Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ego versus Self Respect

In my previous post, I wrote about a fine distinction between Ego and Self Respect. I''ll elaborate it here.
Ego is something you throw on others, usually to satisfy your desire to exert power or authority on them or to show them your worth. Self respect on the other hand is quite essantial to your existence as a person of honour and diginity in your own eyes.
You need others to satisfy your ego, which is not the case with self respect. You can be a person of high self respect without forming a coterie around you.
When your ego shatters, you usually have three mutually exclusive and exhaustive feelings :
1. You may experience extreme anger and it usually gives rise to a flame of revenge in your heart which in no time becomes an uncontrollable fire.
2. You become helpless because you can't do anything about it. You are too powerless to do any harm to the person who was the reason for bringing down your ego.
3. You start to analyze the situation rationally and bury your arrogance and then you are able to see the logic and the reason.
On the other hand, when you lose self respect, your anger is directed more towards yourself than towards anyone else. You start questioning the very reasons for your own existence. A person who doesn't value himself/herself can't expect others to value him/her. Self respect is one of the central tenets of the life of a rational human being.
When ego shatters, it is usually the result of loss of your command or authority over others. Loss of self respect on the other hand is always the consequence of guilt, a feeling that you did something wrong in the past or that you could have done something in somewhat different manner.
And now that you, the brave reader, has read so far, I'll give you some food for thought : There are times when ego is shattered into pieces and is accompanied by loss of self respect too.


Anonymous said...

Well, what I see is

When you respect yourself, you call it self-respect. When others respect you, or you think so, albeit falsefully, you call it ego, which can't be without self-respect. Just drop the self, and then neither ego, nor self-respect matters.

Again, thats what I think, you maynot give a rat's ass to it, but then does it matter to my self-respect or ego ? ( Don't bother answering, its rhetorically put, maynot seem so )

Viraj said...

@rohit - well, others may respect u even if u dont respect urself.

take example of a person who is not very intelligent but can still fool arnd a few people under d disguise of his wits, charms n big talks.

others will respect him truly becoz they r too dub to find out the reality.

yet the person who pretends to be highly intelligent knows his own reality n knows it well. in d heart of his heart he will know tht he is morally corrupt becoz he pretends to be someone he is actually not.

thus thre is no self respect in him yet he has n inflated ego and arrogance.

i hope i hav made myself clear.

Viraj said...

@ rohit -infact tht brings out another interesting point. it is usually those people who need certification frm others tht hav inflated egos.n usually these r d people who do not hav high self respect. it is because of their insecurity and lack of faith in themselves tht they want certifications frm others. ain't it?

again this is my view, u r free to disagree :)


Rohit said...

A person who is not very intelligent and still fools others ! - Ain't that a contradiction in itself.

What you have done here, as I see it, is that you have misled information with intelligence.

And anyhow, the respect of those who are too dumb to figure you out doesn't inflate your ego, if at heart you know that you have fooled them.

Lets judge it by you, what do you see in yourself - ego or self-respect or both or none.

Rohit said...

The above is without readin the third comment.

Viraj said...

@rohit - it is not intelligence that u necessarily require to fool is smartness to find out the weak link(s) in d other person and d ways to capitalize on it(them).

the point i wanted to make in 2nd comment was that thre can b cases whre u dont hav self respect but u hav ego.

and i never said tht fooling dumb people inflates ur ego, it is ur ego tht compels u to fool thm. as i mentioned in d post, i believe tht ego exists because u want to prove ur worth to others or u may want to command ur authority on others. thus in this particular case it is fooling dumb people tht gives u certain kinda satisfaction and thus u prove ur worth to others.

finally my point here is to express myself. and i hav given enuf hint abt my approvals and disapprovals in d post itself. and ven u ask me to comment whether i hav ego or self respect or both or none, aren't u trying to judge me rather thn discussing abt d topic itself? atleast i feel so.

btw, i'll b happy to keep d discussion going without linking it to any person.


my inner world said...

wow !!!

this seems to be the best written by you so far:)

i completely agree with each and every word of it.

the topic is so good and it can relate to each and every person. certainly self respect is far more important and is superior to ego.

keep writing such :)

vanilla sky said...

well analyzed !

"You need others to satisfy your ego, which is not the case with self respect. You can be a person of high self respect without forming a coterie around you."

this perfecly sums it up!

Sushant said...

Ego to me is like an external stimuli to one's existence. Ego require us to seek approval from different people.Its like when people praise us for our effort it is something to be happy about. I understand it arises out of the inherent need of appreciation. However self respect is internal and a benchmark for measuring self effort. I don't know if I make sense but that is what I feel.

Viraj said...

@inner world and vanilla sky- shukriya :)

@sushant - yes man,tht perfectly makes sense. and tht is wat i feel too

Lena said...

great written and fair points too.
Just i guess when your ego shatters it is not as bad as losing self-respect, because in the long run self-respect always matters more :)

PS: Love your blog, will blogroll you if you dont mind :)

Viraj said...

@Lena - thnx.

and yes, loss of self respect chokes u.

and abt blogrolling my blog, tht wud be a pleasure :)

Enigma said...

I believe their is a subtle difference between 'ego' and 'Self respect'....

One certainly cant pin point when it is ego which is taking a hay and when it is self respect.

brocasarea said...

good..actually agree with the 3rd point!!...its absolutely true!!..


you have analysed both conditions in a single perspective.The anaysis based on power.Power is the main theme to be discussed....
Very serious execution.good writing...
my blog is about magical realism and surrealism.
do visit.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Person A has an opinion about person B, a kind of negative opinion say A thinks that person B is a liar. If this opinion of person A bothers person B.

Scenario one:

Person B tries to justify to person B and tries to work it out and have certain clarification towards the opinion person A has. Noticeable thing is, person B gives importance to the opinion and and not the source of opinion (Person A). In this case, Person B has self respect.

Scenario two:

Person B starts hating person A. without bothering what is the opinion, he tries to take on person A and make him learn lesson about it. He tries to hit person A himself rather hitting the opinion. In this, person B is egoistic.

PS - liked what you wrote. very few ppl can touch upon such subjects.

Swatantra said...


First time at your blog, really liked this post of yours.

Now what do u call to this situation when you have ego shatters into piece and self respect is also loosing..

sanghamitra said...

viraj it was a great help me to deal with my confusion and problems. i'm very glad and relaxed after reading your blog.i wish to discuss more on i. i hope u write many more blogs related to psychology. thanx

Shruti Gupta said...

hmm... i really liked your understanding of self-respect!! once u lose your self-respect, sooner or later the guilt will eat u up and believe me.. u cannot survive with that guilt!! n i doubt if it is actually possible to fully recuperate from it.. at least for people with inner locus of control..
nice article!! :)

Anonymous said...

good one brother,
i just found the answer to my question. Cheers

Chaitra Harapanahalli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie Lim said...

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