The Meaning of 'Humble'

Updated on December 6, 2018
Humble people are often good at being in touch with themselves.
Humble people are often good at being in touch with themselves. | Source

Humility is a heroic virtue. It is also terribly underrated as a virtue. This is probably because, more often than not, humility goes unnoticed. Humble people probably like it this way.


Is humility underrated as a virtue?

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What Humility is Not

  • A manner of conduct to be avoided
  • A way of hiding for unconfident people
  • A symptom of depression
  • A non-display of emotion
  • A time-saving mechanism
  • A behaviour exhibited by people who end up losing
  • A method of sycophancy
  • A technique by which to be self obsessed subtly

Examples of humility

  1. A student does most of the work in a school project but lets the entire team take credit for it.
  2. A mountaineer rescues another mountaineer from an avalanche situation but does not boast about his /her action in front of the press / media.
  3. A person anonymously donates money toward the chemotherapy expenses of a cancer-stricken stranger.
  4. A high-performing sportsperson does not take sole credit for the progress of his / her team to the finals of a world championship but rather shares the credit with his / her teammates.
  5. An actor who has won multiple Oscars praises the acting prowess of a relative newcomer.
  6. A husband credits his wife for the success of their marriage.
  7. A wife credits her husband for the success of their marriage.
  8. A worker has a terrible day at the workplace. He / she is given a thorough dressing down by his /her boss for a project that was allegedly not delivered on time. The worker hears out his / her boss patiently and does not retaliate verbally. The worker shows his / her boss the time log for the project to show him / her that the project was actually completed within schedule.

Humble People Are Generally...

Self deprecating
Self assured
Open minded
Emotionally secure

Humble People Are Generally Not...

Verbally abusive
Attention seekers
Self obsessed

The Benefits of Being Humble

  1. Being humble helps one stay grounded and realistic. Humility helps one see things as they are and not through rose-tinted lenses.
  2. Humility makes a person more approachable and easier to relate to. Since humble people have no airs about them, they are often a pleasure to spend time with.
  3. Being humble helps a person accept and acknowledge his or her faults when they are pointed out.
  4. Humility fosters patience. Humble people more-often-than-not possess a greater amount of patience than others.
  5. Humility allows one to be respectful of others and appreciate their efforts.

Humility makes one a champion. It makes one the kind of person who places others before himself or herself. A humble person is appreciated for his or her selflessness. He or she is considered mature and sought out as good company.

Humble people are excellent company. They are good at listening and keeping the focus on the speaker's perspective of things.
Humble people are excellent company. They are good at listening and keeping the focus on the speaker's perspective of things. | Source

How to Use Humility to Your Advantage

  1. Speak less about yourself. Speak more about the person you are conversing with. Appreciate him / her. He / she will begin to enjoy being in your presence.
  2. Listen more than you speak. Allow people to talk about themselves and tell you stories from their lives. It is very hard to find listeners these days. Being a listener will make you much sought after.
  3. Being modest at the workplace will make you appear more trustworthy. It could be the X-factor that helps you get a promotion ahead of someone else.
  4. Humility sets a powerful example. People will emulate your humble behaviour when they see enough of it and when they notice the impact you make.
  5. When you are in a relationship, your humility will help conflicts be resolved faster. Your partner will definitely notice your humility and begin to be more humble himself / herself.


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    • rohanfelix profile imageAUTHOR

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 

      3 years ago from Chennai, India

      I'm glad you found this useful, teaches12345!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      3 years ago

      Humility is one virtue everyone should practice and possess. Our world would be much kinder. Your post is well written and lays out so much truth for those who seek this character trait. Sharing with others.


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