eye of a needle stuff

Pride?  Isn’t that one of those deadly sins?  Isn’t there something about “pride” coming before the fall?  I guess that, that is mostly in reference to how we feel about ourselves.  We have pride in what we do, and that is different from someone else being proud of us…?  Perhaps?  Maybe?

I sure seem to be asking a lot of questions, don’t I?

Even that was a question…. wasn’t it?


“Attaboys,” “good jobs,” and “nicely dones,” I’ve had plenty.  But, having someone say they are proud of me doesn’t happen all that much.  Or, maybe I just don’t really pay attention to things like that because usually when someone says they are proud of something I’ve done I’ve felt it’s been for something normal – something that should be expected of everyone – nothing exceptional or above and beyond.

The most recent one I can remember at the moment came from my wedding, which everything seems to be circling back to this week.  My wife’s father found me after the ceremony and told me he was proud of me.

Should I be worried that I don’t have more vivid, interesting, or recent occurences of people telling me they are proud of me?

Should I be content that I know I usually meet and/or exceed people’s expectations because I know it is the right thing to do and not because I’m worried about what they think of me?

35 thoughts on “eye of a needle stuff

  1. When I was a little kid I used to become filled with abject consternation when someone was proud of me, and cry out, “Don’t be proud of me! Don’t be proud of me!” I’m not exactly sure what was going on in my mind and heart to make me react that way, although I have a few theories . . .

    • I guess the question is: should I actually use the words “I’m proud of you,” or should I show my pride through actions, or should I make the kiddo learn on their own that they need to figure out how to behave without worrying about what others think of them: self validation rather than external validation?

      Probably all of the above, right?

      • There are no hard and fast rules to parenthood. Most of the time you wing it, but the one rule I drilled, no instilled in my son was, always respect other peoples opinions, because we all deserve a voice in this world.
        I have no doubt you’ll be fine, just remember to read to them, every day. No matter how busy or tired I was, I always read Matthew a bedtime story. 😉

      • That seems like a good rule to have. I do believe that will be a rule in my house too. So much better than those silly ones like “no running with scissors” and “paste is for gluing, not eating.”

      • Yep, never leave scissors around, or they might end up cutting their own hair! Been there. But painting fingers with glue, now that’s okay, isn’t it?

  2. It is a strange fact about our society that these words are not often said. They should be said more often. I honestly don’t know that last time I heard them from someone else, but I do say them to myself when a deadline is met, a creation done, a line or thought published for the entire world to agree with or refute. I guess it would be nice for the approval of others in that manner, but in the end Matt, it is what you think about yourself and accomplishments that counts. I think you must be doing all right.

    • Hadn’t even considered the societal aspet really – but you are probably on to something there: a norm that somehow we’ve moved away from, or never really had in the first place. And, I wonder how societies are different from one another – would societies that have more tightly knit familial and community ties be better at offering words of pride, approval and encouragement? Or worse…?

      • I would be curious to see that as well, it takes a certain level of familiarity to even consider telling someone this. It would make a good study, I would like to know. Great post Matt!

      • Thank you. Not sure I’m quite up to tackling something where a bunch of research would be needed, but I’ve made a note and maybe I’ll see what I can find. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I think if you feel it inside that is where it counts, someone else telling you is merely a bonus!! AND when your baby is born people will be over the moon telling you how proud they are of you two in truckloads!! Happy Friday dj… cheers!

  4. I think you scored big time when you got your Father-in-Law to dish those words out without any coercion (at least that’s what you’ll have us believe) . I agree with you, I don’t really have a tonne of memories of people actually spelling those words out to me. But I guess being averagely decent humans, automatically means that most people are just proud of the people we are 🙂 Or so I’d like to believe !

    • That’s a good thought – we are decent people, and therefore we have no need for such positive reinforcement to help guide us into becoming decent people. I like it.

  5. Getting my big girl pants on now… internal versus external validation. I work at a Montessori preschool and we don’t praise children. That said, we do say “you must be proud of yourself” “I can see you are happy with how that turned out” and of course hi fives and thumbs up abound! That said… here I am raised non montessori and I sure like me some likes on my posts! Even better… comments! Ha! You are right though, being told someone feels proud about something you have done feels like more of a big deal. I am proud of your post Matt – your honesty is beautiful.

    • No clue how your reply slipped through the cracks until now. Thank you for the praise! Even if I talk a big game (only have to prove things to myself), it is still always nice to get external validation too. So, thank you for that!

  6. I like the montessori way, my son went to a montessori school for a while, but i am a huge “I’m so proud of you” mom, sometimes I send him cards that say it too. And I ask him if he’s proud of his own achievements. It’s funny, he tells me he’s proud of me too, (not very often, but he does!)

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