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Pride and Dignity

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Do you ever question when to use Pride or Dignity?

I wonder if I'm the only one who sometimes struggles with these two terms, when to use one or the other? When they are more or less synonyms, or complementary, or when they are opposites? It's pretty common to hear pride and dignity used as synonyms, like they both mean the same. In some cases they do, but pride has also a negative connotation that dignity doesn't.

Webster's Online definitions:


1. A feeling of self-respect and personal worth.

2. Satisfaction with your (or another's) achievements; "he takes pride in his son's success".

3. The trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards.

5. Unreasonable and inordinate self-esteem (personified as one of the deadly sins).


1. The quality of being worthy of esteem or respect: "it was beneath his dignity to cheat"; "showed his true dignity when under pressure".

2. Formality in bearing and appearance: "he behaved with great dignity".

3. High office or rank or station: "he respected the dignity of the emissaries".

Pride can be a complement to dignity or vice versa, but pride is also a deadly sin, which dignity will never ever be.


My take

If I didn't have a dictionary close at hand, and had to work out by myself what pride and dignity mean, I would say dignity is an inward feeling, an attitude mostly directed at oneself. Instead, pride is displayed outwardly, not so much to oneself as to others.

I think that's why dignity always sounds like a good thing, while I struggle to see the goodness of pride in many situations. To me, pride sounds "good" when it's a complement to one's dignity. For example, taking pride in a job well done, and doesn’t sound so good to me when it occurs in excess ("He's too proud to accept help from friends"), or when rather than being based on self-respect, it's based on a wish to protect one's image ("He's very proud, he'll never admit he was wrong").

Here is what I use when I'm in doubt of what word to apply in any given situation:

Dignity: To do or say something out of self-respect, considering what YOU will think of yourself at the end of the day.

Pride: To do or say something for appearances sake, considering what OTHERS will think of you.

Still, there is a fine line in many contexts. For example, here's a husband and father that can't provide for his family because he's out of a job, but he doesn't want to hear about family lending a hand because:

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  • He's very dignified; he'll go to the end of earth and back to find a way to provide for his family.
  • He's too proud, can't stand the fact that he can't provide and needs to accept help.

What do you think? Is the father and husband in the example very dignified or too proud? Or both? I sometimes don't know what to think, frankly. Maybe it's just me.

I appreciate if you provide your insights on these too words, how you understand them, how you use them, regardless of what the dictionary says about them. In truth, I'm putting this little piece out there to hear what others think about this one.

© 2009 Elena.


Neetu M from USA on October 18, 2018:

Yes, I can see how we can confuse the distinction between pride and dignity. It's useful to remember that pride itself can be interpreted two ways - self-esteem or arrogant haughtiness. Our pride is wounded when we feel insulted in some way by someone. Dignity, on the other hand, is more of a humble quality and you can't have too much dignity like you may have too much pride. It is a stable sense of self-worth which enables us act in a way that is considered respectful and graceful without arrogance or pride. It's a standard of behavior which consistently guides us in how we carry ourselves and behave towards others. If a dignified person should behave in a haughty manner, they would be called proud, not dignified.

Jeanette on September 04, 2015:

my understanding on these are:

Dignity: Feeling of satisfaction of what God has given or created you and what He wants you to be. Because everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.

Pride: Feeling unsatisfied of who you are or what God has created you, that gives you a feeling of low-self esteem and in being so, you become prideful and will try to cover up to impress others.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 01, 2015:

Hi Art - I tend to agree with your interpretation, although there have been many comments over the years to express a different point of view. Which continues to fascinate me :) Thanks for the input!

Art on May 01, 2015:

Dignity is a sense or awareness of one's being. Pride is a form of vanity no matter how silent it may be expressed.

All animals have a sense of pride in some way or another, but I wonder what animals are capable of having a sense of dignity.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 22, 2013:

Hello RTalloni - You're right, this hub has generated very interesting comments over time, the discussion that appears below the actual article seems more interesting than the article itself :) Glad you added to it!

