So apparently, the humility game of my titling skills is not very strong—but you want to know the truth, don’t you? Well, here’s a part of it. (Although I usually write about how pride and humility are intertwined, this post will use these concepts dichotomously to make a few simple, yet important distinctions.)
1. True Pride
I am a strong proponent of the virtue of moderation. The good is the mean between excess and deficiency. In terms of pride, excess is being an arrogant prick and deficiency is being a submissive coward. True pride is the middle between the two extremes, and whatever leads to true pride is good.
Now the truth about pride and humility is that they both can lead to true pride and they both can lead away from it. It all depends on where you are currently at and how much power you have.
2. High Power (Bad Pride, Good Humility)
Many circumstances can put you in a position of high power. As a boss, you have structure-based power over your workers because you can fire them but they can’t fire you. As an adult, you have experience-based power over little kids because you know much more about life than they do. As a man, you have strength-based power over women because you are a potential physical threat to them but they aren’t to you. As a black belt, you have skill-based power over white belts because you can kick their ass but they can’t kick yours.
If you express pride with selfish intentions in a position of power, you are an arrogant prick. You may well have earned your pride through hard work and legit achievement. Nobody cares. Everyone with a healthy sense of self-esteem sees that you are only fueling your ego when you show off your pride and destructively dominate others by letting them feel your power over them.
In a position of high power, pride is bad because it leads you away from true pride. Humility, however, is good. In many circumstances, you will be superior to the people around you, be it due to your social status, knowledge, intelligence, strength, skills, or whatever. Acknowledge your relative superiority and take the opportunity to be humble. This will give you true pride.
People feel it when you have power over them. If they are respectful, there is no reason to act prideful and arrogant, let alone crush them with your ego. If they praise you, your opportunity to be humble shines even brighter. If, however, you do not seek for true pride, they will start to doubt your greatness because they will see—with their honest hearts—your deep-rooted insecurities.
How does humility in a position of power look like? It looks like curious mentorship. A superior person gains true pride by assuming the role of a curious mentor. The humble boss with superior social status inspires his workers and is curious about what they know, think, and do. The humble adult with superior wisdom teaches little kids about life and is curious about what questions they ask and how they learn. The humble man with superior physical strength attracts women without intimidation and is curious about their feminine strengths and perspectives. The humble black belt with superior fighting skills passes on his skills to his students and is curious about how they improve and develop.
If your situational power is high, you won’t gain anything good from feeding and expressing your pride. It will only build an ego that takes you away from true, virtuous pride. High power demands humility.
3. Low Power (Good Pride, Bad Humility)
If your situational power is low, humility is poisonous. It will rip out your spine and turn you into a submissive coward, while being prideful would be bringing about true pride. Still, good pride must not be overcompensation, but a matter of respecting yourself and having a strong sense of self-worth.
For example, when I am on a date with a girl and she checks her phone or takes an unimportant call while I am talking to her, her disrespect puts me in a position of low power. Yet I have self-respect, so I express my pride by either ordering her to put away her phone this instant or by simply standing up and walking away. True pride means that I do not take shit from anyone.
Similarly, when I meet up with a girl to hook up and she suddenly decides to refuse sex. I kick her out of my apartment because she has obviously no respect for my time or lied about just wanting to hook up.
One more example. When I am out at night and some drunk asshole tries to tell me where I can and cannot stand because he wants to be seen as the alpha male by the women around, I will not play the humility card, either. Rather, I express my pride, stand my ground, touch his shoulder, and tell him to fuck off. I do not give in to his disgraceful attempt to lower my power and make me submissive. Why? Because I have self-respect and want to maintain my true pride.
Let’s reconsider the earlier examples, too. As a worker, I take pride in doing a great job and being of great service. As a little kid, I take pride in being an avid and attentive learner. As a man, I take pride in improving my physical strength and opening my mind. As a white belt, I take pride in being a disciplined student. In all these cases, I am moving with good pride toward true pride because I am not coming from a place of ego.
Therefore, whenever I am in a position of low power or someone disrespects me to lower my power, I will not be humble and submissive. Instead, I will hold my head up high, assume an attitude of growth, feel my truest pride, and do my True Will. For if I tried to be humble, to be seen as humble, I would betray others as well as myself. I shall never let my ego adorn itself with a vain gleam of humility. And even if I were truly humble in a state of low power, my humility would not be virtuous, would not grant me true pride, but would turn me into a weak, timid, submissive coward.
- True pride is the middle between being an arrogant prick and being a submissive coward.
- Power, which determines whether pride and humility lead to or away from true pride, can be grounded in social status, knowledge, intelligence, skills, personality traits, physical strength, etc.
- In a position of high power, pride leads to ego, that is, away from true pride. In a position of low power, humility leads to spinelessness, that is, away from true pride. Here, pride and humility are bad and signs of weakness.
- In a position of low power, pride leads to true pride. In a position of high power, humility leads to true pride. Here, pride and humility are good and signs of strength.