Episode #1284 Jessica Tracy: The Power of Pride

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University of British Columbia Psychology professor, Dr. Jessica Tracy joins Moe Abdou to discuss the tricky emotion of Pride - often misinterpreted, yet an essential element of the human experience. 


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Jessica Tracy

Professor, Social Psychologist, Author View Full Profile

The tricky emotion of pride

When I was first introduced to Dr. Jess Tracy’s work on the emotion of pride, I didn’t know what to make of it - on the one hand, I’ve always perceived pride as this deeply personal emotion that’s much more intrinsic - it’s that feeling one gets when he solves a difficult problem or discovers something new; it’s the euphoria the accompanies a worthy achievement or an important milestone; and it’s certainly the lever that stretches our imagination and extends our will.  For most of us, pride is the reason we get out of bed, it’s the ‘knowing-we-were-doing-something-we cared about feeling.’  Still, as most of us know, there’s an ugly side.

In her book - Take Pride:  Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success, Dr. Tracy turns to scientific research to contrast the difference between hubristic and authentic pride, and demonstrates convincingly why each of us should be seeking authentic pride.  She tells us that listening to your pride is the first step towards achieving personal mastery - “Figure out who you really are and who you really want to be and never stop working to become that person.  Allow yourself to feel the pride you have earned.  Most important:  Don’t suppress your desire to experience this emotion.  Wanting, seeking, and struggling for pride is part of our human nature, and it may be the part that most makes us - as individuals, and as a species - who we are.”  As you listen to our conversation, pay particular attention to how she responds to the following questions:  

  • What is pride, really?
  • The correlation between meaning & pride?
  • The distinction between Hubristic and Authentic pride?
  • Why listening to your pride is the catalyst to uncovering the best version of yourself?
  • How does language impact your sense of pride?
  • Why narcissism is often a reaction to deep-seated insecurities?
  • The most important form of authentic pride is ————?