AMOR PROPIO: Understanding the Concept of Filipino Self-Worth

AMOR PROPIO – Here are the important things we need to understand about the concept of Filipino self-worth.

Amor propio is a Spanish term that means “self-love” or “self-respect.” For Filipinos, it is very important to culture, representing their desire to be treated with dignity and valued as people.

It encourages self-discipline and a drive for excellence. With healthy self-respect, Filipinos strive to develop their skills and avoid actions that could harm their reputation.

Amor Propio

However, when someone becomes overly proud of their intelligence, wealth, or status, they might develop a superior attitude and disregard others’ needs. This inflated ego can justify corrupt actions and abuse of power.

Positive Effects

  • Ethical Behavior: Those with a balanced sense of amor propio are driven to behave ethically and responsibly.
  • Motivation for Excellence: It inspires individuals to strive for personal and professional success, enhancing their skills and contributions to society.

Negative Effects

  • Arrogance and Ego: Excessive amor propio can lead to arrogance and an inflated ego, where individuals become overly proud of their achievements and status.
  • Lack of Empathy: An exaggerated sense of self-worth can result in a lack of empathy and disregard for others’ needs and feelings.
  • Resistance to Feedback: Those with excessive amor propio may view constructive criticism as a personal attack, leading to stubbornness and an unwillingness to improve.

Link to ‘Hiya’

It is linked to the concept of hiya, which means a sense of shame or honor. Balanced hiya fosters self-discipline, but taken too far, it leads to an unhealthy obsession with saving face and denying faults, even when faced with valid criticism.

In the Workplace

In the workplace, it reflects a Filipino employee’s desire to be seen as an essential part of the company, not just a replaceable worker. They seek recognition and validation for their contributions, stemming from a history of colonial oppression and marginalization.

While this can fuel ambition and a strong work ethic, unchecked amor propio can lead to a sense of entitlement.

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