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How To Learn To Be Humble So That
Your Mistakes Never Embarrass You

Not having to "swallow my pride" is all about avoiding embarrassment. It is about not being flustered, when you have to admit you were wrong in an argument, to accept a demotion in office, or to acknowledge an awkward mistake.

You don't need to feel awkward, when you have to do something like this in front of people. The secret of not having to swallow your pride is to feel comfortable with the situation.

Even if it bothers you, you can quickly recover composure, when you can understand and control the primeval instincts, which work within your mind to create your distress. Believe in your strengths, while you respect the gifts of others too.

  • Pride is the emotion you feel, when you are doing well. That feeling is reflected in your approach to life and draws respect from people. Outward plumes, such as your job designation, or the car you drive, grant you social standing and reinforce your pride.
  • No one can avoid the awkward things that happen, which make you lose face in front of people.
  • Mirror neurons intensify your embarrassment, by making you more aware of those who express glee over you discomfiture. Your response to a loss of face is built into your nervous system. When embarrassed, the system manipulates your memories, making you focus on your failures.
  • You can take your setbacks comfortably, when you put your common sense in control. The mind control tips in this website can help you to be managed by this calm, rational intelligence. Your common sense can enable you to look calmly at your setbacks and join in with people, who laugh at your reverses.
  • People will respect you when you handle setbacks with serenity.
  • Comparison with others is a self defeating habit to be avoided through your self awareness.
  • Beware of looking down on people from some arbitrary scale of values.
  • Being humble is all about knowing your strengths and being aware that every person you meet has some strength too. Humility prevents you from ever having to swallow your pride.
  • Some people enjoy exposing the vulnerabilities of others. Take deliberate put downs by people in your stride. Let them have their malicious joy.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride
What Are The "Plumes Of Pride"?

The blow to your pride usually happens just when you are feeling good. Pride is the emotion you feel when you feel you are doing well. Proverbially, a proud person stands with a lifted chin, a smile on the face and arms on the hips. They have a sense of accomplishment, which makes them generous and helpful towards people. Instinctively, people also acknowledge a high status to proud people. Usually, such status carries clear and visible signs of success. Your job designation, the car you drive in, your scores in the games arena or the extent of your knowledge in conversation are the plumes and feathers, which adorn you in a group and grant you social standing.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
What Happens When You "Loose Face"?

Then comes the sudden let down. Any awkward thing can happen, which punctures your perceived status. In the middle of a heated argument, you suddenly realize you are completely wrong. You lose a game to a junior player. A policy you supported proves to be disastrous. You lose the corner office in a new dispensation. Just when you were feeling good in your group, you lose face. You visibly lose a few feathers in your plume. Losing status usually has a shattering effect. Without your awareness, you plunge down on an emotional roller coaster. Shame fills you. You feel you are an object of contempt, or ridicule. Your instincts make you want to crawl under the nearest table.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
How Do Mirror Neurons Work?

Your pain is intensified by the neural mechanisms within you. Your brain contains mirror neurons, which help you to understand other peoples' actions. These neurons, which develop before 12 months of age, are active when a person performs an action, as well as when the person sees another individual performing that action. You know approximately the reactions of others to any situation. You can feel their responses. A lack of mirror neurons is believed to cause the disabilities in social skills related to autism. Just when your pride has been injured, your mirror neurons hit you with the knowledge of the emotions of those around you. Some of them may feel glee, contempt, or scorn about your discomfiture. Sensing their responses sharpens your pain.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
How Do They Maintain Status In Herds?

Your response to a loss of status is an elemental part of a programmed herd instinct. It was developed by evolution over millions of years, to prevent needless conflict. An animal does not attack its perceived superiors. This instinct establishes a pecking order. You can see herd behavior in any social group. It begins early in the school yard. A few “seniors,” usually gifted with the benefit of a strong arm, or a sharp tongue, establish superiority within the group. The leaders have loud voices and sharp wit, while those at the bottom are uneasy and subdued. The “losers” sneak around, trying to avoid being challenged into confrontations. In such groups, every member is intensely aware of his, or her own social standing.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride – 
How Does Loss Of Status Affect Behavior?

In herds, a loss of status takes away an animal's will to fight. Its natural reaction to the defeat is to bow its head and sneak away, with its tail between its legs. It is the same herd instinct, which has programmed the pride and shame emotions into the human nervous system. When these emotions dominate, they control every thought in your mind and every twitch of your muscle. They control the gestures and movements of both the leaders and the followers. Both the proud stance and the bowed subservience are decided by these emotions.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
How Does Loss Of Status Manipulate Your Memories?

Emotions control memories too. To manage harmony in a herd, a defeated animal should not remember its past successes and resume fighting. When shame takes charge, an intuitive process eliminates all its proud memories, changing its entire viewpoint. For you, the system works to make the incident appear to be disproportionately mortifying. It recalls memories of your many past failures. Motor systems urge your muscles to droop your shoulders and hang your head. Hidden resentments develop. When humiliated, people in authority retain their grudges for years. All this would not happen, if shame, an animal emotion, had not taken charge of your memories and your motor systems.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
What Happens When Common Sense Takes Control?

You need not succumb to the emotional turmoil caused by the whirr.. click controls within your mind. You can always be guided by the highest intelligence within your triune brain, where three evolutionary intelligences compete for the control of your mind. At the lowest level, a reptilian brain manages your primitive functions like breathing, heartbeat and hunger. At the next level, a mammalian brain controls the system through social emotions, like guilt and shame. At the highest level, a highly developed human level brain in the prefrontal regions (PFR) makes a rational interpretation of your world. Your viewpoint is decided by the system, which takes control. The secret of not having to swallow your pride is to have your prefrontal brain, your common sense, to take control.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
How Can Your PFR Take Control?