RTalloni on August 22, 2013:

Interesting to think through this comparison, particularly in our social climate of thinking with our emotions. Your hub has generated quite a few thought-provoking comments over 4 years--great topic!

Wisdom tells us that we should always respond to situations in a dignified manner and treat others with dignity, being on guard against that deceptive, destroying enemy called pride at all times.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on April 19, 2013:

Cheers Cat! You are right, many intelligent folks with intelligent comments to feed the discussion :)

Cat on April 19, 2013:

Thank you for creating this discussion, it's a fascinating read and has helped me with an English assignment. Many intelligent folk here, it makes me happy.

Joem789 on February 20, 2013:

The dictionary terms were created by people. Therefore, we cannot go by them alone. The English translation of the Bible, regarding the use of pride in there, is put in the best context that man possibly could. Pride is used in ONE context throughout the whole Bible. And it is considered negative. Anyone who identifies a "good" pride is heavily mistaken.

I am a 40 year old parent with three kids who fully understands pride and what good it does. It does NO good.

For instance, when a child performs a task, whether it is voluntary or not, they will often seek our approval. If we humbly acknowledge what they did as satisfactory or pleasing, there will be limited benefit to them. In other words, they will be glad we liked it. But they won't be excited by our response. On the other hand, most parents flatter their kids. "Wow! That's such a great picture you drew! You're going to be the best artist in the world!" This kind of praise is of pride. It leads them to believe that they must seek approval of others to feel confident or motivated. it doesn't matter if it is natural for kids to do this. We are naturally compelled to be misled because of the Sin in this world. But we must remember that we are raising the children as God's. Not our own. So it is important that they are raised to understand that ALL praise you come from God. And because there is no affirmation physically possible this way, we will be led to never stop striving to please Him, even without that affirmation. That is part of self sacrifice. It is our selfish will that leads us to seek approval from the world. But with God's will, we don't need that approval.

PRIDE is inevitable is we follow our own will. And I am sad to say that most people in this world do not know this. Even I didn't know for the first 38 years of my life. We should stop looking for excuses to keep pride in our lives. Else, we will be the fool the Bible talks about so often.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 27, 2009:

Hello sbeakr, you're right, this prompted abundant and varied commentary, which made me happy because I appreciated seeing everyone has their take on the issue.

As you do, and really, your is quite original! I never thought of it as a dynamic and static duo, but it could be a way to look at it, in my mind I'm already trying to equate dynamic to extrinsic and static as intrinsic, and what do you know, it makes sense!

sbeakr on August 27, 2009:

So many comments! My own take on this one would be that pride issues relative to a sense of accomplishment, while dignity is an inherent, stand-alone and flexible trait. Perhaps, pride=dynamic, dignity=static ??

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 21, 2009:

You're making sense, Miss Nomi -- others have commented just the opposite, that pride is external and dignity internal. I think I'm more of this second opinion, but geez, I'm frequently in doubt -- hence the hub :-)

Miss Nomi on August 21, 2009:

What a thought-provoking hub! I guess I see dignity as a coming from external people treat us...whereas pride is internal; it's feelings about ourselves that may or may not be affected by external things. I'm not sure if I'm making sense! Still - it's a great hub!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on July 22, 2009:

Hi Peggy -- Indeed this prompted many views. Turns out I was somewhat justified in "doubting" when to use either pride or dignity, as it seems we all have slightly different takes on it. Except with the example :) I think the majority here would think the man full of silly pride. Thanks for the input!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 22, 2009:

Had no idea when I clicked on this hub that it would bring this many divergent comments. To answer your question, if the father has a family that might be going hungry and through no fault of his own (perhaps loss of a job or life savings due to illness...any number of reasons) he cannot temporarily supply food, then I think it is his obligation to seek help. Only foolish pride would keep him from doing so. His feeling of dignity will not help feed his kids.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 22, 2009:

Hello, marriedwoman! The hub was a prompter, I think what really mesmerized ME were the follow-up comments, BUT I thank you for your kind comment anyway :-)

marriedwoman on June 22, 2009:

hi...i think for me, I take pride in what I've achieved so far and handled it with dignity.

i'd say this hub mesmerized my mind...

