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.
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
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
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
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
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
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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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith went to social media to share their Thanksgiving holiday with followers. The pair were surrounded by family and friends Thursday, and both posted how grateful they were to be with the ones they loved. Yet this comes on the heels of Pinkett Smith’s whirlwind of negative opinions and critics forecasting her book would be a flop.
Despite the negative feedback she received, Worthy, Pinkett Smith’s memoir, still debuted at #3 on the New York Times’ Best Seller list on October 25. The greatest backlash she received was centered around her relationship with Smith and the fact that the two had been living separate lives since 2016.
The commentary about their marriage overshadowed the reality that this book is ultimately about her journey to self-worth and the path she’s had to take in order to get there.
Social media comments about her book tour ranged from, “Me counting all the times Jada woke up and chose to embarrass Will Smith,” to podcasts like The Joe Budden Podcast saying, “Take me out the group chat,” which was a sentiment shared by many celebrities and fans alike. Yet, a point made by comedian KevOnStage proved that even though people say they don’t want to know about the Smiths, they’re secretly interested and want to know more.
Since the Smiths were wed in 1997, people have been fascinated with their marriage, and rumors about their marital arrangement have always been a topic of conversation. People continue to speculate that the pair is gay and swingers, and even new allegations have come out that Smith and Duane Martin shared an intimate relationship at one point.
However, despite their consistent united front throughout their marriage in recent years, Pinkett Smith has borne the brunt of backlash in the couple’s relationship, from her entanglement with August Alsina to Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards to the recent truths she’s shared about the couple’s marriage in her memoir.
Individuals are consistently running to the internet to support Smith and villainize Pinkett Smith, from podcast guests saying things such as “She doesn’t like Will, she likes the lifestyle” to deeming her “mean” or "manipulative" because of her facial expressions and demeanor.
Likewise, when you have hosts of daytime talk shows such as Ana Navarro saying, “I think she’s having a relationship with her bank account,” insinuating Pinkett Smith only shared stories about Smith to increase her book sales, it begs the question of where was this same energy when Smith released his memoir?
In Will, Smith discusses both of his marriages and how, in relationships, because of his upbringing, he needed constant validation and praise from his partners to feel secure. He also shared the reality that Pinkett Smith never wanted to be married, just as she never wanted the huge estate they share in California, but he wanted to give it to her despite her feelings about it.
Smith admitted to creating this family empire that only further boosted his ego and what he wanted his legacy to be instead of actually asking his family what they wanted or needed. People praised him for his vulnerability and said his book was an inspiration.
So how is it that one book about a person’s family, upbringing, and journey to self is praised, and another is villainized? The glaring thought that comes to me is, does likability often trump accountability?
People love Smith and his “good guy” persona; he’s always been an attractive, charismatic man that people can relate to, so even when he speaks about the way he mismanaged his marriage and family, it’s seen as growth. On the contrary, because Pinkett Smith doesn’t constantly fawn over him and shares how miserable she was in their marriage, she’s the villain.
People still blame her for not stopping Smith from smacking Rock at the Oscars and share their sentiments about how she embarrassed Smith with her entanglement with Alsina. Though this is a celebrity couple we’ve all followed for years, the question must be asked, how much accountability must Black women be subjected to in relationship to their partners' actions?
Why is it that the media is more interested in the marriage between Smith and Pinkett Smith than her childhood, or the fact her memoir consists of writing prompts, meditations, and methods for other women to find their sense of worth?
Could it be that the larger society doesn’t value Black women having the tools to find their own sense of worth? Or is it that Black women are expected to accept whatever is given to them regardless of how they feel or what they want?
The exclusive interview with Eboni K. Williams (@ebonikwilliams) and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant about if she would date a bus driver seems to have a lot of people talking. You can watch her response tonight on #theGrio. Catch the full interview, here: https://t.co/ctxE0zKFWj pic.twitter.com/BhIO52T2fg— theGrio.com (@theGrio) May 2, 2023
When Eboni K. Williams shared that she wasn’t interested in dating a bus driver, the internet blew up with individuals saying that Black women need to be less selective with their dating prospects. The commentary around this conversation shed much light on the reality that this demographic is expected and invited to settle in love if they actually want a life partner.
Black women aren’t often given the space to find their joy, fulfillment, or even self-worth because of the responsibility they’re forced to acquire in order to support their families and communities. Yet, “high value” Black men speak vehemently about Black women’s masculinity and inability to submit. We’re often inundated with podcast guests sharing that they’re not impressed by our success and are uninterested in our aspirations.
Black women, from a young age, are taught to place their community first and cater to the men around them regardless of what they do or how they behave.
We see this when young girls are told to put on pants when male relatives come around, we experience it when domestic violence survivors are encouraged not to press charges against their perpetrators, and we even see it when Black women face backlash for dating outside of their race.
The way Pinkett Smith has been treated since sharing the truth about her life and journey of discovering her self-worth is another example of how the world isn’t receptive to Black women being their most authentic selves.
It’s another example we can hold up to illustrate how Black women are expected to be magical but not human.
Even with this article, I’m sure there will be many who want to argue why Pinkett Smith was wrong in her narrative, but at the end of the day, it was her story to tell, and no one has more authority to share her lived experience than her.
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