Our society is becoming more and more narcissistic every day. We are obsessed with physical appearances and senses of entitlement. We are self-centered, and take everything for granted. We do not understand what humility, yes, yet we all claim that we are humble.
Vanna Bonta once said, “Humility is the ability to give up your pride and still retain your dignity.” Being humble does not mean letting yourself being pushed around by others. Being humble means standing up for yourself, but letting go of useless arrogance and damaging self-importance.
Unfortunately, media has taught us that the only people we should care about are our own selves. Still, in a society that doesn’t promote selfless values and altruistic conduct, we must still learn how to give more than we get. We must learn how to be selfless, authentic, and humble. Dr. Pelin Kesebir from the University of Colorado shows us a new approach on humility.
She believes that
“a quiet ego quiets death anxiety,” and that “humility is a great existential anxiety buffer.” (Kesebir, 2014)
1. The Psychology Behind Humility
Dr. Kesebir explains how easy it is for us individuals to accept our life roles as soon as we accept being humble. She believes that these two key elements are connected, and together, they provide a great basis for understanding who we truly are. If we know what our strengths and weaknesses are, it is so much easier for us to develop. We no longer seek attention or approval from our peers. We know exactly what we want from this life, and stop spending time on impressing others.
Humility teaches us to acknowledge our limits and eventually discover the path to success. Humble people are less likely to drink heavily or smoke tons of cigarettes, since they are self-aware, mindful, and wise.
For the same above reason, humility teaches us to deal with the anxiety about our own mortality. It is not easy accepting that we are going to leave this world at some point, but humility teaches us that not everything revolves our lives. Therefore, accepting death becomes easier.
2.Being Humble in Life
If you are humble in life, you will start accepting people for who they really are. You will not classify them according to your beliefs, but instead, you will love them for being themselves. Therefore, it is easy to see how humility helps you build better relationships and make real, life-lasting connections.
Also, being humble will make it easier for you to apologize when you are wrong. Letting go of your ego will provide you the opportunity to say “I’m sorry.” You will embrace your mistakes and learn from them constantly.
Also, you are going to give out more than you will collect. You might be more willing to lend needy people money and help the poor. You will become truly interested in how other people live, and you will want to experience their culture.
3.Being Humble at Work
Humble people are the best employees. They do not ask for more than they need, and their greediness does not get in the way of doing their jobs. What is interesting is that the level of humility we can achieve in our lifetime is strongly connected to our childhood. If you are an only child, chances are your humility level will be lower than expected. But that is never a bad thing, you can always improve.
It is proven that humble people are better students too. Lola Smith, a freelancer at SuperiorPapers and full-time psychologist, shares her opinion. “Humble students have great people skills. That is because they truly care about their peers, and take the courage to understand them. Humble people are more likely to get out of their comfort zones.”
That is why humble people make great employees and students. At their workplace or university, they will be interested in what their colleagues have to say. They will try to solve conflicts in an amicable way, and they will avoid aggressive behavior. Humble people want to settle for peaceful compromises, so they are not likely to start a fight or engage in any useless debates. They admit to their mistakes if they are wrong, and people respect them for it.