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 20, 2009:

Ay, Rick, your comment laughed me outta my wits!  Don't know about aquatic soul mates but I certainly see something going on in the fun department! Besos!

Rik Ravado from England on June 20, 2009:

Pride can definitely be negative as in the novel 'Pride and Predudice' but is positive when used in an expression like 'gay pride'.

The real reason I posted was to see our avatars together - we must be aquatic soul mates!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 18, 2009:

earnest - don't do that, it *is* positive sometimes! :-) I just struggle to know WHEN exactly! Laugh!

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on June 18, 2009:

After reading this hub and all the comments so far, my poor old brain is wrestling with the idea of leaving the word "pride" out of any positive sentence!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 15, 2009:

k@ri, seems you and I see eye to eye on this one, and it seems we both feel "strongly" the negative connotations of pride. It isn't always so, according to the dictionary (and some of the wonderful comments here address the positive side of it), it's just that my brain seems a bit bended towards the negative aspect, especially when comparing to "dignity". Oh well :)

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on June 15, 2009:

Pride is something we do for others, while dignity is something we are. I agree with you, and I agree with Jama. Maybe pride and dignity go together when you are proud that you have dignity...I don't know, that doesn't sound right. Pride has some very displeasing connotations, I think you had it right!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 14, 2009:

Guess that's true, cindy! As in, knowing --being aware-- when one's crossing the line where pride has no business being and only dignity should inhabit. For me it's a bit like I explained in the hub, when I start thinking I'm putting a show for the audience, that's a wake up call that I'mreally getting into murky waters.

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on June 14, 2009:

I guess the trick is always how to let go of pride, but retain your dignity.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 14, 2009:

Pam, if this gave you an idea for a hub, then I'm already happy!  But yeah, it is complicated, sometimes the line is very thin for me in what is really pride and what is dignity, I guess the line is NOT so thin when it comes to distinguish when it's the "good" and the "bad" variety of pride.

You keep sayin' you're an introvert, but you seem fabulously extroverted to me 'round here :-)

pgrundy on June 14, 2009:

Hmmm. I would say it's very much dependent on context. Sometimes it's important to make an outward show of self-esteem and other times it is unseemly and awkward, but who gets to make the judgment call? It really is complicated isn't it? I am aware of a personal tendency to be overly self-effacing so I can make other people say nice things about me so that I won't have to--but then, in some environments that really hurts me--and I'm totally conscious of the manipulation anyway. I just don't like to go on about myself as a matter of personal taste. I guess I'm an introvert or something.

Another issue though is that dignity and pride are related in the sense that at some point, keeping confidence about who I really am starts to feel like shame, and so I have to be more open to retain my dignity, whereas before I felt compelled to be more circumspect. For instance, I used to evade questions about my marital history (three times and counting) but I got to the point after my last divorce that that felt wrong--like, disrespectful to myself. Why should I be ashamed or take on other people's judgments in that way? So I became more matter-of-fact about it. I thought no one even noticed but discovered after about a year working at the bank that I'd garnered this reputation of being this mysterious maverick, even though I was being transparent. One young woman crept up to my cubicle one day and whispered, "I heard you REFUSE to marry! Is that true? I think that is SO COOL!" I laughed so hard I almost got sick.

So I guess disclosure is an issue here. When, why, how? That sort of thing.

Wow, that was too long a comment... Maybe I need to write my own hub! Thanks for the idea!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 12, 2009:

Thanks for your thoughts and for the link, Suzanne, I'll go take a peek in a moment! Pride is not always necessarily bad, although it usually is when it occurs in excess. I agree with you, though, it seems that dignity is a dying art nowadays...

justmesuzanne from Texas on June 12, 2009:

Well, if you are dignified and you will go to the ends of the earth to solve the problem yourself, then you are both proud and willing and able to solve your problems yourself. If you are just too proud to accept help but show no intention or ability for helping yourself, you are just a fool! :D

I wish more people would think about dignity these days. Pride can be corrupted, so it is drummed up by advertisers and employers and anyone else who wants to use others for gain. Dignity is incorruptible, and it is disappearing.

