“No one ever choked to death swallowing their pride” – right? But why risk it? You could be the first person who does choke to death on it!
But seriously, PRIDE.
How much does it hold you back? Like my last post on loyalty I’m not going to look for, or give, an official definition. It is another subjective term.
Swallowing pride, to me, means admitting error. I don’t know about you, but this Aspie does not like being wrong! It doesn’t sit well with me. It means my judgement was wrong of a person or situation and also my subsequent reaction. It means that I have to smash this concluded image that’s been cemented in my mind and examine the pieces. It means courage over cowardice.
Pride would say “You are right. Hold fast to that image. Think of the embarrassment to admit error! No one will ever know you’re wrong unless you admit, and you are not wrong, so you have nothing to admit.”
This type of pride is wrong. Actually, it’s more likely false pride.
To swallow it means genuine apology – no “buts” attached; only full ownership of what you did wrong. It means righting wrongs to the best of your ability. It means accepting consequences. And a consequence may be that others will hold a negative view of you. That’s collateral damage.
To err, is to be human. If you are right, then you are right. If you considered yourself to be right, and it turns out you were wrong then suck it up and acknowledge it. It doesn’t matter if it was two hours, two years or two decades ago – if you’re wrong, you’re wrong; no amount of passing time changes that fact.
I’ve never really been a bandwagon-type person. A lot of things that appealed to others, for whatever reason, just did not appeal to me. But it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon, especially if you’re encouraged by people masking as friends. They’ll slow down to let you on, they’ll make you feel safe and “right” as a part of the crowd. You’ll block your inner-voice out which questions your poor choice every step of the way – how can I be wrong? I’m supported here, I belong – and that false sense of “belonging” will keep you clinging on. Being on a bandwagon which you know deep-down is against what you believe robs you of your sincerity and authenticity. You rob yourself of these. I’m not even talking about big ones – little bandwagons! Little bandwagons against a certain person could be called bullywagons.
I got myself attached to one of these a while ago. There was never one point that it felt 100% right but I added my negative opinions to it and it kicked the momentum up a gear. I started to see the error in doing this, so I hopped off, but kept walking beside it with one hand attached, not quite willing to let go completely because – pride. And I think fear as well – of being isolated. It’s so easy to get swept up in this sort of thing. I’ll call a spade a spade – it’s bullying. And it goes against everything I believe in. It’s the opposite of the person I want to be and the person I am. Thankfully the head of the bullywagon severed my tie and I can honestly say, I’ve never been more happy to walk alone in my life. I’ve swallowed my pride, I’ve acknowledged how wrong I was, and there’s peace to be found in that. A friend of mine once told me “You fix things because it’s the right thing to do, not for reward”. It’s true. I was wrong! I let my pride call the shots. There should be no reward for that. People should be rewarded for doing the right thing despite what others think; not in spite of it.
The consequences are what they are – you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. I knew there was a reason I’m not a dog person. Lesson learnt.