Two words: Ego and Self-respect are used almost interchangeably but there’s an important difference between the two. It’s a life-changing difference. This difference brings peace and removes the unnecessary, regular conflicts. It hurts marriages, friendships, cultures and societies. Ego prevents you from saying ‘Sorry’ when you must and it makes you selfish when you must not. It’s a permanent pursuit and not a temporary change.
Self-respect is about maintaining your confidence and a boundary in light of situations where someone is treating you unfairly. It is more of a self-assessment. Only when you fail to meet your standards, you fail in this game.
I wasn’t treated well. I wish I was better treated. I will talk about this.
Ego is more about our superiority for others. It is all about hierarchies.
Someone didn’t treat ME well. How dare they? Look at them, they are nothing in front of me. I will get them to undo that.
Ego brings in insecurities. You are constantly worried about what other people think of you and how you should correct that. You get offended more often and have strong burst outs. The world has seen the worse with influential people and their egos getting hurt.
When you are told that you have a lot of Ego, it is time to think. Forget the other person, you need to know whether you are in this viscous trap of irrationality.
This concept is important in India currently because there are many anti-social elements who want the people to get offended and angry over absolute non-issues.
They want that everyone should follow what they say, otherwise they should leave the country. While the country is of each and every citizen. People are being told to shut up, to not express their opinions or concerns. This is ego.
A Communal riot is a game of ego. Giving a supposed answer to someone, an eye for an eye, is all about Ego. Any mob behaviour is about ego and hence it is irrational.
While there are positive examples of people who’s self-respect was hurt and then they answered back. For example, Mahatma Gandhi. Interestingly, self-respect is non-violent.