The Psychology of Pride

Where to start with this sin? Well let me first mention that I have I theory in my book. That part of getting comfortable with yourself is know your light and dark sides of yourself. The reason being is that it helps determine a threshold of when you’re going to an extreme. For me, knowing these two sides of me allowed me feel like I had more control of my life and myself. It’s the theory of positive and negative theory. Which is looking at the “silver lining of things” as their is always something good that comes out of bad situations. With that said let’s start of with the positive version of the definition of pride which is: confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience. Which many of us already possess.

So let’s look at this at a different approach with a scenario. Have you ever had one of those days that you are anticipating to be an amazing day. Then you end up getting a flat tire on the way to work, which causes you to go to work late. You say “fuck it” and take advantage of the tardiness to stop and get your favorite morning breakfast and caffeinated drink along the way. But then you find out they are out of the thing you are trying to brighten your day. Then you end up getting to the office and skip breakfast because you at least have that creamer you bought that tastes like your PSL drink you love from Starbucks, but end up finding out that entitled bitch in the office used it, which normally you don’t understand. You get behind on work so you decide to stay in the office to catch up, so you order something on Uber Eats, only to find out the delivery driver canceled your order cause they couldn’t find the place. So you get something from the vending machine to hold you over. But it doesn’t take your money. With everything you anticipate in a positive light goes bad. You finally are happy to get home, but your dog chews your favorite chews your designer purse. Pride is something like that, but in pride. It’s defined as a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. Which the easy way to describe it, is a snowball of pleasure and satisfaction of the things you own or have done which slowly begins to turn into arrogance as pride rears it’s ugly head. It’s a built up feeling that begins to go south without expecting it to be. But why does it develop. Let’s begin to dissect pride in a psychological sense.

Jane Austen“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” 

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

How Does Pride Develop?

Pride comes from a feeling in adequacy according to which is self destruction according to some. When you add the fifth deadly sin in the mix, vanity; that’s when the negative pride beings to surface. APS or The Association of Psychological Science says that this emotion evolves due “Some, like fear and disgust, were necessary to everyday survival, and ultimately reproductive success. But more complex, self-conscious emotions like pride were probably more important in reaching certain social goals, like status and group acceptance (” It’s what we use to gain social acceptance. It brings us back to the idealism of gluttony, as over indulgence which becomes self destruction. Pride can also be triggered by envy if you want to dissect in deeper as envy is triggered by a fear of lost. Pride is also stemmed by fear as gives the six root causes of pride which are Christina Daniels emphasizes which three are the one’s that stand out of me:

  1. Fear of Humility
  2. Fear of Vulnerability
  3. Low Self-Esteem

(Christina Daniels, What Is Pride? Am I Prideful? April 18, 2020.

One of the things about pride is that it’s shame driven according to John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT, as shaming is the trigger that enables pride ( Tell me this, have you ever had that moment in high school when you had that one embarrassing moment. Mine was during a talent show that I didn’t practice for that I sang off key big time at a talent show. I was shamed for days for that, which followed a fall. Maybe I learned how to handle clumsiness well, but the day that I fell in front of the lunch room coming down from third period, I had the whole school laughing at me. This is was when Molly Shannon’s character got it’s own movie. So I did what Mary Katherine Gallegar would do that afternoon. While the whole lunch room was laughing and pointing at my clumsiness, I got up, jumped in the air down to left knee, with hands in the air yelling, Superstar! Those who had all the intention to shame, while those who admired it applauded when I did that.

Well as life isn’t always rainbow and gumdrops, let’s go down to a more darker path. In high school, I also had dark moments. Now since my father, being a single dad and unfashionably inclined let me pick out my clothing, which my whole childhood I wanted to be like him. Well of course when puberty subsided and I grew boobs, I wanted to be more feminine. Well as naive as the time was then, everyone assumed I was transgendered. In reality, I was intersexed a medical condition that biologically develops someone with both female and male chromosomes which occurs through different ways. My was having both traces of DNA molecular structures of both male and female, making the female strand of chromosomes more dominant. Well of course everyone assumed that I was transgendered which caused a lot of unfair treatment, mainly from the staff administration. This was when I began to see how gaslighting and stereotyping looked like. I feel that my classmates didn’t understand what was happening and some of them appeared to feel bad about the mistreatment that they engaged in, as being intuitive was always has been a gift of mine, my dad claims. I could of been a statistic one morning which occurred from an entire day insulting and shaming which not only came from teachers, but came from the adults and the parents.

