My Pride Is Ruining My Relationship But I Don’t Know How To Change

Being proud of yourself and your accomplishments is a great thing. However, pride can translate into a fear of failure, a lack of communication, and an increase in selfish behaviors. My pride has reached the level where it’s becoming toxic to many parts of my life and I’m worried that it’s taking its toll on my relationship.

My expectations are too high.

I’m hard on myself, and when I set unattainable goals, it only leads to disappointment and depression. Afterward, I think that I can break my downward emotional spiral by setting and achieving more goals, which locks me in a cycle of disappointment. This roller coaster of emotional ups and downs make me constantly strung-out, which negatively affects my relationship.

I can never admit how I really feel.

My boyfriend is a constant optimist; sometimes I find myself in a cycle of pessimism when I fail to meet my own expectations. Pride is a hard emotion to work into a conversation or explain to someone, so it’s difficult to open up to my boyfriend. Besides, my pride often makes me feel as though I don’t need to open up to him or that I should hide my failures instead of talking about them.

I don’t want to talk about my failures.

Communication is non-negotiable in any healthy relationship, and it’s something I’m happy to do when everything is going well in my life. But hard times are when we need to lean on our relationships the most, and those are exactly when my sense of pride clams me up and prevents me from talking to my partner. This puts a strain on my relationship and creates tension that we could simply do without.

It makes me feel like he doesn’t even know me.

Hiding my feelings from my boyfriend may spare my pride, but it makes me feel as though I am keeping part of my life a secret from my partner. This creates a distance between us that hangs in the air unspoken. I don’t want to distance myself from him, but I’m too prideful to include him in the subpar aspects of my life.

It stops me from reaching out for help.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness. I know that this is a toxic mindset but I can’t help myself from clinging to it. My pride traps me in this idea and prevents me from leaning on my partner when I am at my low points and need his help the most.

It makes me compare my life and our relationship with others’.

As a prideful person, I am always sizing up my life and my relationship to those of my peers. This is especially dangerous in the world of social media, where people’s lives are tailored to be glamorous online and represent a heavily edited version of reality. Besides, relationships shouldn’t be about competition – instead, I should be focusing on how to make a perfect relationship for us, and not for everyone else. The important parts of relationships are never online anyway.

I feel like a bad girlfriend.

My pride constantly spurs me to think that I could be better. In some scenarios, this is a good thing, like when I’m perfecting a project or going for a promotion. However, in my relationship, it often leaves me thinking that I need to be a better girlfriend. In an age of perfect women strewn across social media, it can be hard not to constantly compare myself with others, which only results in me feeling inadequate.

It makes me think ‘I’ instead of  ‘We.’

Pride makes me self-centered. In a relationship, it is important to be a team player, to tackle problems together, and to use another person’s help to take on obstacles you’d never be able to overcome on your own. That’s the whole point of dating, right? Instead, I think of every problem as a ‘me’ problem and attempt to deal with it on my own, something that is terrible for my own mental health and puts strain on my relationship.

I take things too personally.

Because of my pride, I’ve come to view every problem as a personal attack. This often means that I get offended and over-emotional when faced with a problem. Instead of claiming all the blame when things go wrong, I need to be logical, clear-headed, and calmly work out a solution that will benefit everyone. This applies to problems in my relationship, my work, and my personal life, and is toxic on all three levels.

It keeps me from enjoying all the good things about my relationship.

My pride makes me overreact to problems, take things personally, and constantly compare myself to others. Combined, this takes a lot of headspace. The mental energy I waste on being prideful could easily be spent on enjoying my relationship and strengthening the bond between me and my partner. My relationship would be so much better if I could put my pride aside.

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