Here is an article I wrote about it recently:

Peace, Sanity & Dignity in a Fast Paced World

...and I have another in the works about keeping your dignity about you in the workplace. People are just expected to jump through too many hoops these days, and they are far too willing to do it!

Keep your dignity about you, for heaven's sake!



Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 03, 2009:

Cheers, blonde! :-) I'm not sure I said it too well, but the comments are certainly outstanding :-)

blondepoet from australia on June 03, 2009:

Really well said Elena, as I once sad about pride, "Pride is not self-vanity." Not even close...

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 03, 2009:

Thanks for adding your two cents, Cailin!  You seem to see it pretty much as I do, though you didn't refer to the negative aspect of pride, so maybe you don't think it ever has a negative connotation?

Cailin Gallagher from New England on June 03, 2009:

Interesting commentary. Pride reminds me of the classic adjective used to describe a lion. Dignity reminds me, as you said, of an inward quality. Self-respect vs Respect demanded from others. Just a quick note.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Hi raider, nice way to put it, sounds like one of those granny sayings :-)

Hey, James - Funny that you'd mention etymology, I checked that out, and while dignity has a Latin origin, "dignitas", worthiness (semi sort of, because it doesn't have a direct translation from its original Latin meaning), always with a good connotation, pride has different origins depending on the language, it seems that for English it does come from "pryte", bravery or pomp. Same for Romance languages, it comes from a French-Germanic word "urgoli", which already had two meanings, the "good" (meaning something akin to excellence) and the "bad" (meaning something akin to "excess of self worth"). 

Linguistically, pride has the bad but ALSO good and bad connotation in pretty much any language, while dignity is only ever good.  Leaves me pretty much with the same doubts I originally had :-)

James A Watkins from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

I make no claims to be an etymologist but here goes:  It seems that traditionally Dignity is something each person "should" have innately such as the "Endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights" sort of innately.  From the root word, Worthy.  Pride seems to come from the same root word as Pompous so this might mean "love of one's own excellence."  Maybe?

raiderfan from Arizona on June 01, 2009:

I often lack dignity and embarrass more than just myself.

Blind Pride is what causes it.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Hi, francia! Thanks for coming back, I appreciate your take on the example! If you browse the comments above, many find the father "too proud" -- not in a good way, e.g. he should accept help and not deprive his family. So, again my point when writing this lil' hub: pride & dignity are understood differently by different people and depending on the context. Really interesting.

franciaonline from Philippines on June 01, 2009:


Hi Elena,

The father and husband in your example has a very strong sense of dignity and a sense of pride. I think the type of pride that he has is a positive one. This kind of attitude is the stuff of men and women who amount to something in life. Poor people with this attitude reach somewhere because they exhaust everything in their power to do what it takes to define themselves. People who easily depend on others are made of lesser stuff, I believe. This doesn't mean we shouldn't help people. I do mean that there are really weak ones who fall into the roadside of life. By all means we should take care of the weak until they become strong. But I always believe that being able to rise above one's deprivation through hard work is what makes leaders. Leading requires sacrifice to reach somewhere. It's the person with innate strengths -dignity and pride - that eventually takes our respective societies to greater heights.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

I don't think self analysis and/or pensiveness ever hurt the brain, Jewels, unless on acount of making it grow larger than the skull it sits into :-)

Jewels from Australia on June 01, 2009:

I had cause to look at this a while ago. Am still not sure I've nailed it. My spiritual teacher said I had/have false pride. It confused me so much, and I had to dissect it. Self analysis and pensiveness can hurt the brain sometimes!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

*wink* @ AG

Wow, Jewels, you're going ever further with your take -- not just touching on the positive or negative aspects of pride and arrogance, but also who's right to say whether arrogance is always negative. Bravo to you for adding this ethical perspective!