Losing all hope in the world and people, I almost went to the extreme one morning which my “concrete angels” I call them talked me out of the darkest feeling I had. The one thing I will remember is that one Olivia, told me you “You’re meant to change the world. Don’t ruin your life for ignorant people. Get out of the barrio and become something so you can help change the unfairness we all go through.” She saw the pain I had that turned into anger. She knew my relationship with my mother at the time was rocky. She knew my family worked two jobs and couldn’t be there as they busted their ass to give me the life they felt I needed to make it out the barrio. The kindness I will never forget is the kindness that I was shown. Sparing one minute to hug me while I cried from internalized trauma, the feeling of not being wanted; as that is what I felt when my mom didn’t want a relationship with me for personal reasons she took personal, and the constant teasing, belittling, and verbal abuse I got from my entire school; almost pushed me to the edge of no return. It it wasn’t for that act of kindness, we know how the story goes, a bunch of people playing victim demonizing those who lose hope and pop a gasket with their idealism of “No one should make you feel a certain way” which we have seen it time and time again of being a bluff. As those who say that have the most internalized pain we find out later in life. Engaging in addictions whether it be chemical or behavioral to forget the pain of their past. Having them be bitter and resentful of the world. Gaining envy of other people and in pride dismissing those who have the answers. Which when unaware and unsure of someone’s power, fear. Which demonizes those who in a moment of “I’ll show you” can end catastrophically. Which dodging accountability in fear ends up never getting true justice. As the cause; the insulting and the shaming leads to an effect; to attain the respect of those who don’t have the decency or home training to have mutual respect for someone. Which in action, those who refuse to engage in fairness become an accomplice to wrath. Which if being an accomplice in the court of law would normally make you just as guilty. As you were the person who enabled the act.

We admire these narcissist as they perceive to never be phased in their vanity of perfection. They express this confidence that if you dig deeper is a false perception of that as they have one fear that they won’t shake off, the fear of embarrassment. Which is why they deflect in the gasliglighting attempt.

Frieda Lopez

Ways To Stop Sinful Pride

Now that you seen the worst case scenario, let’s talk about the mournful scenario. Not everyone is emotionally capable of doing such acts. It stems from an overstimulated empowerment of trying to right the wrongs. In many cases when the extreme occurs, it’s a fear of those individuals which lets be real, becomes stereotyping humans in general. Making those negate the fact that people are able to change. We learn and develop from every thing we experience out of life. Which taking someone’s life other than in the act of self defense is inexcusable. But their is also a fine line in the act of self defense that we claim “self defense” as the alleged attacker needs to be thoroughly investigated to see if they had the means to cause the damage that is claimed. Which in the BLM and those who lost their lives unjustifiably have been proven to not have anything that caused an immediately threat. As it was bad judgement on the person who shot the bullets first. Which goes back to fear perception of the murderer. Those who don’t have the nature in them to take someone else’s life, takes their own. Which the cause goes back to the shame making the effect of that individuals suicide blood on those individuals hands. Which if you think about it, it’s a back and forward sinful act that causes these unfortunate things to occur at the end of the day. Those in guilt need to come to terms with the guilt that they feel and start learning the act of forgiveness. At the end of the day free will is what gives someone the personal choice of committing the act in the end. Always being a rational person and having the need to help people, even as a kid; reasoning worked for me. But it doesn’t work for everyone. As if not being able to truly relate and put yourself in their shoes can be the trigger they need to begin a bloodbath of trauma. It starts with us first and resolving those issues to avoid these insecurities get the best of us on both the giving and receiving side.

