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Pride vs. Vanity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 16, 2023
Pride is a feeling of self-respect and accomplishment, while vanity is excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements

Key Differences

Pride refers to a genuine sense of self-worth and satisfaction in one's achievements, whereas vanity reflects an inflated self-image, often obsessed with appearance or superficial attributes.
While pride can be seen as a healthy recognition of one's abilities or accomplishments, vanity is often viewed as a shallow obsession with one's self, typically focused on external perceptions.
It is possible for individuals to take pride in their work, their values, or their growth without being vain. Conversely, vanity might lead one to seek constant validation and admiration from others, even if undeserved.
Pride is an internal feeling and can exist without the need for external validation. Vanity, on the other hand, is more externally driven, often relying on the opinions of others to sustain itself.
While pride can motivate individuals to achieve and contribute positively, vanity can sometimes deter genuine self-improvement, as the focus shifts to maintaining an image rather than pursuing genuine growth.

Comparison Chart


Genuine sense of self-worth
Inflated self-image


Abilities or accomplishments
Appearance or superficial attributes


Internal feeling
Externally driven


Often seen as positive, unless excessive
Typically viewed as shallow and excessive


Can lead to achievement and positive contribution
Focuses on maintaining an image, might deter genuine growth

Pride and Vanity Definitions


A sense of self-worth and dignity.
She took pride in her work ethic.


Excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements.
His vanity was evident in his many mirror selfies.


A group of lions.
A pride of lions roamed the savannah.


Worthlessness or futility.
All the riches in the world are but vanity.


Confidence and self-respect expressed by members of a group.
They marched in the parade with LGBTQ+ pride.


Empty boastfulness.
She recognized the vanity in his constant bragging.


Satisfaction derived from one's own achievements.
His pride was evident when he displayed his medal.


A dressing table.
She sat at her vanity to apply her makeup.


The best state or condition of something.
The car was the pride of his collection.


An instance of being vain.
Despite his many vanities, he was charitable.


A sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect.


Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceit.


Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association
Parental pride.


Something about which one is vain or conceited
"One thing ... rather quenched her vanities.


Worthlessness, pointlessness, or futility
The vanity of regretting missed opportunities.


Is pride always linked to personal achievements?

No, one can also feel pride for others, like family or community achievements.

What is pride?

Pride refers to a feeling of satisfaction derived from one's own achievements or qualities.

How is vanity different from pride?

Vanity is often seen as an excessive or inflated sense of pride, especially regarding one's appearance.

Can pride be positive?

Yes, pride can be a healthy sense of self-worth and self-respect.

How is vanity perceived in society?

Often negatively, as it can indicate superficiality or self-absorption.

Why is pride considered one of the seven deadly sins?

Historically, excessive pride was seen as putting oneself above others or even above divine entities.

How is vanity defined?

Vanity involves excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements.

Can vanity be considered narcissistic?

Yes, excessive vanity can align with narcissistic traits.

Why do people say "pride comes before a fall"?

It's a proverb suggesting that overconfidence can lead to mistakes or failure.

Can one be proud without being vain?

Absolutely, one can have self-respect without excessive self-focus or arrogance.

Is there a positive aspect to vanity?

In moderation, it might encourage self-care or maintaining one's appearance.

Can communities or groups exhibit collective pride?

Yes, such as LGBTQ+ Pride, celebrating identity and advocating for rights.

In literature, how is vanity depicted?

Often as a flaw leading to a character's downfall or as a comedic trait.

Is taking pride in one's work considered vanity?

Not necessarily; it can be a healthy acknowledgment of effort and achievement.

What's the connection between vanity and physical appearance?

Vanity often concerns undue concern with one's physical looks or attractiveness.

Can pride be related to cultural or national identity?

Yes, people often feel pride in their cultural or national heritage.

Can vanity be linked to insecurity?

Yes, sometimes an overt focus on appearance or external validation can mask deeper insecurities.

How do pride and vanity affect self-esteem?

While pride can bolster genuine self-esteem, excessive vanity might indicate a fragile sense of self-worth.

Are there synonyms that soften the negative connotations of vanity?

"Self-assuredness" or "self-confidence" might be seen in a more positive light.

How can vanity affect relationships?

It might lead to self-centered behavior or a lack of genuine connection with others.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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