The mind control tips in this website can help you to manage your life. They can gradually enable your common sense to take control. Then, you will know that you can be free from the arbitrary hierarchies set by human society. That conviction can become a part of your habitual thought patterns. This will require you to be clear in your mind about your goals and limitations and have a well considered plan for your life.

Simple exercises can enable your body to assist your equanimity by being more relaxed at all times. You will need to learn to still emotional turmoil by focusing on the physical symptoms of your emotions. With practice, these exercises will make you aware of emotions as they arise. You will be able to still them quickly. This will put your common sense in charge of your life and you will not be disturbed by the fleeting failures in your life.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride
How Does PFR control Change Attitudes?

Your common sense will enlighten you on the fickleness of status. People judge you to be superior, or inferior based on what you own, or what you know. Any stray incident can raise you up high, or cast you down low. The truth is that the troubling incident does not change you as a person. You are the same person you were, before it happened. You get to feel bad, only if you respond emotionally to the incident. With common sense, you can join in with people, who laugh when you flounder and be comfortable with it. There is nothing wrong with being wrong, or in losing a position. You always learn from every mistake. Your common sense will dependably put a perspective on your life.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
Is Serenity Respected?

When you have changed your attitude, you will have calmly swallowed your pride and accepted the loss of status in the group. In fact, the perception of status will only be in the eyes of the beholders. Coolly accepting that loss will suddenly change the game. Your equanimity will challenge the primary social measure of status in your group. When you don't feel bad, you discredit the values of those who gloat over your discomfort. Such people will then suspect their own measures of success. They will accept you as being different, or as being superior in some unknown way. You will remain confident in your own uniqueness.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
Why Are Comparisons Deadly?

To feel comfortable with your life, you have to avoid comparisons. Nature endowed us all with the capacity to compare. People are born with this ability to list things on a grade of one to ten. Your mind can compare your feelings about almost anything you do and rate it on this scale. The sad part of this capability is that, when you compare, you join the rat race. You position yourself in the social pecking order, making you feel inferior or superior to someone else. The worst part of this process is that your mind immediately highlights your failures.

Compare your garden to your neighbor's and you immediately remember the lawn, which needs mowing, or the sprinkler, which needs replacement. That gives you a bad feeling. Comparisons are the loathsome remnants of our inherited herd instincts. They set attitudes. They have no relevance in a civilized world. Avoid comparisons. You can stop this negative process, if you become aware that you are doing it. Awareness will make you familiar with this pattern of thought. Then your mind will nip it in the bud.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride
Is Scorn Harmful?

It is good to feel pride; to feel thankful for the many blessings you have. But if you think those advantages make you superior or inferior to others, then your pride is inevitably headed for a fall. Those who measure all others using just a single yardstick only feel secure in their perch on this particular scale of one to ten. They feel worthwhile, because they have the plumes, which measure their status. They feel contempt for those who have not achieved that status. Scorn looks down on a few as being low, mean, or unworthy.

Scorn leads to open dislike and disrespect or derision, combined with suppressed anger. You may have that attitude, if you feel convinced that you will never need to ask a favor from such people. Subtly, it closes off your avenues in life. Even the lowest person may be in a position to help you one day. You will also measure yourself on the same yardstick. There will always be others, who are richer, more powerful, or more competent than you. Such thoughts will make you feel vulnerable. Your mirror neurons will imagine their scorn and lower your self esteem.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
Did Einstein Own A Yacht?

Life makes each one of us unique, with different talents and backgrounds. A whimsical fate blindly distributes those benefits. Everyone has advantages and disadvantages. Every imaginable benefit is widely distributed throughout the population. But, if your self confidence depends on where others see you in a hierarchy, then you are lost. When you think you have a special status in a group, it is easy to prick that bubble and make you feel small. The really great people are humble. They are aware of their strengths, but don't believe they are superior. They may be better known, have more money, or knowledge, but they realize that others may have other precious gifts. Neither Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, or Albert Einstein owned a yacht.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride –
Why Does It Pay To Be Humble?

When you are humble, you realize that in some way or other every person on earth may have an advantage over you. Then you will never have to swallow your pride. When you know that you are neither superior nor inferior, you cannot lose status. You will stop being victimized by herd instincts. If you are wrong once in a way, you are just being human. Your mistakes are just mistakes. Nothing more. With common sense in control, you will respond calmly “Oh, I was wrong!” and learn something new.

Not Having To Swallow My Pride
How Do You Handle A Deliberate Put Down?

Traditionally, they say “Pride goes before a fall.” The reason is that you are most vulnerable, when you express your joy over an acquisition at a party. Imagine that you just bought a brand new Honda.  Your listener draws you into gushing about its new navigation systems.  Just when you are really feeling good, he casually mentions that the systems in his BMW. Instantly, your mind does a comparison. A BMW costs four times as much as your car. Measured on his scale, you are "nothing." Memories of your past failures make you feel anxious about your future.

There is a sudden surge of shame. The other person sees your discomfiture and you sense his glee, or scorn. Resentment wells up inside. You were crowing about your cheap acquisition! You feel stupid. If only you had not felt so good about your car! You desperately seek to present a polite front. The funny thing is that there are a lot of people, who enjoy causing such discomfiture. They find joy in making people feel small. When you know they used the herd instinct to manipulate you, you can recover quickly. Life does land you some blows. The secret is to bounce back. Join in and let them feel good!

This page was last updated on 06-Sep-2016.