10 differences between having self-esteem and being self-centered

Ego and self-esteem are two concepts that are easily confused. What are their main differences? Here we detail them.

Last update: 21 January, 2022

The confusion between having self-esteem and being self-centered is common to some people. But nevertheless, These are two quite different concepts. Self-esteem refers to the positive self-concept that we develop over the course of our lives..

Although it may seem contradictory, self-centered people often have low self-esteem. This happens because the ego is subject to the opinion of other people. In short, egocentrics rely heavily on external approval.

The confusion between these terms occurs because the egocentric appears self-confident. However, in this case it is a facade. In contrast, people with high self-esteem have self-confidence. Are there more differences?

10 differences between having self-esteem and being self-centered

As we have already mentioned, self-esteem has to do with genuine personal satisfaction. On the other hand, the ego is conditioned by external opinions. In the following space, we are going to detail other contradictions that exist between having self-esteem and being self-centered.

1. Need for constant attention

While people with good self-esteem do not need constant attention, for self-centered people it is a compulsive need. In other words, a self-confident person does not seek to please others in a forced way.

People with an inflated ego try to grab attention through self-praise, which backfires. That is to say, eventually the self-centered end up alienating people from their social circle.

Self-centered people want to be the center of attention at all times and places.

2. Disproportionate admiration

An indicator of people with an exacerbated ego is the excessive admiration for themselves. In contrast, high self-esteem is characterized by self-awareness and self-acceptance. This means that having a positive self-concept does not imply much admiration.

3. Take into account the needs of others

People with well-established self-esteem take into account the needs of others. On the other hand, egocentrics focus on meet only your requirements. Self-concern is necessary for a healthy life; this as long as we do not omit empathy for those around us.

4. Ability to accept mistakes

In a high self-esteem there is the possibility of accepting mistakes, on the other hand with the egocentric it does not happen like that. Those who believe they are the owners of absolute reason have an excessive ego. When we understand that mistakes can be learned, we are on the way to improving our self-esteem.

5. Ability to accept criticism

This point is related to the previous one, it is about the interpretation that we can make of the criticisms. A self-confident person would understand that this is not a personal attack. On the other hand, there are conceited people who take criticism as an offense towards them.

6. Help selflessly

It stands to reason that an egocentric person would not help unless they expect to receive something in return. When people care only about themselves, there is no room for genuine support. Meanwhile, those who take into account the needs of others enjoy helping others.

7. Accept that not everything is allowed

The lack of healthy limits during childhood causes children to grow up thinking that everything is allowed to them. One of the goals of positive parenting is for young people to grow up with good self-esteem and a moderate ego.

Self-esteem helps us to better adapt to society and facilitates tolerance in certain situations. For example, to accept a defeat well it is necessary to strengthen our self-esteem. In conclusion, self-esteem implies a component of respect.

8. Constant comparisons

Unlike those who have established adequate self-esteem, self-centered people tend to constantly compare themselves to others. The comparisons are oriented towards people from the immediate environment whom they envy. For example, co-workers, family or friends.

9. Delegate functions

The ability to delegate functions is the acceptance that we cannot do everything all the time. A person with good self-esteem knows how to surround himself with people who help him meet goals. At the other extreme are those who are determined to hog the spotlight by doing it all, even when they don’t have the skills.

10. Emotional stability

Self-esteem is a protective factor against emotional distress. For the self-centered, the need to hog attention is exhausting. It’s also frustrating not being able to be the center of attention all the time. In this sense, it is understood that good self-esteem helps to better regulate emotions and social pressure.

Having a strengthened self-esteem allows you to maintain a constant emotional well-being.

How to be less self-centered?

It is important to clarify that having self-esteem and being self-centered are two natural things. In conclusion, the important thing is knowing how to manage our self-centeredness so that it does not affect our interpersonal relationships. Balance is the key in these cases.

Wanting to suppress the ego is an unrealizable expectation. In this sense, what we are looking for is that our self-esteem serves as a dam that allows us to regulate the impulses of self-praise. To keep the ego out of the way, we can do a introspection exercise and identify the aspects that we need to improve.

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