It’s normal for us to emphasize our other accomplishments in a competitive way when our pride is threatened. Some of us may be puzzled why this is the case. A recent study explains further on the subject and the reasons why people seek different types of validation.

When we feel intimidated, we try to re-establish our standing in another area, a tactic known as “status pivoting”, which psychologists believe is a coping mechanism for weakness or inadequacy. Status pivoting may happen in various situations such as income, morals, and so on. Parenting was one of the topics investigated by the researchers. Many participants of the study who felt professionally overshadowed “pivoted” to feature their parental skills. They brag about specific achievements that reflect well on them as a parent: their children’s excellent grades, sports accomplishments, and the school they attend. These are their main successes to turn to when it comes to outshining someone else during a status pivoting. “Their children’s performance becomes their own transferred success,” says Hilary Levey Friedman, a sociologist and visiting assistant professor.

We must remember that there are other ways to satisfy our desires to feel accomplished. We become anxious when our pride is threatened, but we should never abandon our responsibilities and passions.