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I am aware Ego is a negative attribute and Self Respect is a positive attribute, but I am unable to differentiate them and hence cannot judge my actions. Below are some incidents :

I have a mentor at work to whom I report to and who is also a family friend and well wisher. One day he is giving feedback and talking about areas of improvement and some of the things in which I didn't perform well. Immediately, I started to defend myself and argue by giving reasons for my actions and lack of some skills.

I am unable to judge my actions here. What I am actually doing here? Am I trying to protect my self esteem? Or am I arguing since my ego has been hurt? I don't have clarity on this.

My wife and I are discussing about purchasing a new smart phone for her. We already have one which I am using. Besides, she is a home maker. We have a dedicated laptop with unlimited high speed internet connection. There are no specific benefits of having a new smart phone. I am not convinced with my wife's points and reasons. Hence, I said no for her request. And she is unable to agree with me and continued to push for it. Some time we have discussed on the matter. At one point of time I raised my voice and shouted at her.

Why I am shouted here? I have shouted because I have Ego and that was hurt when she doesn't agree with me? or some thing else?

[My objective for this post is not to get answers for the above questions from the community. The objective of this post is to find answers for the below questions. For a given situation I would like to able to find reasons for my behavior and correct my self. That is my intention. Hence I need to find answers for the below questions]

I always have these kinds of confusion and don't have clarity on the ego part.

My specific questions are :

  • How to differentiate Ego from Self Respect?
  • How to Kill Ego and protect Self Respect?

Explanation based on responses:

How this is linked to Productivity?
Ego and self respect are the ones which affect our social and personal relations. Healthy relations are very important to achieve success at workplace, social life and personal life. If we have Ego we will hurt others and spoil relations. If we don't protect our self respect we loose respect of others and that too spoil our relations. Hence I believe Killing Ego and protecting self respect are very important to achieve better productivity in relationships.

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Questions such as "Why I am shouted here?" are hard to answer by someone who have only read your story. It is easier to answer and give references for the the specific and more objective ones ("How to differentiate Ego from Self Respect? How to Kill Ego and protect Self Respect?"). – Mohamad Fakih Jul 4 '13 at 18:49
This question appears to be off-topic because there is no direct link with being more productive. – THelper Jul 5 '13 at 7:46
@MohamadFakih: My objective to find answers for my self for the questions Why I am shouted for a given situation and definitely not expecting community should answer this question. Once I learn "How to differentiate Ego from Self Respect and How to kill Ego and protect Self respect?" I will be in a situation to find answers for my questions – Babu Jul 5 '13 at 17:21
@THelper: I have edited the post and it has answer to your question – Babu Jul 5 '13 at 17:30
@BVR I don't seem to see the difference between ego and self respect - it's all the same thing despite connotation. I'm no psychologist, but it sounds like what you should focus on is emotions; if you feel you're being driven by emotions, determine if they are rational or irrational. Next, decide what the best approach is for each situation (response based on fact or opinion, consider emotion or not, how to present your side of the discussion). – Raystafarian Jul 14 '13 at 11:17

There is a very thin layer between Ego and self respect , You are the solo judge for your acts , because at the end of the day you will take decision for yourself.

Case 1: Defending your self is not wrong , but there is always ego to deny the truth , because we are not ready to except out mistake . Only you know whether you are wrong or not .Just evaluate the points mentioned by your mentor , how valid they were, you will know by yourself whether that was self respect or ego so you defended yourself.And if you were wrong realize it and learn from it for next time.

Case 2 : The point 2 suggest that you shouted at your wife due to frustration , as you were not ready to accept that your wife is not agreed to your thoughts.It was only due to ego that's why she cannot accept what you were saying .Otherwise you would not have shouted , you would have tried to make her understand your view in a better way.

Its important to understand that you cannot be right always and you are wrong every time cannot be true.You need to evaluate things before reaching the final decision .

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I am not an expert on this subject. But with the experience in my life till now, i can say that ego is from your end i.e. when you try to do the things which feed your ego even if the other person is humble or non-egoist.

Case 1: if you are humble toward others and if someone insults you for some foolish reason than comes the self-respect because you know that you have not done anything wrong and you have fulfilled your duties with honesty. SO, you have the right to defend yourself with reason.

Case 2 If you haven't performed your duties honestly and you are fully aware of this. Then someone point out your mistake but you ignore that person or start an argument which can't be justified then its ego.

In your case, you knew that there won't be any long term benefits of buying smartphone and it would be good option to buy laptop then you were right. You could justify your point to your wife and to your conscious with honesty.

If there is no honesty in justification then you are just feeding your ego.

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I'm not so sure I'd agree on your final paragraph - I would suggest that an inability to comprehend the other person's point of view is an ego problem. – Rory Alsop Jul 3 '13 at 12:55
Yes, you are right. One should try to understand the needs of other person too and then add his/her suggestion. – Mohit Jul 3 '13 at 13:00

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