Self Respect and Ego

Ego and Self -Respect are two very important terms to understand. We see many people using it in their daily conversations in a very confused fashion. Many of our actions and decisions are completely based on these two factors. Most of our relations greatly depend on our ego and self respect. Therefore, it is really important to understand these two terms:

Self -Respect

We generally understand ‘Self- Respect’ as the way the other person perceives us. If somebody mistreats us, we tend to consider it as an attack on our self respect and thereon, our ‘ego’ takes control and influences all our decisions regarding the subject.

Self- Respect is basically, ‘the respect of oneself’ or, more precisely, ‘respecting oneself ’. People perceive the world according to their understanding and the type of influences they have been through throughout their lives. This is how they will perceive you no matter who you are. Therefore, their judgements are irrelevant to your ‘self- respect’. Your self -respect is how you perceive yourself. It is merely realising that you are the person who knows yourself the best and only your judgement matters. You have to live up to your expectations. You have to become the personality that you could respect. You have to disregard all the appreciations until you respect your actions, and the criticism, as long as you respect yourself. It is very natural to be overwhelmed by the appreciations and criticism. But they are just ‘opinions’ of certain people who are analysing your situation from their perspective, or, it may also be a false expression by somebody trying to manipulate you.

It is very simple.

If the entire world around you is appreciating you, but you don’t feel satisfied with your actions that is when you have lost your self- respect. But if the entire world around is criticising you but knowing the exact situation and struggles, you feel satisfied with your actions, you have managed to save your self- respect.

But remember, if you respect yourself after analysing the entire situation, the reasons for success and failure and use this analysis to evolve further in a positive direction, only then it is safeguarding your self- respect. Being ignorant of the situation and blindly believing that you are an ideal person is just being in denial. This only gives rise to the ego. Here we come across another term frequently used in our day to day life.


‘Ego’ is the negative side of ‘self- respect’ ,or, precisely the darker side of self respect, which develops eventually when you blindly respect yourself being ignorant of the situation. It is a state of being where you cannot see or accept any situation which is against you. Where on one hand, ‘self respect’ promotes growth and evolution, on the other hand ‘ego’ hinders growth and keeps you static.

Why is ego an issue?   

When your ‘ego’ takes control of yourself, it first conquers your mind. All the decisions taken henceforth are to pamper your ego. Your mind has no clue nor will it ever get. This works exactly how a country is colonised. In this case, your mind is colonised by your ego. You always feel it is in your favour but it really isn’t. Your heart is subdued by your ego. Thereon all your actions and thoughts are dedicated to pampering your ego. What you really feel or think doesn’t matter anymore. Eventually, your capabilities of thinking and analysing are infected. You become incapable of analysing any situation and accepting any failure. You tend to make the wrong decision just to fulfil your ego. These wrong decisions further create problems for you and you being egoistic stay ignorant of the entire situation. Thereon starts a journey of self- destruction.

If you work on your self- respect, it will take you on the path of growth and if you let your ego enslave your mind and heart, it will take you towards self- destruction. The external factors have no role to play in your success and failures. External factors just act as obstacles. It may make you trip and fall. Either you can use your mistakes to evolve further or stand there complaining and justifying your failures. The decisions you make decide your fate. Right decisions promote growth and wrong decisions lead to destruction.  

Published by Sruti Shivakumar

An architect from India on a journey of self exploration

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