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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Conquering Conflict - Part Four: Get a Grip On Your Pride

Yesterday, I learned of a fist fight that occurred at school with one of my son's friends. The 10-year-old boy was provoked by another child with teasing remarks, "You can't make me do what you want." Letting his pride get the best of him, my son's friend threw the first punch.

Pride. It can sneak into our demeanor and send us down the road of conflict.  Righteous words. Indignant reactions. Puffed up egos. It's the ugly side of pride.

Pride creates obstacles in stepfamilies, especially with parenting. When one party insists his parenting style is right or he has all the answers to problems that arise, conflict begins.

My husband has told me many times that I like to be right when we have conflict. I like to have the last word. Ugh - I see the pridefulness of that position.

So, I've learned to think about the contrast of being right or being happy. Am I going to insist that my position is right and be miserable because of my prideful stance, or will I let go of my need to be right and enjoy the freedom of considering another person's opinion. I don't do it beautifully every time (as my husband will tell you), but I am aware of my prideful tendencies. Awareness is the first step toward a different behavior.

Where do you find yourself on the pendelum of indignant pride? Are you swinging in the direction of self-righteousness, invoking conflict with every action, or are you choosing to swing toward humility, seeking peace and balance with your words and  behavior? It's a choice.

Do you need to examine the element of pride within yourself? 

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