It’s practically magical how you never seem to realize how prideful you are until you see other people with the same problem. You think you must absolutely, 100% be right! And then poof! You see how much you’ve been building yourself up when you could have been more respectful and ready to learn. It’s like stubbing your toe, except the thing that suffers isn’t an extremity but a core part of your self-esteem.
The fact is, as much as we like to think of ourselves as objective viewers of our lives, we aren’t. We have emotions and experiences that add filters of meaning upon what we see. The same situation could make two people react in vastly different ways! It’s our culture, our habits, our hobbies, our values: it’s us. When we are forced to take a step back, it hurts because it makes us question the rest of the experiences we had overlooked. We begin to doubt ourselves and can become entangled in a mess of emotions.
We need confidence in ourselves. We need to have that positivity bias that encourages us to take risks. We need to be able to do our own thing and be autonomous. Especially in American culture, that individualism is so critical to our way of life and the ways we tend to think. However! There’s a reason we stub our metaphorical toe. It’s a helpful reminder that we need to listen. It keeps us centered around that important detail of life: we aren’t always right. As horrible and embarrassing as it is, we mess up. We make mistake after mistake. However, what we can also do is work through that and use those mistakes to grow into better people. Shattered pride can hurt, but it will heal and hopefully can be remade to something less inflated. It’s something we all go through! And it’s something we can all learn from.