To begin the journey of putting pride at bay, here are some tips from Richie Norton with Tanveer Nasser Leadership and Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. from Psychology Today

  1. Embrace Vulnerability: Don’t Be Scared of Looking Stupid

2. Remember: Work Pays in Dividends of Success

3. Take Responsibility for Your Life: Don’t Blame Others

4. Embrace Abundance: Don’t Validate Your Success by the Failure of Others

(Richie Norton. 4 Ways To End Destructive Pride.

5. Healthy pride is about self-confidence, reflecting an intrinsically motivating “can do” attitude.

6.  Healthy pride represents a positive notion of self-worth, and it’s based on a history where personal effort and expenditure of energy led to success.

7. Healthy pride is expressed in an assertive fashion, and it’s most often conveyed implicitly

8. Closely related to the above, healthy pride has nothing to do with comparing oneself advantageously (and frequently unfairly) to others, whereas a person with unhealthy pride regularly brags about their (often exaggerated) accomplishments.

9. As Jessica Tracy, Ph.D. has observsed in her book, Take Pride (2016), healthy pride is authentic. It’s an accurate, realistic estimate of one’s abilities, whereas what Tracy and other scholars call “hubristic” pride smacks of hyperbolic or distorted claims about one’s capacities.

10. As understood by experts, healthy pride relates to a person’s acting pro-socially.

11. Those with healthy pride motivate and inspire others to take their lead and join them.

12. Finally, healthy pride—unlike the unhealthy variety—isn’t egocentric.

(Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. 8 Crucial Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Pride; True pride is world’s apart from false or “hubristic” pride. September 28, 2016.

Narcissism can be labeled as the beacon of prideful sin. Have you ever pissed off a narcissist on social media? The thing they will do is block you after they feel the threat of embarrassment. Followed by a gaslight bandwagon attempt.

Frieda Lopez


I can here the gaslighting now on the person people will try to perceive me to be with both the act and the biological truth that I live. I mean let’s be real, I am the poster child of abomination. Which my publicist says “It’s career suicide.” Well if people don’t accept me, it wasn’t meant to be. But I made a promise in this journey that I would be 100% transparent, which let’s be real we all been there at one point in time. That feeling that you’re stuck in an absolution with no way out is the problem we face in our modern day society. Where those who think they are better than us are truly engaging in the sin of “pride” with their shame and their gaslighting. Which Narcissism can be labeled as the beacon of prideful sin. Have you ever pissed off a narcissist on social media? The thing they will do is block you after they feel the threat of embarrassment. Followed by a gaslight bandwagon attempt. Which I think that not all of us are narcissist if you ask me. We admire these narcissist as they perceive to never be phased in their vanity of perfection. They express this confidence that if you dig deeper is a false perception of that as they have one fear that they won’t shake off, the fear of embarrassment. Which is why they deflect in the gasliglighting attempt. As the fear they carry is the fear they deflect to others. But what happens when the fear of embarrassment doesn’t work as the person has face that fear and conquered it like a champ? They run and hide until they can gain other’s to join their witch hunt. Which if we go back to the Salem Witch Trials ended in the unforgivable sin of murder. Using the bible as a basis to have others join them in the act of manipulation. Which some religious figures already labeled me the spawn of Satan in their act of attempting to shut me down. Why? Because of the fact that in their self-righteousness and their perception that they are doing something in the sake of Godliness, points out a evil that they engaged in. Which in many cases denial of the truth is what is used and more additional sin occurs. Truth is I am not here to stop them, I am here to point out the errors of their ways so they can become what they were meant to be. Do you not think this occurred to me in my discovery as I have a hard core Catholic background, which now they appreciate as they feel they are finally on the road to the Gates of Heaven.

We must be able to admit our wrongs if we want to become better according to Psychology. It’s time to start healing from these pains so fear doesn’t get the best of us. We all run from something. Which in the end case scenario, we can finally put the nature vs. nurture rule at bay. Because in the end in the act of free will, we can see who truly has the best intentions for everyone involved or if they truly are the devil incarnates that infect our world with sin intentionally for their personal gain. And when it comes to our family attempting to manipulate our mind in the act of sin, sometimes we have to pull a Rose Dawson from Titanic and show them the way to righteousness.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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