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Why you should always retain your humility


The phrase ‘eating humble pie’ is normally at the disposal of those who love to take people down a peg or two. It’s used less as advice and more as a put-down. Humility is a quality we like to see in people more for our benefit than theirs because it improves our self-esteem. We feel less intimidated when we see people make the effort to not talk about their accolades and achievements. We get less Facebook envy when friends choose to post only a select few photos of their gorgeous holiday in Egypt. There are, however, better, less facetious reasons to be humble.

The case against humility

The type of humility we see often is false modesty. The ‘humblebrag’ phenomenon of Twitter – retweeting praise to indirectly boast about your talents – is a great example of being humble to disguise our vanity and pride. There is something arrogant in practising humility, as if to say you are not only a high-flyer, but so, so nice and unsuspecting about it too. You did great, and you didn’t even work hard enough or believe you deserved it… it doesn’t sound as likeable as you think, does it? It takes belief that you really are an all-round fantastic person that everyone should love to be humble in this way. We see it in the celebrities who try to endear themselves to fans, or the multi-millionaires who dress in basic, shabby clothing. The case against such humility isn’t the result of jealousy, nor does it aim to hurt the confidence of others. Simply put, we get fed up with the dishonesty behind acting humble. It becomes difficult to make genuine connections with someone if you feel there is no balance between you as people. Good relationships are built on give and take, and the more you pretend to not have flaws, the more you distance yourself from sociality. [How to feel good about yourself] You’re too perfect to help or be helped. The air of untouchable becomes a literal thing.

What is real humility?

Being truly humble often has nothing to do with the self. It requires being able to see through the facades into the true matter at hand, and not being afraid to say it. Humility is about admitting the truth and realising the strength in truth. [How to face up to feelings of denial] The opposite of humility isn’t always arrogance. It can be pretension or hypocrisy. If you’re the kind of person who is uncomfortable with people being in denial or worshipping others blindly, you are naturally a humble person. Think of it in terms of often-heard term ‘humble beginnings’. When you only have what you need and value them dearly, you are living humbly. Of course, you don’t have to live as close to this as possible, and it doesn’t automatically deserve admiration, but it is true humility.

Humility requires transparency. You can’t be afraid to be open and vulnerable. Let people have the opportunity to give you feedback on problems you’ve identified, whether in your personal and professional life, and take the tips on board to make things better. It takes admitting that you’re not perfect in order to get closer to the perfection that people often pretend they have. Let humility be to your benefit, not others.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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