Peter from Australia on June 01, 2009:

LOL : Being in the grand father vintage . It was only a pop-gun.!

Great discussion . Or did I say that already ?

Jewels from Australia on June 01, 2009:

I do think there is good and bad pride. To not have pride in what you do makes for sloppy work, doesn't it? Is it the humbleness and/or vulnerability in the character that allows pride to be a positive?

Chris makes an interesting point about arrogance. I wonder if it's arrogance that could be akin to a negative dignity? To see this go to the very top of the food chain, provided the 'king' of the herd has integrity, isn't that a positive form of arrogance - the holding of dignity?

In interpretations of arrogance it's mostly a negative trait. But should it be? Isn't it a judgment of those who are not the king? And why is it wrong to be the king? (Replace queen with king if you are gender challenged!)

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Gotcha ag -- I wasn't aware that I was carrying a gun, though :-)

Cris - Glad it made you think -- I have been "troubled" by the similarities / differences of these two words and how people use them and understand them since my teen years -- a long time ago indeed... ahem!

Peter from Australia on June 01, 2009:

You have shot yourself in the foot there because Lisa was, as I was saying, that she felt pride in someone else not in herself.

When someone says to me "You must be proud of this or that achievement" I generally reply that I am very happy with what I have accomplished and rely on the generosity of others to say if it is good or bad. It may be a generational thing. !

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on June 01, 2009:

I think pride is dignity gone south of the border to arrogance and stupidity. While dignity stays true to form - with humility and a sense of what is practical :D

This made me think! But it a nice way of course :D

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Hey, ag! Don't you think one can feel "pride" at their own achievements? Maybe the fine line between "good" and "bad" pride is crossed when one boasts about it? But if it's humbly kept within the walls of your home, so to speak, then that's not necessarily bad? Like Lisa said, she felt pride for her little one, and rightfully so I think.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Hello, Lisa -- I totally agree that you can be dignified without being stuffy. Actually, "stuffy" and "dignified" seem to kind of contradict each other a bit in my mind?

The way you comment on "pride" (the good variety) being privately held and "dignity" being how others see you is a new take here -- up to now, mostly all of us mentioned dignity as something one feels inside, that doesn't need "approval". The way you describe "being dignified" it's how others see you, but it implies that you have self-respect, or others won't see the dignity in you.

Thanks for your take!

Peter from Australia on June 01, 2009:

Elena getting back to you example . If the father was dignified he was would have asked for help way before his pride stopped him asking.

So in that regard I feel that it is time related thing. I also agree with some others and say that you can feel 'pride' in someone else's achievements but should be humble and dignified in  your own.

As they say self praise is no recommendation.

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on June 01, 2009:

I see pride as a privately held feeling.  When I saw my little five-year-old standing and singing with his kindergarten graduation class it was an "inward pride".  I wasn't thinking of what others thought of him or me - only how proud, in my heart, I was "just for me".  I know some people are proud of themselves, but that's not how I use "being proud".   With the things about myself that I like, I keep those to myself and don't think about who else notices or doesn't.  Most parents know that feeling when their heart pounds a little with how proud they are "for" their child, rather than "of" him/her.

For me, though, dignity is the thing that involves how others see me.  Even though, for me, there's some element to how I see myself (in terms of whether I behave according to my "standards of dignity"), it's pretty much about how others see me.   For me, it isn't about dressing in a formal way, as the dictionary definition mentioned.  It's just about not dressing in an undignified way.  It also isn't about behaving in a formal way - only behaving with a certain amount of self-respect and dignity.  I don't see these like going on a laughing "binge" as "undignified".  To me, "undignified" would be things "unbecoming" a self-respecting person.  I think you can be dignified without being stuffy.


Elena. (author) from Madrid on June 01, 2009:

Iphi, what a great comment!  Muchas gracias!

"Dignified" can be a state of being, but what about "dignity"?  I don't know that I would call it an "emotion", but isn't it something that is felt?  Or do you think it's only appreciated by others?  I think one can "feel" dignity within oneself?

