Humility is the nature of a person who has no desire to draw attention to himself/herself, and who is willing to treat other people with respect. A humble person will not speak highly about themselves in an effort to draw attention or gain admiration. More so, they will not speak lowly about another person in an effort to diminish them. Instead, they will focus on their meaningful goals and occasionally try to make other people feel good about themselves.
A humble person will not say, ‘I am humble’. They know they are humble, but have no reason to say so. They may show apathy and as such tend to mind their businesses, but they never look down on other people who approach them. Showing apathy is not always bad. To some extent, some level of apathy is needed to stay safe and secure in this world. When you make other people’s businesses your business, you do not only risk adding more burden to your life, but also risk being treated with contempt by the same people you show sympathy. Sympathy is good and should be shown when we can, but some level of apathy is also necessary.
False humility is when we try to make other people think that we are humble. Because the virtue of humility is widely extoled in the world, many people want to be associated with it. The desire to be associated with the virtue of humility, by other people, is false humility. False humility is the nature rooted in the desire to earn a reputation for showing humility. It is a form of pride. People who show false humility are not truly humble. The reason behind their action is to draw attention and gain admiration.
A genuinely humble person is comfortable with having no popularity, fame, or recognition. He/she will not covet the admiration received by a neighbour. While a colleague may be praised for being highly competent, the genuinely humble person cannot be disturbed as a result. This is because truly humble people do not desire recognition, fame, and popularity, and therefore can never covet them. People with false humility, however, cannot help begrudging their highly recognized neighbours.
Furthermore, a truly humble person has healthy self-beliefs. They know their strengths and weaknesses, embrace their imperfections, and still think they are valuable and worthwhile people. Even when they are diminished by other people, they never think less of their self-worth. They will not diminish other people’s self-worth because other people have disrespected them. They will not speak ill of other people behind their backs. Moreover, they show no interest in finding out what’s happening in other people’s lives. Instead, they concentrate on those things that really matter- their goals and relationships.