If ego is an over inflated sense of ourselves as it is understood by most, and pride is a sin – then are they the same thing, and if not, how do they differ?

These are questions most of us wonder at some time.

Ego, as we have come to understand it in a negative sense, is a feeling of superiority to others. Or at least a feeling of separation from others.

Pride is a feeling of satisfaction from our own achievements. While we can always take pride in what our friends, relatives or football team do, when we talk about pride in this case we mean that sense of our own achievements.

While pride can seem to be nothing but a swelling of ego, it can also be a great motivator for us to perform better at sport, excel in academics, or be more demanding in the expectations we have of ourselves.

Pride and shame are opposites, and so it might be said that pride is a positive facet of ego and shame a negative one when the ego is discussed in the real terms of what it is: the development of our mental concept of self.

In other ways, both ego and pride are the same. Both have some roots in vanity. Pride will swell the heart when we feel we have achieved something greater than others have. The ego seeks to keep the id in check so that we always portray a socially acceptable face to society. Pride comes before a fall, which suggests that the ego that is built up can also be deflated.

Because most people don’t take the time to properly understand psychological concepts and choose to accept common mistruths, there’s no easy way to answer the question of what the difference is between ego and pride. Each has a different meaning according to who you may ask and their own view of what’s real.

Both ego and pride have positive and negative aspects associated with them, so maybe the only way we can contrast them is to compare them. A sense of pride in one’s self is a sense of pride in one’s ego. The ego survives on its own, and so is neither good nor bad, whereas a sense of pride in that ego is bad because it is an indication that one feels superior to others in one’s self-development.

It’s a complicated matter, but next time you feel superior to someone else, give your ego a break, it’s pride that may be pushing you to fall.