On Humility Vs. Confidence


What is more valuable, humility or confidence?

It seems like there are two routes to take when trying to connect with other people. For someone to take an interest in another, she needs to appear likable, and we can all get really bogged down by this. What is likable? How can we become more likable? Some emphasize the importance of being humble, while others say things such as, “confidence is key.” I can see the value in both of these traits, yet they are almost the complete opposite of each other.

To me, humility means being mindful of others and less focused on ourselves. When talking to other people, whether just meeting them or having been friends for a while, it’s always nice to focus on them. Ask them questions and genuinely take an interest in them. People take comfort in having another person show a consideration for their lives.

Confidence, on the other hand, can prove valuable while connecting with others as well. Sometimes it’s really hard not to dwell on our own shortcomings or even just how others see us. When this happens, sometimes its best to play the role of someone who’s secure with herself so that we don’t appear meek or insecure. There’s definitely a fine line between confidence and arrogance though, and it can be hard not to overstep it. Unlike with humility, if we play the confidence card, we could wind up talking more about ourselves, or worrying even more about how we appear than before.

I want to ask you guys, my readers, which of these values they find to be more important. What approach do you take in your life so that other people find you interesting, down to earth, or friendly? Is there a balance? What could people do who are really focused on how they appear and can’t seem to break free from it?

As part of “Two Way Hump Day,” you can answer below in the comments, write your own post and tag it, “Two Way Hump Day,” or tweet @oshitbritt.


9 thoughts on “On Humility Vs. Confidence

  1. I believe in humility more than I believe in confidence. Confidence is a quality that is used for selfish purposes. Humility, on the other hand, is a quality that shows genuine appreciation and care for others. Without having humility, I believe there would be no meaning in our existence.

    • That’s a good point. I wonder, then, why people tend to be drawn to confident people. Do you think confidence can be mistaken for humility, in the way that timid people tend to be shut off from others?

      • I believe it is humankind’s natural tendency to judge everything by the cover because that’s the easiest way to quickly make up a perception about something. And this is why confidence has come to be touted as a holy grail of characteristics. When someone is truly confident in themselves, as in they’re completely comfortable with who they are in the environment they’re in, it simply exudes outwards without much work. They stand up straight, they look people in the eyes, they do most things with ease and grace. Everything that we portray to others externally is much easier to perceive, and therefore most often used as a judgment of character, than qualities that are on the inside.

  2. I don’t know if people mistake confidence for humility, but I’ve found that most people who have humility are confident. The same cannot be said the other way around.

  3. Pingback: Quote of the Day 48 – And Now, with a Fierce Humility: LEAD! | Steven Bowen's Blog

  4. Pingback: Talent is God given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be grateful. Conceit is self-given; be careful. | philosiblog

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  6. I oftentimes struggle with this as well. I also think there can be a fine line between humility and self-loathing. I feel that confidence and humility both have the common thread of being truly comfortable enough with yourself that you know yourself well enough that you don’t need validation from others– which manifests in humility, and also that you are compassionate enough to yourself that you forgive yourself for you flaws and can genuinely appreciate yourself for your strengths. In this way you don’t need to prove anything to yourself through acting arrogantly but you also have a strong foundational sense of self. It definitely is a tricky line, and it probably takes some practice to figure out how to portray yourself correctly, another thing we need to be forgiving of ourselves for. I think the toughest part of all of this is first cultivating a solid sense of self.

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