In building high self-esteem, one of the questions that come to many minds is, “How am I sure I am not becoming proud?” That is the exact question I am answering with this post.
High self-esteem and pride are two different concepts which when you truly understand, you’ll have no fear building your self-esteem. This is because building high self-esteem actually saves you from pride as pride in its most basic form, is rooted in low self-esteem.
Here are 10 differences between pride and high self-esteem
Difference Between Pride and Self-Esteem
1. Pride is a sense of superiority over others while high self-esteem is a sense of personal worth not against others
This is the biggest difference between pride and high self-esteem. Pride is centered around comparison. High self-esteem thinks it is worth much, while pride thinks it is with more. With or without anybody, high self-esteem stills feels valuable but pride only feels valuable by feeling more valuable than others.
2. Pride is rooted in a deep feeling of insecurity and worthlessness while high self-esteem is rooted in a deep feeling of security and worth
If you think you are worthy (high self-esteem), you won’t care about how others measure up or how others evaluate you. But when you are concerned and trying to control how others perceive you (as it happens with pride), that’s proof that you are insecure about your worth.
Although pride looks arrogant and bossy, the boldface is simply an ego defense mechanism to protect the feeling that they don’t worth much.
3. Pride constantly seeks affirmations and proofs that confirm one is important while high self-esteem is secured in its importance and doesn’t have a need to prove it
All the proud activities (like bullying) that the proud person does are just a way to prove to themself what they don’t believe. He thinks he isn’t worthy so he’s trying to stack the deck in his favour to give him a sense of worth and make others react to him in a way that shows they respect him.
High self-esteem, on the other hand, is secured already. He isn’t looking for proof from the environment or anyone so he is not trying to manipulate people or situations to tell him he is worthy.
4. Pride cannot exist with humility while high self-esteem can exist with humility
Humility is the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people: the quality or state of being humble. The presence of this alone is the extinction of pride.
Now, you can feel you are worthy and not see yourself as better than others. When this happens, you have high self-esteem.
People with high self-esteem can do lowly things because they know it doesn’t define them and they are not depending on what they do to feel worthy, but a proud person will run away from anything lowly because all their (false) sense of worth comes from external factors.
5. Pride cannot admit its shortcomings while high self-esteem can admit its shortcomings
The reason for this is obvious again: to admit a shortcoming will mean being unworthy to the proud because a proud man’s worth is always curated and created.
Because he is always competing with others, he thinks “If I admit a flaw, people will think they are better than me.” On the other hand, one with high self-esteem will say, “I’m not competing with anyone, the fact that I have a flaw doesn’t change who I am.”
Notice a sense of security in the second thought pattern.
6. Pride is highly competitive while high self-esteem is not competing with anyone
For the proud to continue to feel worthy, they must continue to see themselves better than others.
Here is a simple truth: to be good, you don’t need to compete or compare. But to be better, there must be something or someone you are competing or comparing with.
So the mind of the proud is always on the outlook (unconsciously) to detect anything that makes them look inferior so as to eliminate it.
The one with high self-esteem, on the other hand, isn’t competing with anyone. They are satisfied with who they are and will only try to be better than who they were, not anyone else.
7. Pride is never satisfied and is inconsiderate of others while high self-esteem is satisfied and considers others
All that the proud mind is concerned about is feeling more important than others. The moment he finds someone better than he is, he begins to “fight” for importance again by all means (even tearing down others), until he feels better.
This might not even be an obvious fight; it might be happening in the mind. But unfortunately, he will keep finding someone better and the fight never stops.
One with high self-esteem wouldn’t demean others because they don’t have any need for it. They are satisfied with who they are no matter what anybody is.
8. Pride is envious while high self-esteem is generous
Because the proud want to feel better, they want everything they consider to make the other person superior to them e.g. a better dress. Whenever they don’t have it and see someone else with it, they become envious of that person.
They aren’t envious because that person has it, but because they don’t have it. Not having it makes them feel inferior. A person with high self-esteem, on the other hand, is generous enough to allow people to have what they don’t have and not feel bad.
9. Pride cannot give praise to others while high self-esteem gives praise when necessary
A proud person cannot give praise because they always want the praise and they get pissed when praise is given to another.
When they give praise they do it in a way that still communicates their sense of superiority: “Well done! I can see you are coming up. Yes, that was how I started many years ago.” A person with high self-esteem, on the other hand, can give praise and build the self-esteem of others (make them feel important).
10. Pride is unattractive to others and finds it difficult to make friends while high self-esteem attracts people
Because a proud person is manipulative, envious, bossy, demanding and all of that, people usually don’t want to make friends with them. But the person with high self-esteem is confident, generous, and considerate. Because of this, people are attracted to them and want to make friends with them.
It’s is clear now that high self-esteem and pride are not synonymous. They are two different concepts that rarely coexist. Instead, pride is more associated with low self-esteem. You can easily tell with these distinctions if what you are building is pride or high self-esteem. If you find yourself tilting towards pride, learn how to build your self-esteem from scratch here.