What is this pride that I feel?
False pride is the candle that shines light upon an inner darkness that stops us from experiencing self-worth, and self-love.
False pride is the result of vanity that is coupled with a strong fear and/or dislike of people. It is revealed by the presence of negative thoughts about others, a condemnation of their beliefs and opinions, and a judgment about what they do and say. It is accompanied by a sense of superiority that may or may not be openly expressed, but which lies at the bedrock of false pride.
False pride finds it difficult to follow social norms and standards, and is constantly rebelling against structures laid down by others, finding them restraining and restrictive. It often negates social systems, and is expressed as aggressive thoughts, words and/or actions. People and situations are judged as ‘black’ or ‘white’, and there is little or no tolerance for the views and needs of others.
Whereas genuine pride is the outcome of accomplishment, success, confidence, positive emotional and mental health, and satisfying interpersonal relationships, false pride stems from narcissism and the need for control. Genuine pride is compassionate, empathetic, and agreeable with all, whereas false pride is aggressive, insensitive and arrogant. Due to emotional immaturity, it is often accompanied by hostility, deception, and manipulation.
What motivates genuine pride and false pride are entirely different causative factors. Genuine pride is motivated by an inner urge for self-mastery and self-improvement. It, therefore, appreciates and acknowledges the competence and skill that it sees in self, and in others. False pride seeks to dominate and control, and is motivated by an almost compulsive need for perfection. It, therefore, abhors incompetence in others, and cannot abide any flaws in self. That is why it is quick to punish and put down those who are ‘incompetent’, or those who they believe are finding fault with them. Genuine pride finds joy and enjoyment easily, whereas false pride never seems to have or find enough money, or power, or the right partners, as in everyone and in everything they find something lacking. 'Being happy' is something they are constantly seeking to achieve.
Genuine pride is able to handle disagreement and criticism in a balanced manner, whereas false pride aggressively lashes out at anyone who dares to disagree with them or their views. Due to this, the creative ability is often low, and, as a consequence, so is the sense of personal achievement. This leads to frustration, and even greater false pride and arrogance because of the fear of being viewed by others in a bad light.
There are very few who harbour just one or the other energy within them. All of us shall find that we resonate with much of the above; the good and the not-so-good. Our attention must be focussed on the 'why' behind the false pride, as well as the 'who', and 'when'. The 'why' seeks to identify the inner place of emptiness that is so easily filled with false pride as a defence mechanism, as a means to not work with 'real' pain, and so on. The 'who' and the 'when' are vital in this process of self-discovery. Who are the persons against whom we most use this tool of false pride? When do we use this tool? If we can step back, and observe ourselves dispassionately, without judgment, we shall have significant insights that shall take us a long way towards developing self-worth, and thus, genuine pride in who we are.