The Importance of Being a Humble Person

You should be well aware that your life isn't a competition with other people. Today, we'll talk about the importance of being a humble person.
The Importance of Being a Humble Person
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

One purpose that self-help books and techniques usually pursue is to teach us to grow as people. So, being a humble person seems to be a major priority.

That’s to say, starting with self-knowledge and the reinforcement of self-esteem, the idea is for your reference point to be yourself. This means that you don’t need to establish an external point of comparison, as the achievements that each person attains have value according to their particular circumstances.

However, there’s also the case of those who show that they want to be superior to others. Through their attitudes, behaviors, and way of relating to others, what they cause is an uncomfortable feeling around them, in addition to the continuous demands that they impose on themselves…

We invite you to reflect on this.

Trying not to be better than everyone else is what really sets you apart

A woman looking contemplative.
Many negative automatic thoughts only make the situation worse.

There’s an interesting trend catching on these days that experts are calling “spiritual materialism.” This is the current interest in taking care of oneself on an individual level but from an egocentric position.

When it comes to trying to understand yourself better, improve your self-esteem, and grow stronger and better every day, some people will focus on the wrong thing. Their main goal is to be better than the people around them.

That’s why it’s important to have a proper understanding of the idea.

You can develop new strategies to strengthen your self-esteem, enrich your relationships, and achieve greater things, but never at the expense of others or for the sake of being better than anyone else.

You might like: Self-Love 101: How to Love Yourself

Low self-concept

Overly proud people who feel a need to compete or act like they’re superior to others often have self-esteem issues.

The “pleasure” they get from pretending to be on a higher level applies to any aspect. It consists of showing off great abilities or even humiliating others. This attitude serves the purpose of compensating for the poor concept they have of themselves.

  • In your social circle, whether it’s at work or among friends and family, there’s always someone who uses sarcasm or ridicule to diminish those around them. Meanwhile, they try to show off their skills and how much better they are than everyone else.
  • On other occasions, we find those who choose to ‘play the victim’. They’re the ones who suffer the most, the ones who really know what rejection and feeling left out or undervalued is.

Both situations are examples of the same problem: The attempt to repair one’s own image by belittling or discrediting others. However, this tendency to measure yourself against the person next to you overlooks issues such as the following:

  • Comparisons are made from a single perspective, which excludes other types of evaluations or points of view.
  • Everyone’s talents are individual and incomparable.
  • This preoccupation with setting external criteria causes you to lose focus on yourself.
  • What’s more, such references don’t add value to the individual, but rather they rob you of the opportunity to value yourself on your own merits.

Being humble means not wanting or trying to be better than anyone else

A woman leaning against a fence, looking thoughtful.

When this competitive drive to be superior produces suffering or humiliation in others, it may be time to stop and think about some important considerations:

  • The greatest satisfaction comes from improving yourself, becoming a better person. You do this by competing against yourself, not exploiting other people’s weaknesses.
  • If you weren’t sure you could accomplish something at work  yesterday, or catch the eye of someone you’re attracted to, but you achieve that today, then you’ve managed to improve yourself.
  • This is where greatness truly lies: Constantly growing and improving in reference to yourself, not other people. Anyone who’s obsessed with appearances and the race to greatness will forget who they are.
  • Anyone who wants to be better than everyone else isn’t being humble. Humility is something you should strive for in everything you do, in all of your actions. Rather than being a sign of weakness or giving in to others, humility is one of your greatest strengths.
  • There’s great importance to being humble because it involves a high degree of self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Read more: How to Make Better Decisions

Success lies in believing that you’re no better than anyone else

Once you accept this, your main task will be to continue to grow as a person and become better every day.

Aspire to attain the happiness that lives in the kinds of little things that enrich your life. Ultimately, being a better person also has an effect on the people around you.

The noblest triumph will be, therefore, to accept ourselves as we are. If, in turn, we respect those around us, even if we don’t share their values, we’ll have taken another step forward.

The final reward isn’t material. Rather, it’s feeling good about who you are… On the other hand, a thirst for competition will leave you all alone. The importance of being humble is that it teaches you to be good, to be better, and not have a big head about it.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.