Humility is an under-appreciated quality in our society.
the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others; lack of pride
Now, I ask, by this definition, do you feel you possess humility?
Or do you find that most people you encounter possess humility?
Humility is an important quality to possess. Being humble is about being self-aware–being able to recognize and accept one’s limitations as an individual and human being.
When you are humble you are able to put your strength, talents, and accomplishments in perspective. You are also able to recognize the strengths, talents, and accomplishments of OTHER PEOPLE.
Humble people are able to value the well-being of other people–thus being both other regarding AND self-regarding.
It does not take long in getting to know someone to see if these possess a sense of humility.
Humility shines through in our interactions with others and the way we conduct ourselves in the world at large.
Humility is about modesty. It is a way of behaving where you do not act as you are better than other people or more important. Modesty entails letting other people shine and being able to appreciate the good in others. A modest person does not feel the need to diminish other people. Humility is when you no longer feel the need to put yourself above others, yet you don’t put yourself below them either.
Being prideful, arrogant, cocky—are all qualities that drive people AWAY from us. People will leave their interactions with a prideful person feeling disaffirmed, unappreciated, discouraged, invalidated, and dismissed.
Being modest, humble, and possessing humility—are all qualities that drive people TOWARDS us. People will leave their interactions with a humble person feel affirmed, appreciated, encouraged, and validated by us.
There are many misconceptions we as a culture hold about humility.
Some people feel you can’t be humble AND ambitious at the same time. Or that being humble makes you appear weak. We live in a world where ego gets attention–just look at some of our political leaders at the forefront of the daily media news cycle. Arrogance and false bravado makes headlines whereas modesty seems to fade into the background. It is not as flashy as ego driven behavior so people tend not pay as much attention to modest displays.
More so, humility can feel soft at a time when problems are hard which makes the very proposition of humility feel very uncomfortable for many. To display humility, you need to be comfortable with being vulnerable–something people are often not comfortable with. This is driven largely by the misconception that humility is viewed as weakness by others.
Yet as human beings, we all have our days where our pride gets in our way. Our ego gets the best of us. We are human after all. But for many people pride drives their life and is a fixed characteristic.
- a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherishedin the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
- the state or feeling of being proud.
- a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Yet pride as a personality trait is not something TO be proud of. Pride is often driven by poor self-esteem and shame. A person who feels so badly about themself that they compensate by feeling superior. They look for others’ flaws as a way to conceal their own. They relish criticizing others as a defense against recognizing their own shortcomings.
Are you confident and comfortable enough in who you are to stay humble? Are you brave enough to admit you don’t have all the answers? These are not easy questions to answer for any of us.
To possess humility you need to tame your competitive reflex. We need to fight the urge to show ourselves better than other people. In our culture, which very much is driven by a me first mentality, this can seem like a daunting task.
You may struggle with pride if you do any of the following:
~Offer unsolicited advice to others about how to live their lives
~Feel the need to one up people when they talk
~Always feel you have a better solution, suggestion, idea
~Feel the need to debate someone who has a different opinion than you to prove them wrong
~Feel you are owed something (entitled)
~Rarely say thank you
~Can’t ask for help
~Believe it is your way or the highway
~Often compare yourself to others
~Give your opinions about EVERYTHING
~Love to point out the faults in others
~Care too much about what others think of you
~Feel compelled to demonstrate how smart you, capable you are, accomplished you are (bragging)
~Feel compelled to use your kids to prop up your ego much to their dismay
~Tell people how to raise their kids better
~Refuse to admit when you are wrong
~Tell people how to manage their careers, relationships better
The fact is humility is a reflection on how you truly feel about yourself. The greater your sense of self-worth, the easier it is to appreciate others, to praise them, and to encourage them.
We need more of that in our world.
Humility is realizing you’re just as valuable as every other human being on the planet, no more and no less. Remember that the idea is to be grateful, think of others, and embrace the virtues of humility. An idea we can ALL benefit from.
Counseling can help you gain perspective and develop healthier ways of relating to yourself and others.
To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):
Anew Counseling Services LLC
617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649