Being in a relationship has its ups and downs. It is true that a partner can give you the support and love you need to live a more fruitful life; however, it is also sometimes inevitable for our partners to hurt our ego or pride, whether intentionally or not. If left unconquered, this pride might foster resentment and lead to the end of the relationship altogether. To overcome your pride and keep your relationship intact, consider practicing and living in these ways.
1. Accept your shortcomings.
You can never defeat pride if you do not learn acceptance. If you’ve done something wrong, then admit it, not only to your partner but also to yourself. Do not let your pride overpower you into resisting acceptance or repressing the truth. This would be difficult to do at first, especially if your pride already has a stranglehold on you, but once you overcome this initial hurdle, then resolving the entire problem will be a lot easier.
2. Learn to apologize.
After successfully admitting your shortcomings and mistakes, you would then have to follow it up with an apology. This might take a toll on you in the beginning, especially if you’re an egotistic person, but remember that saying you are sorry is a good way to develop humility and curtail pride. It’s a declaration not only to your partner but also to yourself that you are taking ownership of your actions, and that you are not letting your ego get in the way.
3. Look at the bigger picture.
One way to overpower pride is by looking at the bigger picture. Is it worth it to stop talking to your partner after he/she hurt your pride by disproving your belief that the Earth is flat? Or is worth it to tell her derogatory remarks after your argument just to feel empowered and feed your ego? If you think that they’re worth it, then perhaps you’ll be able to keep your pride intact, but you’ll most likely put a dent on your relationship or might even put its existence in jeopardy in exchange. There are situations where keeping your pride is not worth it, for in the grand scheme of things, you’ll be bound to lose more. Learn to look less on the trees and more on the forest.
4. Communicate constantly.
We don’t always have to overcome pride. Sometimes, we must simply employ preventive measures so that our partners do not inadvertently hurt them, and this is where constant communication comes in. We have to communicate our state of mind and sensitivities to our partners, so that they can avoid doing things that would damage our pride. Of course, this solution is not full proof, but it can, at the very least, mitigate the number of instances where we are forced to confront and subdue our innate pride.
5. Don’t be too serious all the time.
Sometimes, we get too defensive of our pride because we take everything too seriously. We consider every feedback as a potential insult to our deed or character, or we focus our attention too much on a single thing that the slightest criticism to it puts us on edge. There’s nothing wrong with being serious and vigilant, especially with the things you’re passionate about, but there should be a balance. You should learn to lighten up from time to time. Doing this will not only help you not be overly sensitive about your pride, but it will also allow you to have more fun and crazy times with your partner.
6. Compete in moderation.
Being competitive is a good trait. In a relationship, it can be a healthy motivator for both you and your partner to further improve and grow. However, be overly competitive with your partner and you can find yourself hurting either your or her/his pride. Just keep it moderate. The end goal of the competition should be mutual development and not the projection of one’s perceived superiority.
7. Learn to compromise.
If you can’t completely let go of your pride yet also do not want to offend your partner, then perhaps both of you should learn to compromise. If you and your partner, for instance, are engaged in a heated argument about which came first between the chicken and the egg, then perhaps you can agree on a middle ground or at least respect each other’s belief without conceding to it. Learning how to compromise will save both of you the trouble of having to deal with your damaged pride and will help you prevent any serious tension from building up in the first place.
8. Be happy for your partner’s success.
If you really love and care for your partner, you should be happy for her/his success. You should not view her as an adversary whose accomplishments inherently undermine or challenge your own. This is an unhealthy way of thinking that will end up in you unreasonably hating or envying your partner. If you do not see your partner as an enemy you must defeat but rather as an ally you should cheer on, then your pride will not take a hit whenever she/he reaches a new milestone. Problem averted.
9. Strive to grow together.
Couples who seek to learn and grow together are immune to the corrupting nature of individual pride. Encourage each other to hone your strengths and work on your weaknesses, and consider each other’s mistake as a learning experience for the relationship. If you and your partner act as a single, united force, then you’ll likewise develop a kind of pride that is not personal and envious but one that is holistic and encouraging.
Pride is something that all of us have, and it is completely normal to feel an abundance of it from time to time; however, we should not allow it to take over our thoughts and actions, especially when it can put our relationship with the people we love at risk. When the situation calls for it, we must be prepared to shun it or at the very least, loosen its grip over us.
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