The definition of pride, according to the Oxford dictionary, is:
A feeling of 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.
As in: "That person takes great pride in their appearance."
While pride can be useful in terms of helping us strive to do our best, misplaced pride can be a detriment. As an example, here’s how your pride can keep you broke.
1. Pride Makes You Buy More Than You Need
“We only drive BMWs, we only fly first class, we only eat in five-star restaurants, our clothes are handmade in Europe from only the finest fabrics and tailored by the hottest designers. In other words, it’s the best for us — nothing less will do.”
Meanwhile, a VW gets you there just the same as a BMW. Coach arrives at the same time as First Class (and experiences the same delays). Eating at home, in many ways, can be better than even the finest of restaurants. You get the picture here.
2. Pride Makes You Avoid Shopping for Bargains
A $2,500 Zegna sport coat from Neiman Marcus looks just as good as a $250 Zegna sport coat bought at a consignment store. A 15-year old Mercedes SL is actually prettier than the current model, but your pride won’t let you be comfortable with either of those bargains.
You have to pay full price to feel right.
Meanwhile, you’re sitting right next to someone wearing the $250 consignment store sport coat and admiring its details. You’re looking on appreciatively when you see that old SL going down the street. But rather than allowing yourself to believe it can be had for less than the cost of a new Toyota Corolla, you tell yourself the owner’s had it since it was new and paid upwards of $80,000 for it — because you’d never consider buying a used one.
Pride makes you spend more money to have expensive things. You don’t want other people to think you’re broke, so you’re willing to be broke proving you aren’t broke.
Which brings us to—
3. Pride Puts You in Debt
One of the most difficult aspects of living in a market-driven society is knowing when what you have is good enough. Regardless of what you have, or how much it costs, there’s always going to be something nicer to want.
You’re living in a beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood. You’ll want a better house in an even better neighborhood so more people can look up to you when you tell them where you live. Or, you’ll want an equally nice vacation home in a notable resort area people will envy when you tell them about it.
If you’re someone who has to be the first one to have the new iPhone every year, or the hottest new car, or one of any number of other status symbols, you’re likely going to employ credit at some point.
And, if allowed to go unchecked, that’s going to land you in financial trouble.
The good news is debt relief can be a way out of it, if you're willing to sublimate your pride and change your habits. Of course, your pride is now probably making you ask — is debt relief legit?
Yes, it is, when you hire the right company.
4. Pride Is About Other People — Not You
Regardless of how you look at it, pride is all about other people.
Think about it: What purpose would pride serve if you were the only person on the planet?
People are proud of the things they have, the places they go, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, their personal and professional achievements — as well as those of their spouse and children. Here’s the thing though, all of those things are relative — to the achievements, circumstances and yes, the perceptions of others.
Bottom line, pride isn’t about you — it’s about what you think others think of you.
And that’s how your pride can keep you broke.