Humility is a trait where you esteem yourself lower than what you really are—it does not mean the absence of self-esteem, but rather not putting yourself on a pedestal above others. Humility is the absence of arrogance. Humble people do not have an attitude of self-importance.
There are many situations where you can say that one is humble. Today, we will share with you some of the most common behaviors that you can practice and how to show humility.
- You don’t think you’re better than everyone else.
- You know your own weaknesses.
- You do not boast about your strengths.
- You acknowledge that you can always improve and grow.
- You graciously thank your opponent when you win.
- You admit when you don’t know something.
- You honor your elders, parents and teachers for helping you to succeed.
- You’re grateful to your country for the opportunities and freedoms it gave you.
- You are not a sore loser and congratulate someone for beating you.
- You don’t gloat about your successes.
- You don’t think you’re above other people just because you are more successful than them.
- You always search for people who will challenge you and teach you more.
- You graciously thank people when they help you.
- You generously listen to other people and their opinions.
- You thank people who have helped you or invited you into their home.
1. You apologize if you are wrong
While people say that apology is for the weak, they could not be more wrong. Apologizing is not a sign of weakness; it is the courage to face one’s faults and accept shortcomings.
The issue with this, however, is that not all of us have the same principles of morality. Some people will never apologize—they cannot see what they did wrong. On some occasions, a person who refuses to apologize is also someone who lacks empathy, and this person can be viewed as a danger or threat by the people around him.
Related Article: 10 Ignorance Examples
2. You are not afraid to take risks
A humble person understands that losing is part of life. An arrogant person, on the other hand, always wants to win.
Losing is more common than you think. For every competition, there is only one winner. There is only one champion. So if it is a one-on-one competition, be satisfied that you reached the level where you had the chance to become a champion but failed.
Humble people take risks because they do not have a self-aggrandizing attitude that they must always win. Instead, if they fail, they see that failure as a learning experience.
3. You understand that you cannot control everything
Humble people know that they must give way to some things—that life is a compromise on many occasions. Arrogant people, on the other hand, want power and control.
At work, a humble boss would take on the duties of ailing personnel. A leader who shows humility is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Instead of being above the team, the leader is part of the team.
4. You can accept criticism
Humble people acknowledge that they are not perfect. Acceptance of constructive criticism means you are open to receiving feedback and criticism.
Today, when we are all exposed online, we cannot help but receive hurtful comments. A humble person should not engage. On the other hand, feedback is a meaningful process where we can improve ourselves.
Humble people take feedback and understand the underlying potential of how they can improve. Arrogant ones justify their behavior and insist on doing what they want.
5. You know when to ask for help
Humility means knowing when one problem is beyond your capabilities. Humble people are not ashamed to ask for help—they know they are in a bad situation beyond their control.
Arrogant people will not do this. Instead of asking for help, they would maintain their pride. As a result, they end up with bigger problems. You should not be embarrassed to ask for help at work or school, even if people say that you are “stupid” for doing so.
Asking for help is not stupid. Asking for help does not make you weak—it is a sign that you know your limitations.
6. You understand your faults and shortcoming
Arrogant people will never understand how they fall short of expectations. Humble people, on the other hand, see the big picture and try to keep up with the demands of their environment.
For example, we all have a part to play in a relationship. Arrogant people tend to be selfish and do not care about the impact of their actions on their partners. If you mention their shortcomings, they get furious and deny their faults.
Humble people do not deny their mistakes. Instead, they recognize their shortcoming and attempt to become a better person.
7. You respect the views of others
Humble people do not have prejudice. They look at things objectively and try to understand where the other person is coming from. On the other hand, an arrogant person always wants to be correct, believing that his view is the only view.
One good example of this is political affiliations. It is not unusual for a democrat and republican to bicker back and forth. They believe they are fighting for a just cause, but they do not realize that they are damaging their relationships.
We are not saying that you should not make a stand for your political views—you sold. However, it would help if you also acknowledged the other party for making a good argument.
8. You accept defeat and work hard to become better
Humble people accept the fact that they lost and face it with an optimistic attitude. If they lose, they attempt to find out why they lost and work to become better at what they do.
You may not get the promotion you have always wanted and worked hard for in the office. So instead of saying that the promoted guy is the boss’s lackey, why not look at why you did not get the promotion?
It will serve you better to find out what went wrong in your attempt to get a promotion than looking for reasons that justify your incompetence or lack of ability.
9. You do not compare yourself with others
A humble person does not compare himself with others, especially those beneath his status, to make himself feel good or superior.
Instead, humility dictates that you find good qualities of your competition that you do not have, and then you move to achieve or possess those qualities in the future.
Better yet, it would help to compare yourself with people who have far more significant and better achievements than you so you get inspired to make yourself superior in the future.
10. You admit your ignorance about some things
Lastly, a humble person admits ignorance. No one person on this planet knows everything. There are things in life that you are not an expert in—many things—and you must listen to professionals.
People today think they know everything because they have access to Google. You couldn’t be more wrong than this. A humble person will not argue with a professional, but an arrogant individual will.
Humility is one of the most challenging virtues, as it goes against our natural intuition of being superior to others. We seemingly have been programmed to cheer on the winners and put them on a pedestal, which is why we have a default mode where we want to be right all the time. Many people do not know that humility brings inner peace and joy. Humble people often do not carry a grudge and live happier lives than people who consistently think that life is a game about who is better.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.