Ego and Pride are concepts which are related but with a subtle difference in their meanings. Ego stresses on the self to the exclusion of others while pride celebrates the achievement of the self with others. The larger the ego of a person, the more he is concerned about himself. Ego may lay the basis for self-esteem but in order to be beneficial it should be grounded in reality. A person with pride has self-respect and is aware of his worth and achievements. For example being an American citizen may be a thing of pride for the person. So it is more advantageous to swell with pride rather than ego.
The word ego has its origin in Latin where it translates to “I myself” and functions as a personal pronoun (first person singular) expressing emphasis. Ego develops in early adolescence with the development of other cognitive functions and interpersonal skills. In English, the term ego takes on additional meanings of self-esteem or an exaggerated sense of one’s worth. Many people may equate ego with self respect but it largely represents a degree of arrogance which the person himself may not be aware of. Ego is a feeling which is born in the mind and may not have any basis in reality. The person who thinks in terms of his ego generally focuses on the ‘ I,’ ‘ Me’ and ‘Myself’ syndrome.
The feeling of pride has more positive attributes as compared to ego. Pride is associated with feelings of attachment and satisfaction of what one has achieved. Pride involves a feeling of love for one’s own achievement and excellence. The person who does not take pride in his own achievements is regarded to be humble. In most cases pride is considered positive as opposed to ego which is largely seen as negative trait. Pride may be considered to be a virtue while most religions view excessive pride as a vice which is likely to have a fall.
One may find it difficult to get rid of his ego and may in fact be a hurdle while nurturing relationships. For example a person with a false ego may feel it to be demeaning to say sorry in a relationship. It is the feeling of being superior to others which comes in the way of self-growth. The person intoxicated with ego seems to revel in it and takes every opportunity to feed his sense of superiority. In this sense ego may be harmful and detrimental to the well being of a person as he always thinks of his own interest rather than accommodating other view points.
Ego has negative attributes as it is excessive pride that borders on arrogance. Pride is more positive when it is restricted to simple feelings of pleasure and satisfaction on one’s achievements. Pride is a feeling which originates in the heart and makes one swell with pride while ego gives rise to a swollen head as it is all in the mind. Pride as a virtue ultimately results in humility with ego often leading to arrogance and a false sense of one’s self-worth.