Geez, thanks to you (and all that have commented before) for making the comments section WAY more interesting than the hub itself! :-)

Iphigenia on June 01, 2009:

What a great discussion.

The idiom quoted by Hawkesdream "pride comes before a fall" was a favourite of my grannie's when I was a child - it was meant as a warning and I took it as such. And still do.

Therefore, for me, "pride" is a negative thing.

Often the word is misused as Teresa said - to feel "proud" of oneself or of somebody else would be better described as a feeling of "happiness" or a "sense of achievement" .....

Dignity - now my granny had a lot of that ! It seems to me that the most dignified people are also very humble. Dignity is something that can be discerned in another person and is a pleasant thing to be aware of .... but when another person exhibits pride it is not such a pleasant thing to observe.

"Pride" is an emotion and "dignified" is a state of being. One can FEEL pride "I'm so proud", but one IS dignified. Nobody would say "I'm so dignified" - unless they were inordinately proud of themselves !

As for the father and husband in your hypothetical situation - you have written the 2 sentences in the 3rd person - "he's too proud", "he's too dignified" - this is therefore the opinion of others.

I think that guy might not FEEL in the least bit dignified - and he might THINK that he feels too proud to ask for help - but what he is really feeling is shame because, according to the measures imposed by our society, he has 'failed'.

In this sort of situation shame is the opposite of pride - but therein lies another discussion.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Morning, everyone! Thanks for your comments!

LG - I'm sure you could say aplenty on the topic, if you set your mind to it :)

Shades - What you say makes a lot of sense to me -- I still hear older people use "dignified" or "dignity" in that sort of context, and it continues to make me wonder. Maybe it's simply the cultural background?

VioletSun - Nice take, dignity being related to ethics and morals, and pride to mind/ego - I think you're right, too, thanks!

MM - That's a great comment, and no, it doesn't confuse, it actually gives my dizzy mind a couple of "tools" to get the right word -- this "proud OF something" being "good", and replacing "pride" with "integrity" when I'm having doubts will be very helpful, thanks!

Feline - Shush, I purposefully removed the "pride of lions" from the definitions, not to get sidetracked on this curious matter :-) I never thought about the immediacy of pride compared to dignity, but I guess I get what you mean, it'd be in line with Shades' comments, I think.

Feline Prophet on May 31, 2009:

Dignity seems to be a more distant and remote word than pride, which somehow seems more immediate...don't know if I'm making sense! :P

And what about the dignity of a pride of lions? :)

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on May 31, 2009:

An excellent topic, Elena!

In your example of the father, I would agree "proud" is the right word. He was too proud (or full of pride) to accept help.

Dignity to me applies more to one's behavior. It's the way one conducts oneself, or purports oneself. It's a demeanor and a bearing rather than a character trait. And as you pointed out, it never has a negative connotation, although I believe one can "lose" one's dignity (perhaps by reacting with too much "pride").

Pride to me is inherently internal. It is something you have or feel. You can feel a sense of pride over something (an accomplishment) but you can't feel a sense of dignity over something.

To say "He's proud" is not a compliment. To say "He's proud OF something -- like his son's grades, his relationship with his coworkers, etc." is a positive.

Here's a thought. Try substituting the word "integrity" for "pride." To me, "integrity" is a good synonym for pride (the good pride). And when you have "integrity" you tend to conduct yourself with "dignity."

Hope this hasn't confused the issue firtuer! MM

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on May 31, 2009:

I would say, dignity has to do with one's ethics, morals, and one can be humble while having dignity and dignity often comes from the heart. The jobless father in question to my perception is proud, and this comes from the mind/ego which is concerned with appearances; the part of us that has fears of not being able to provide for the family and so on.

Just my take on this. :)

Shadesbreath from California on May 31, 2009:

I would say that your second example in the father/son example is right on.  The first one doesn't fit as well in my mind.  Being "very dignified" in my mind has more to do with one's bearing, inward and outward, as one of culture and self-possessed decorum.  I'm not sure that it would be the motivating characteristic for going to the ends of the earth to feed one's family.  One could be a total slob, have no dignity OR pride, and still be willing to go to the ends of the earth to feed one's family.  That one reads as a non sequitur to me.

