Saintly souls say, "Keep critics nearby so that your pride may not increase." Truth is that we prefer to keep company of those who give us praise, false as it may be. Words of praise put a smile on our face. Criticism makes us frown. Pride makes us want to look good in the eyes of others. So we work more diligently on looking good than actually becoming good. 
As we become more and more introspective, we realize that pride is the biggest impediment in spiritual life. We can clearly see the damage it has inflicted on our mind. It becomes easy to understand that all the faults we earlier perceived within others, are in fact our very own. We cringe thinking about the pleasure we have derived from badmouthing others and praising ourselves. 
To become less proud, we must practice becoming more tolerant. Practice with family and friends, for they pose the biggest challenge. Recognize their unflattering words and behavior to be a test of your inner strength. Do not trust your mind when it says, 'you are the best,' or 'everyone should love and respect you.' 
Give proper recognition to the virtues of others. Praise others; not yourself. Admire the good in everyone and become blind to their shortcomings. Be like the tree that gives sweet fruits to eat despite being pelted by stones.
If you do this, you will conquer pride, with God's grace.


Didi Ji