How to Be Humble

Being humble doesn't mean you think any less of yourself. What it does mean is that you don't believe you're any better than anyone else. If you want to learn how to cultivate the art of humility, read on.
How to Be Humble
Cristian Muñoz Escobar

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristian Muñoz Escobar.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Our education is conditioned by the social, cultural, and linguistic environment in which we live. It has a significant influence on our character, how we treat others, and how we make decisions. However, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be educated in virtues like humility.

One of the most notable consequences of humility is the feeling of peace it gives us when we decide that it’s the way we’re going to govern how we position ourselves in the world.

Humility has been studied by philosophy and religion and they both possess different ideas about the concept. That said, it’s widely accepted that humility, as a virtue, makes an individual responsible for the consequences of their own actions.


Woman with eyes closed
Humble people admit their mistakes.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, humility is defined as “the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people”. This suggests it has no room for arrogance and it recognizes others as equals, including those with limitations and weaknesses.

Kant stated that humility is a central virtue, which gives us a proper perspective on ethics. On the other hand, Buddhism views humility as a bastion, along with self-awareness. It means that the human being is freed from suffering. In fact, Buddha began his own story by leaving his comforts behind to meet his authentic self. Another paradigm of humility and the awareness of what we are is the masterpiece, Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse.

The humble recognize their mistakes. Furthermore, they’re the best conversationalists of all, since they forget themselves, so to speak. That’s because they’re excellent listeners. They’re simple people who listen calmly in order to later present their arguments without ever imposing their point of view on others. They’re receptive, understanding, and know how to command respect. They also know how to process suffering, never deny pain, and don’t allow themselves to be martyrs to the contingencies of life.

“People of true merit are neither proud nor foolish, but humble, because their idea of true value is so high that they cannot satisfy or equal it, and they are aware at all times of the distance that separates them from that ideal.”

-Immanuel Kant-

How to be more humble

The humble person is able to advance along the path that leads to the answers that intrigue them without losing sight of the characteristics of their material ecosystem and psychic reality. In fact, they’re aware of the limitations of their understanding to recognize the complex and infinite breadth of the world.

If you want to cultivate a little more humility in your daily life, try putting the following actions into practice:

1. Avoid judging others

Dignity, an essential value of humility, isn’t measured by academic titles or professional achievements. If you want to be more humble, you must treat others without prejudice and without the filter of stereotypes, so you can clearly recognize that others have dignity too.

To achieve this goal, don’t be hasty and generate hypotheses and expectations about others, but keep in mind that there’s more than one point of view for everything.

2. Create genuine bonds

True riches are measured by the quality of feelings, not by the value of material things.

A humble person cares about generating genuine ties, woven with the threads of empathy, generosity, and honesty. At the end of the day, true bonds are measured in dark moments, failure, and suffering, not in triumphs, pleasures, or complacent abundance.

3. Remember that you’re no better than anyone else

This pattern is closely related to the previous one. You’re you, no better than anyone else, neither are they any better than you.

We all have differences that make us unique, which means that comparison is inevitable. However, reciprocity allows you to share respect and admiration toward others and vice versa, regardless of material assets, positions of power, or economic circumstances.

4. Take into account others’ points of view

Sometimes it’s more important to understand than to be right. Furthermore, absolute truth doesn’t exist, only verifiable points of view, causes, and actions.

If you already understand your own point of view (as long as you’re self-aware), why not enjoy understanding others? Indeed, learning from others demonstrates the richness of subjectivity and empathy. You get to know yourself and who you are through knowing others. You cultivate generosity.

Sharing with others what you have and what they need is more important and valuable to them than material things. Being generous means giving from your heart to others.

These tips to help you become more humble will allow you to understand what the world and others present to you should be based on respect and sincere interest. You should be aware of yourself and not be afraid to assertively state what you feel and think when the moment demands it.

The humble person is active, calm, and prudent. They’re always ready to learn, don’t deny their ignorance, and recognize others through a lens of reciprocity without being naive.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Kant, I. (2013). Lecciones de ética. Editorial Planeta.
  • Lucas, K.; Groot, K. & Towle, A. (2013). El desarrollo de humildad cultural mediante el aprendizaje servicio crítico. Ciencia y Enfermería, XIX (2), 35-46.
  • Maceiras, M. (2008). Humilde dignidad cotidiana. Anales del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía, 25( ),99-106.

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