LondonGirl from London on May 31, 2009:

I agree with you Elena - and the comments, too. Said it much better than I could!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Oh, they sure can!  We're talking profusely about the negative connotation of pride here.  If you think about it, in many a situation, pride *will* have a negative connotation, but if you look it up in the dic, it's not really so, not in all cases.  But the way it's used...

Geez, again, I repeat, I'm glad I put this out there :-)

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 31, 2009:

Yes, and it's a question of manner over intention. It's never dignified to let your family go hungry because of stubborn pride. Humility and dignity would go together, in this case.

Older aunts can be so set in their ways, can't they?

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Yes, Teresa, and because of that, many would say that for this man to try and go to the end of earth and back to try and provide would be very dignified.  It would maybe seem silly and disrespectful (to his family) to me, but some (my older aunt??) would say it's pure dignity.

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 31, 2009:

I agree with Jama. Unfortunately, though, there's more to it than proud behavior sometimes being undignified. Men are raised to believe they HAVE to be the providers, and so it is difficult for them to accept help.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Honestly, Jama, I'm with you.  I just hear both used in such a context, and I wonder sometimes.  I think, now that I've put it down on writing, what I wonder the most about are the perceptions that make us say "proud" or "dignified" to qualify certain behaviors.

I'm glad I wrote this nothing of a hub :-)

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on May 31, 2009:

I'd say the father in the hub was *too proud* to accept help.  By not taking it, his wife and kids will always remember the negative aspect of "too proud", not the postive "he had the dignity to accept help" because the family *as a unit* needed it. 

IMHO, men "too proud to accept help" are only thinking of themselves.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

As a matter of fact, I am feeling that way Teresa -- I thought to go by VTF this morning and post this, but it was such a long post that finally decided to put it into this hubby piece here.

Had lunch with in-laws yesterday, and a lot of stuff came by the forefront about respect, pride, dignity and .... well, there goes a hub :-)

Edited to add: What would you say about the father in my example?

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 31, 2009:

I think some folk confuse "pride" and "happiness" -- as in, "I'm so proud you won a scholarship" -- when they really mean that they are simply pleased. Then there are the political ramifications of terms such as "civic pride," which means "you'd better conform or else."

Dignity, as you say, is an innate trait that has no relation to outward circumstance. Thoughtful hub-- you feeling pensive?

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Hey, I like that one, Hawkes -- "Pride comes before a fall" ought to do the trick in more than one situation!

Al Hawkes from Cornwall on May 31, 2009:

I think your definition is right, I remember that ' Pride comes before a fall' this always helps when choosing the right word for a given situation.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Thanks for your opinion, francia!  I like the way you put it, "Dignity is not increased when one lives in a mansion or decreased when in a hovel."

What would you say of the father of my example? Is he demonstraing dignity or pride, do you think?

franciaonline from Philippines on May 31, 2009:

You're right, Elena. Many people blur the line between Pride and Dignity. I totally agree with your definition. To add, here's a situation: Dignity is not connected with the size of one's house. Dignity is not increased when one lives in a mansion or decreased when in a hovel. Pride is positive only when referring to one's sense of dignity, as in...pride in one's hard work; pride in one's history of volunteerism, etc. Outside of such concept, pride is one of the seven deadly sins, indeed. The world will be destroyed if superpowers forget that dignity and greatness are the offsprings of humility. The same is true with individuals.

Thanks for your thought-provoking hub!

franciaonline from Philippines on May 31, 2009:


Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 31, 2009:

Ponder away, amiga mia. This is one that twists my knickers often enough for me to put this hubby hub out there and check out what's up with the rest of the world :-)

Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on May 31, 2009:

I would say your second paragraph under "my take" is right on the money. Interesting topic to bring up Eleni. I'm going to have to ponder this one a bit.

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