone else on what they need to do with their lives.

If I were to raise my hand in any portion of this article, this one would probably be it. I like to research and share. I've been told I've got a pretty good head on my shoulders. But sometimes people don't want to be taught anything; sometimes they just wanna hang and chill (noted). Know what else? Sometimes a perspective, no matter how insightful it might be, is just that. YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

There are a lot of unnecessary fallouts that transpire, both online and off, simply because someone doesn't want to hear other people's opinions unless they correspond with their own. Prideful people are know-it-alls, they tend to cut people off a lot, they don't know how to handle a differing opinion well, and they typically only like those who are a lot like them.

What's really scary about this side of pride is if it's not kept in check, it can turn into full-blown narcissism.

2. You Refuse to Apologize

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I promise you, for the life of me, I can't figure out why it's so hard for some people to apologize; not just when they're wrong but also when it's been brought to their attention that they've hurt someone's feelings. Probably out of all of the ways that my former friend's pride took its toll, it was this one right here.

The best way to describe how this feels is when I read an article about a former Bachelorette's (Kaitlyn Bristowe) response to how an ex of hers was moving following their break-up. She said, "Sometimes you have to take it one 'Are you f—king kidding me?!' at a time." Indeed. There was some stuff my friend was doing that resulted in me using the word "devastated" to them in order to define it. Ask me how many times I got an apology. NOT ONE. NOT ONCE.

By definition, an apology is "a written or spoken expression of one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another." Anyone who is willing to do this isn't weak; they are very strong. They are even stronger if they offer up the apology without explanations or justifications while trying not to do the same thing that they're apologizing for, moving forward.

If you are cool with knowing that you messed up, wronged someone, or simply hurt their feelings and not apologizing for it, not only are you prideful, you're basically an unsafe individual to be around.

3. You Can Never Be Told About Yourself

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There is not one person on this planet who is perfect. NOT ONE. This means that all of us have something that we could stand to improve upon. Sometimes, we're not self-aware enough to recognize what those things are; this is where our relationships come in.

Healthy relationships aren't just about spending time with individuals we have something in common with or even being around those who make us feel good about ourselves. Healthy relationships should also consist of accountability too.

The friends I have? We call each other out pretty consistently. It's not hard to receive from them because I know it's done in love; I also know they want to see me win.

Be careful about thinking that a true friend isn't someone who will take you to task when needed. A lot of prideful people have never experienced authentic relationships because they'd rather have fans than actual friends.

4. You Don’t Know How to Put Others First

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This is a facet of pride that is a bit more cryptic than the others because you can actually be a really giving person and still be prideful at the same time. How? One way is if you do something for someone else, but you just have to get the credit by blasting it on your IG. Another is you're willing to go the extra mile in a relationship; that is until it cramps your style or it's even remotely inconvenient. Another example is someone needing you to honor a request, but since you don't see how it will even remotely benefit you, you find a way to deny them.

Prideful people are all for helping others out or making them feel comfortable until it becomes a sacrifice or makes them uncomfortable in the process. That friend of mine I've been referencing? We always got along until I needed something that challenged their ego or resulted in them shining less. Then I could basically kick rocks.

If even what you do for others still has something to do with you, that's another way that pride is doing some damage to your relationships (and your character).

5. You Tell People That You’re Humble

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I know a woman who once said to me, "I'm done apologizing for being beautiful." One, I didn't know that beauty was an actual offense and two, that is one of the most prideful things I've ever heard come out of someone's mouth. Ever.

The only thing that sounds even more ridiculous (to me) is when someone brags about how humble they are. I've got an example of this too. One of my girlfriend's husbands is one of the most non-self-aware individuals on the planet. He's also one of the funniest, so a lot of his ridiculousness slides under the guise of humor.

Anyway, one day, as he and I were discussing how he has the knack for totally pissing off his employers, I said, "I think it might be your pride," to which he replied (with a shocked look on his face), "I am one of the most humble people you know."

At first, I thought he was kidding, but once I got his wife to join us in the convo and she was like, "Honey, absolutely not" and he told us we both didn't know what we were talking about (as he got more and more upset too), I walked away knowing two things. One, humble people don't say they are humble (that is the exact contradiction of humility) and two, prideful people are so full of themselves that they tend to think they are every good attribute there is, even if they are told otherwise.

I'm a quotes girl. Lord knows I am. And if there is a quote on pride that sums this piece up perfectly, it would have to be by the author Andrew Murray— "Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you."

Healthy relationships are a gift from God. Please don't let your imbalanced sense of pride make people feel like dealing with you is hell on earth. It's not worth it. It really isn't.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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