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admin | next action todoist | 02.05.2015
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David was an overly-serious professional who came to psychotherapy to work on his low self-esteem.
My joke was intended to break David’s tendency to over-think everything—while he believed he was merely being cautious, by constantly second-guessing himself he was actually sabotaging any steps he took to rebuild his self-esteem. Boosting our self-esteem when it is low is important for our emotional health (read How Self-Esteem Functions as an Emotional Immune System), our happiness, and even our relationship satisfaction (read Why Some People Hate Receiving Compliments). But what distinguishes between people who feel confidence and pride from those who are boastful and arrogant? People who seek to improve their self-esteem are essentially looking to generate feelings of authentic pride rather than hubristic pride—they want to become more confident, not arrogant. Both authentic and hubristic pride can afford someone status in other people’s eyes, but there is a significant difference between them.
Once David understood these distinctions, he felt more comfortable moving forward and working on his self-esteem in earnest.

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Yet, whenever we discussed exercises that could strengthen his feelings of self-worth, something interesting happened: David resisted. Authentic pride arises when we feel good about ourselves, confident, and productive, and is related to socially-desirable personality traits such as being agreeable, conscientious, and emotionally stable. The good news is that authentic and hubristic pride are not actually on the same continuum because they represent two distinct facets of pride. In one recent study, people were able to distinguish between displays of confidence and status that were attained through hard work and socially-valued skills (efforts which afford a person prestige) and status acquired through intimidation and aggression (which afford a person dominance rather than prestige). After struggling with low self-esteem for many years, lasting feelings of true confidence were unfamiliar to him and his concerns about becoming arrogant resurfaced several times over the next several months.
Hubristic pride tends to involve egotism and arrogance, and is related to socially undesirable traits such as being disagreeable, aggressive, having low or brittle self-esteem—and being prone to shame. People do not go from being insecure to being arrogant unless they were egotistical, selfish, and aggressive from the get go.

The study also found that people who displayed authentic pride were perceived as more likable than those who displayed hubristic pride. But by then he was able to comfort himself by telling himself the one thing he knew to be true: His very concern about becoming arrogant was the strongest indicator that he was exactly the kind of person who was unlikely to develop hubristic pride and arrogance. In other words, the reason I could be so sure David (and others with low self-esteem) was unlikely to develop hubristic pride was exactly because he was worried about doing so. In other words, people can generally distinguish between confidence and good intentions, and arrogance and selfish intentions. His worry indicated conscientiousness and agreeableness—traits associated with authentic pride not hubristic pride.

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Comments »

  1. Akira — 02.05.2015 at 23:33:55 Work on seeing yourself and others with your breath, and.
  2. Diana_84 — 02.05.2015 at 18:11:11 Meditative movement eleven-11:30 wandered, after which with out judgement, gently however the potential.