Pride used to be a good thing until narcissism came along. Now when we hear the word “pride”, what comes to mind is arrogance, smugness, vanity, exaggerated self-importance, superiority complex, cocky, egotistical etc.
But take away the primordial chest beating, and pride is still an essential emotion for us, and for the ones we love.
It’s good to feel good about ourselves, what we’ve accomplished, and to be admired for what we do (shout out to my friend in Lithuania..:)) or have accomplished.
When was the last time you made your ex feel good about him/herself? What was the last thing you told him/her you admire about him/her? (not counting that desperate “…but I love you” email/letter).
If you’re like many, you probably are too focused on being careful not to come across as needy or pushy, or too focused on “getting your ex back” that when your ex shares something they’ve proudly accomplished, you’re like “That’s great. So, have you thought about Friday night? What time do we meet?”. Then you wonder why your ex didn’t respond or cancelled the date.
They shared their pride with you and you dismissed it like it was no big deal. How do you think that made your ex feel about him/herself? How would you feel if someone who supposedly loves you did that to you?
Some people are too scared of “pushing their ex away” that they can’t even bring themselves to pay their ex a compliment, wish their ex a happy birthday or acknowledge their ex’s Facebook posting.
People don’t fall in love because you text them exactly the right amount or because you write the best texts in the world. People fall in love because of how you make them feel about themselves. As selfish as that may sound, it’s the truth.
If someone constantly makes you feel bad about yourself (ignores you, dismisses your feelings, tries to make you feel insecure, puts you down etc), you will find yourself not wanting to be around them even if you love them with all your heart.
So, if you haven’t been making an effort to communicate to your ex that you are proud of what they do and/or have accomplished (as an individual, professional, parent, teacher, role model etc), time to start doing so.
If for example your ex is a wonderful parent, ask him/her how “Tommy” is doing at school. Every proud parent likes talking about their child, so they’ll very likely respond. Make some comments about what they’re “proudly” telling you, then compliment them for being a wonderful parent.
May be your ex recently lost some weight and looks really hot. Don’t just say they look hot or “I’m proud of you”. Acknowledge the effort that goes into losing weight and connect that with a personality trait or work ethnic that you admire about them, and/or your ex is proud of.
You can do the same with just about any accomplishment or anything your ex does and is proud of. The goal is to 1) be honest and genuine and 2) make it about them and not about you, otherwise it might do that one thing you fear most… push your ex further away.
The second part is especially important. You’ve probably had someone say to you “I’m proud of you”, and then proceeds to talk about themselves (“I” knew you’d do, or “I” always had faith in you or “I” wanted it for more more than you wanted it for yourself). Instead of feeling good, you start feeling like you owe them a “thank you” or something.
If you want to trigger pride in your ex, don’t make it about YOU. If you make it about you, the conversation will abruptly stop… because of how you’ve made your ex feel. Your ex may not even realize the reason they no longer feel like continuing the conversation, they just feel it does not feel good anymore.
I personally prefer “Good for you” or “You must/should be proud of yourself” to “I’m proud of you” (except when the person is crediting me for their accomplishment, then “I’m proud of you” makes sense).
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