13 Habits of Humble People

Humility is the key to sobriety and success

Alcoholics and addicts become highly self-centred and selfish. Their behaviour appears grandiose and arrogant. Therapists point out that this arrogance arises from low self-worth. 

One of the main goals of recovery is to become a ‘better person – from a selfish, manipulative, egotistical person to one that is humble, caring, compassionate and free from any trace of arrogance.

In the popular 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an important part is to confide our ‘character defects’ to another human being. An extraordinary dividend of this step is humility. 

 What is humility?

Humility is a word that is often misunderstood. It is often associated with being too passive, submissive or insecure, but this isn’t true. 

Humble people are usually confident and competent. They are comfortable being themselves. They typically help others. They do not feel the need to boast about themselves. Instead, their action speaks for their values. Humble persons do not think less of themselves but think of themselves less. 

To be able to identify humble people, check out these 13 habits they have (this may help you to gain some insight and inspire you to inculcate some of these traits in yourself):


They are Situationally Aware

Situational awareness is a part of emotional intelligence. It means being aware of oneself, the group around oneself, the actions of each and the social dynamics involved. Situationally aware people aim their focus outward as they try to absorb and learn more about their situations. 

They Retain Relationships

Studies indicate that humble people are more likely to help friends. As a result, they maintain long-lasting personal and professional relationships. A survey of more than 1,000 people—with roughly 200 in leadership positions—showed that companies with humble people in leadership positions had a more engaged workforce and lower employee turnover.

They Make Difficult Decisions Easily

When faced with difficult situations, humble people tend to put others’ needs before their own, respecting the moral and ethical boundaries and base their decision-making criteria on a sense of shared purpose instead of self-interest.

They Put Others First

Humble people are aware of their self-worth. Therefore, they don’t feel the need to project themselves before others to demonstrate to them how much they know. Instead, humble people understand that nobody cares how much they know until those people know how much they are cared for.

They are Good Listeners

It isn’t very pleasant to be in a conversation with someone keen to get their words in. You can see their mental gears spinning – a sign that they are not interested in what you are saying. They believe that what they have say is more valuable than what you are articulating. It’s clear that they think they are the centrepiece – you are merely an audience. 

Humble people, on the other hand, actively listen to others. They don’t try to dominate a conversation. They’re curious about others’ views and interests. This is one of the secrets of success. It not only forges solid bonds but also further adds to the knowledge because they are listening. There’s an adage in AA: Listen to learn; Learn to listen. 

They are Curious

Humble people know that they don’t have all the answers. They are always ready to learn. They seek knowledge from others’ experiences and are forever looking for opportunities to learn. 

They Speak Their Minds

While active listening is an important quality, humble people do not hesitate to speak their minds because they are neither afraid of being wrong nor judged. They know the value of action. They can summon the courage to face difficult situations and graciously accept the consequences of their actions. 

They Always Remember to Say “Thank You”

No matter how engaged they are or distracted, they make it a point to express their gratitude to everyone – even the most minor service. 

They Believe in Abundance

Humble people don’t believe in petty “wins” or “losses”. If someone has lost or won, they don’t dwell on it. They look ahead. They believe there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. They are forever seeking communication and collaboration. 

Their Sentences Start with “You” Rather Than “I”

Humble people always think about others in their thoughts and conversations. They look for and praise others, while prideful people brag about themselves. 

They are Open to Feedback

Humble people are always receptive to constructive criticism. They actively seek it. After all, they know that feedback is but actively seek it because they know that feedback is an effective way for improving their practices.

– They Assume Responsibility

Rather than passing on the blame to “the system” or others, humble people assume responsibility by speaking up and owning their part.

They Ask for Help

Part of being humble means knowing that you don’t have all the answers. No one does. Humble people acknowledge what they do and do not know and actively seek help.

Humility is a sign of great persons. Small people are self-indulgent and self-seeking. We should all try to inculcate these habits, so that we learn and grow in our lives, sharing credit and wealth with others.

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