Difference Between Self Respect and Ego

Key Difference – Self Respect vs Ego 


Although self-respect and ego appear to be similar concepts, there are some differences between these two words. The key difference is that the self-respect refers to the regard that an individual has for himself, this gives the individual confidence and creates positivity around him. On the other hand, ego refers to the importance that an individual feels of himself. Unlike self-respect, the ego can sometimes be destructive and also prevent the individual from developing in many aspects. Through this article let us comprehend the difference between the two words in depth.

What is Self Respect?

Self-respect refers to the regard that an individual has for himself. It is vital that every person has respect for himself. Respecting one’s self-denotes that the individual values himself for who he is. This is why it can even be interpreted as a form of acceptance for self. For an example, if a person has no respect for himself, he will be willing to do anything. Simultaneously, he will be in a vulnerable position where others would be able to take advantage of him. Whether a person is born poor, rich, black, white or even belonging to a particular religion, or caste system, all people have self-respect.

In the past, particularly in countries with strict caste systems, those who belonged to lower castes were not respected. They were often considered as the lowest in the society and were tortured, exploited and ridiculed by others. In such a context, maintaining one’s self-respect can be very difficult, because the rejection that the individual feels from the outside begins to be reflected from within itself, making the person lose his self-respect.

Self respect should not be confused with feeling self-important. On the other hand, it refers to standing one’s ground when being ill-treated. Now let us move on to the next word ego, to comprehend the difference between the two words.

Difference Between Self Respect and Ego

What is Ego?

The idea of ego is used extensively in the field of psychology. However, for a comparison between ego and self-respect, let us define ego in the following manner. Ego can be understood as one’s self-importance. A clear difference between ego and self-respect is that while self-respect has a positive effect on the individual ego has a negative effect. It can create a false sense of self in the individual. For an example, a person who continuously feels that he is not talented will develop an ego that reinforces this idea. In the same way, a person, who develops an image of himself as extremely talented, will develop an ego that reinforces the idea of being talented.

Ego creates a form of superiority of self. It is our creation of the identity of our talents, personality, attitudes, etc. The main issue in ego construction is that it often rejects others as inferior to the self and considers the self as superior to others. This can not only be damaging for the individual, but it can also work as a barrier against development. Hence, it is very important to manage one’s ego so that the individual can maintain a positive relationship with others while being open to their ideas without forming a condescending attitude towards them.

Self Respect vs Ego

What is the Difference Between Self Respect and Ego?

Definitions of Self Respect and Ego:

Self Respect: Self respect refers to the regard that an individual has for himself.

Ego: Ego can be understood as one’s self-importance.

Characteristics of Self Respect and Ego:


Self Respect: In self respect, the focus is on the regard that the individual has for himself.

Ego: In the case of ego, the focus is on how important the individual feels.


Self Respect: Self respect can have a positive effect on self.

Ego: Ego can have a negative effect on self.


Self Respect: Self respect gives the individual a confidence.

Ego: Ego can make the individual jealous, insecure, and arrogant.


Image Courtesy:
1. Dalit Women's Swabimaan Self-Respect Yatra In Kurukshetra By Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Aubrey Beardsley - Et in Arcadia Ego (1901) By Aubrey Beardsley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons