Pouting, Pride, and Phamily

Category: Weekly Columns

comic on Pride

Pouting. We all dislike it, but I bet most of us still do it. So, this topic is not just reserved for our kids. Do you pout when you don’t get your way? Does your spouse? I’m a world-class pouter. But, thankfully, my adult brain occasionally kicks in to persuade me of the folly of that behavior. For our kids, that adult brain isn’t there yet.

Isn’t it the “little kid” in us that pouts? When we don’t get our way, isn’t that the instinctual reaction? What should we do with that instinct? Is there a better way to channel it?

Of course there is. Just express what is bothering you to your partner in a non-accusatory way saying something such as, “I feel this (or that) way.” Ahhh, wouldn’t that be nice if we could do that? But, our pride and/or stubbornness tend to get in the way – – at least that’s the way it is with my wife. Ha!

quote about pride

Pride is another trait that usually only gets us in trouble because standing on our pride never works. I’m sure my readers can supply endless clichés about pride but we all know when our pride is getting in the way of our best interests whether at work, play, or home. I suppose pride also shows up when we are feeling insecure and we mix up that insecurity with a sense of self-righteousness.

While I love to joke at my wife’s expense, especially since she rarely reads my columns or listens to my radio show, it’s usually me who is the guilty one with both pride and pouting. With the latter, I’m world-class, as stated earlier. I even can make that pouty face with my lower lip protruding. We’ve all seen that one before.

little girl pouting

With pride I am happy to say that I’ve actually matured. A little. At the very least I recognize when my pride is intruding and usually I’ll adjust my behavior accordingly. I like when I can do that because I end up saving myself a bunch of needless aggravation and grief. That’s the irony of most or our bad behaviors, traits, and quirks. They don’t serve us yet we regularly employ and repeat them. How stupid is that?

How about our children? There’s not a child on earth who hasn’t pouted and/or tried to use that pouty expression to get their way. As parents we are doing them NO SERVICE when we give in to their manipulation. Our job, as I regularly say, is to be our kid’s best parent rather than their best friend. So, simply feeling sorry for our kid because they “earned” a punishment or don’t get their way is absolutely no reason to mitigate the consequence they’re pouting about.

sign at church about pride

In fact, it only reinforces their bad behavior and delays their maturity when they don’t get their way. If you’re married, you certainly understand about not getting your way. If you’re employed, your certainly understand about not getting your way. The sooner a child gets this, the better. And, for those adults who still behave like children, they will just delay their happiness until they get real with pride and pouting, and let it go.

When is pride a good thing, if ever? I think taking pride in your work can define the boundaries you set around your work. If you’ve established a cost for your services, the pride that won’t let you settle for less is a good thing. If you’ve achieved a level of success in your work in which you will not take on difficult clients, then you’ve also established a good boundary. The same goes for content or subjects/issues you are not willing to deal with.

An example of the latter is my willingness to or not to have certain sponsors for my tweet chat, #DadChat. I am clear that I will not take on any product, brand, or service that is contrary to the values I’ve worked so hard to establish with not only my brand, but #DadChat. So, while I’d love to have a big payday, I won’t work with cigarette companies, for example.

Girl with pouty face

Knowing your boundaries makes decisions so much easier. The same is true in personal relationships. For example, you could say that it’s pride when you have certain dietary and drinking limits. When people challenge you to have another drink or eat that rich dessert, declining isn’t a problem when you know this is a boundary for yourself. I’m not sure this example is exactly on point, but it at least relates.

So, there is good pride and there is bad pride. As for pouting, I think there is no place it serves anyone. The sooner it is out of our personality behavior, the better. Maybe I’ll get there someday?

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  • BrandiJeter

    I try to be aware when I get in a “pouty mood” so that I can snap myself out of it. It’s human nature, but I agree with you, there’s really no good place for it!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      We agree @BrandiJeter:disqus – and it’s up to us to snap out of it, as you say. I feel foolish whenever I think about it – after I’ve pouted!

  • http://www.profkrg.com Kenna Griffin

    I don’t pout, I get angry. I’m not sure that’s any better.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @krgriffin:disqus – I think anger is actually much better because it’s out there…with pouting, sometimes it’s just not clear to the other party – especially is “the other party” is a man!

      • http://www.profkrg.com Kenna Griffin

        You think that because you’ve never seen me angry.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          Oy Vey @krgriffin:disqus – you mean what I’ve already experienced is NOT YOUR ANGER? Holy Moly…remind me to tread lightly from now on! Xoxo

  • Guest

    Thought you might enjoy this classic case of pouting…one common but dangerous power play which is the personal equivalent of the corresponding political movement: http://www.avoiceformen.com/men/fathers/so-you-think-the-age-of-heroes-is-over/

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Looks interesting @0003e358a89867db100bf246375feacf:disqus – but I don’t have the time right now for such a long video – hopefully later!

