Iranians in Psychotherapy: "Pride worst of Seven Deadly Sins" Dante said


by minadadvar

Few years back during one of my counseling sessions with a wonderful Iranian lady, the subject of pride came up.  At the time that Mrs "B" came in for therapy, she had been married for 35 years and had two grown children. Mrs "B" was going through a nasty divorce and was very frightened. She married her husband when she was only 17 years old. The marriage was traditional.  He made the money and she took care of everything else.  Paying the bills, taking care of the house, social life, kids' school, Dr visits, PTAs and...... 

Mrs "B" did not see herself as a career woman.  "I love to cook, keep the house clean, plant my favorite flowers, and take care of my grand children. I don't mind hard work, but I have never worked outside the house.  I am very anxious about my ability to earn a living." She said.

I was surprised because based on what I knew she should have been able to live comfortably after the division of marital assets was completed.  "I thought finances is one thing that you don't have to worry about.  Did I misunderstand you when you said that you and your husband had X number of dollars in savings and a X number of valuable properties?" I asked.

"No, you did not misuderstand me.  But I have decided that I am not going to ask for anything.  My husband constantly puts me down, calls me "useless",  "a free loader",  and someone who can not do anything.  I have to prove to him that I don't need him." She said. 

"I don't get it How would your refusal can possibly help you?"  I asked.

Mrs "B" was getting irritated and annoyed with me.  She shouted " You don't understand how important my pride is to me Mina. My pride is everything to me. I don't want to loose my pride. 

Knowing Mrs "B" and knowing how stubborn she can get, I backed off and said "Well....I respect how strongly you feel about this issue.  But remember:  Pride might promise you many things, but often time it will give you nothing..   

"What do you mean?"  She asked.

I responded "I have a suggestion that I think will help you find out.  For the next three months, instead of sending a check to the electric company, send them an explanation about your pride and your inability to pay.  I wonder how they are going to respond.

At this point I looked at Mrs "B" and She looked at me. And then we both started laughing.  The answer was obvious to both of us.


more from minadadvar

IranWrites on the issue of pride ...

by Mehrnaz (not verified) on

I think the notion of pride as arrogance or a narcissistic over-inflated sense of self is not confined to it use in Iran, it is to my experience universal. So "pride" or being "proud" can have both good and bad connotations. In Iran, we also do have another term synonymous with "dignity", and that is "ezzat-e nafs" which is different from the negative connotation of "pride", just as the term "dignity" is.


pride worst of 7 deadly sins

by minadadvar on

  • Mina Dadvar (Klein)
  • Mr "divorced and pissed off" please read my blogs on divorce.  Thanks


Pride or Dignity

by IranWrites on

I think what Iranians refer to as "pride" is "dignity." Even in the Persian language, the word "ghoroor" has a very negative connotation. (Moiin's definition is very close to the Dante's.) I do not know where this switch of meaning took place and why. However, I have heard from many who use the word as one of the virtues. But I should admit that in many cases it is not just a linguistic error but a philosophical misconception as well. I have noticed many Iranians do not mind arrogance. Many even induce it into their behavior and even worse train their children to be arrogant without worrying about the consequences. In this case, I take it as a linguistic error and not a philosophical one. 


Since you are disseminating professional opinion

by a bitter divorced person (not verified) on

I worked but my ex-SPOUSE did not “took care of everything else“, she did not pay “the bills“, didn’t take “care of the house“ in any worth mentionable manner, we did not have a “social life“, we did not have offspring so to go to “kids' school“, “Dr visits, PTAs and...”, yet at the end in a situation like this the spouse that does the least amount of income earning work gets half of most everything, because that’s the way the law is written, and that has nothing to do with “pride”, dignity, or who deserves what. It’s the way the law is. I’ll be paying my ex-SPOUSE the rest of my life and that’s the way it is. So, to the newly wedded people, it you have half a brain, make your SPOUSE get a job outside the house.

By the way since you are a professional, I thought to point to you these errors (I skipped your punctuation errors):

“Dr.“, not “Dr“
“Mrs.”, not “Mrs“
“an X“, not “a X”
“misunderstand”, not “misuderstand”
“I don't want to lose my pride.”, not “I don't want to loose my pride.”
“"I don't get it, how would...”, not “"I don't get it How would...”
“...and she looked at me.”, not “...and She looked at me.”

Yes, I’m a bitter divorced person, but my divorce has nothing to do with correcting your errors. I'm just doing it because I'm pissed.



by MiNeum71 on

I hope somebody can explain to me this typical Iranian pride which is an useless habit. What the hell is this acting the goat?



Last Blog: Tame the Lion

by alibaba (not verified) on

I don't know why you last blog is not saved, an error message appears.