      • Guest

        SB DAD?? Kathleen Parker just wrote an opinion bemoaning ‘father’ as the new ‘f’ word and you don’t have time right now? This classic video shows what many SB men/sons go through too…and most get crushed or suffer in silence…because they don’t know how to go on offense against the bigoted system. Of course, they have no one in high positions like yours to speak for them….so the family Kangaroo Kourt tyranny goes on unabated. Guess, I need to start some serious pouting now too:)

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          @0003e358a89867db100bf246375feacf:disqus – what’s a SB dad? I didn’t say I didn’t want to see it – but YOUR credibility has and is always limited because I don’t know who YOU ARE? You see me and all my blemishes here and everywhere. I’m a pretty open book. Why aren’t you? And, remember that patience is a virtue – not one I’m good at either, btw!

          • Guest

            You’re publishing in the SBNewsPress from dad’s point of view yes? You have also chosen public platforms for your work…something that I’m not particularly interested in right now. Since you have hopped onto the bully pulpit, I just hope that someday you will address the really hard Dad or manhood questions as you have already done on other less directly related PC topics. Dads are getting destroyed in this culture thanks to the pigheaded PC ideology known as gender-feminism which is about destroying dads, families and men…and replacing the personal patriarch with political patriarchs like Obama/Biden (who also mercilessly diss dads/men as bigoted traitors to their own brothers) It’s easier for feminist bigots that way. Uncle Sam can rob men at gunpoint to give said bigots the goods AND systematically rape men’s rights to boot. Negotiation between father and mother is no longer needed…so it’s ‘winner takes all’ for mothers. Fathers are scorned with impunity. Such systematic anti-male tyranny seems like something worth serious time in genuine Dad’s columns is all.

            That said, I understand the risks you face you fairly well. Given those risks, I’m not here to ‘blemish’ you or to provoke you gratuitously. I rather back you as a fairly courageous (read rare) dad who seems willing to speak truth to power, but I do get a little frustrated when the really obvious Daddy Justice or Tom Golden stuff is passed by in your Dad’s column. Who knows? Maybe you are just preparing the ground for things to come but in any case the politics of manhood/fatherhood/dadhood is the elephant in the room here…particularly in ‘progressive’ PC ‘man deserts’ like Southern CA.

            There are plenty of good reasons why I have chosen not to hop on the bully pulpit as have you. For one, I don’t have (two) sons or your time in the saddle. I also know that my credibility doesn’t depend on you knowing who I am because I generally refer you to people who are much more erudite/knowledgeable than me. There’s simply no particular reason for me to go public right now.

            But that said, let’s keep our respective sense of humor so there’s no need to lose patience totally. I’m not the kind of guy who takes cheap shots at my fellow men…and particularly not men like you who have already gored some big fat old sacred cows. Internecine warfare is something that I really hate because men need to work together these days. We face common enemies in feminist bigots and in traitorous white knights (like Biden, Obama, and most Republicon ‘men’) who happily destroy their brothers to pander to said bigots. Whatever I offer is ALWAYS intended to be constructive even if it sometimes SEEMS nettlesome. I/we win when brave people like you who challenge PC nonsense in public forums. That said, the stakes are high what with men burning themselves to death in front of tyrannical family courts or hanging themselves to show the world that men deserve shelter from violent female domestic predators/feminist domestic violence bigots just as women do from violent men. The other dad is you and the other man is us all. Hopefully, you will give your brothers the benefit of your bully pulpit before too much more senseless suffering occurs.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @0003e358a89867db100bf246375feacf:disqus – as you’ve suggested, I walk a fine line. I’m already treading dangerously close to the edge and, as you also said, few others are doing so publicly with their identity OUT THERE. I’ve ventured more into politics recently on my radio show. I still want to appeal to a large group so marginalizing many with over-the-top declarations has to be moderated…we’ll see where it goes.

            FYI, I’m often invited on Huff Post Live and have been quite the opposing voice when there – and, to their credit, they invite me back and treat me with respect though I clearly differ with their general editorial viewpoints!

          • Guest

            Of course and only you can assess where that line is for YOUR readers. The opportunities I see is to destroy PC pigheadedness as you have already done often from your mass media forum. Politics will follow naturally because most politicians only pander to public opinion.

            Now let me go look for you on Huff Post Live.

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  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    Pride is definitely my Achilles Heel…I heard recently that Pride was the deadly sin associated with the innermost circle of Dante’s Inferno.

    Yikes…

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      IMO @dbvickery:disqus – you have MUCH to be proud of – and most of it is simply your beautiful family! #DadChat tonight!

  • David W.

    I have a multitude of awful qualities, I’m basically an a*****e, but one thing I can say in my favor is that I’m not pouty and I am not a whiner.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – c’mon the idea that you are an a*****e is completely NOT TRUE. I’m sure you have your misteps, but you’re one of the nicest, smartest, and most loyal people I’ve ever had the PRIVILEGE of knowing!

  • http://www.mommymelee.com Maria Melee

    Would you mind removing the black and white pouting baby photo? That’s a copyrighted photo of my son.