Everyone loves a humble person, because who can’t love someone who shoots for the stars, but still remains down to earth?
While it’s important to celebrate every arrow that lands, there’s a fine line between being proud of yourself and being outright arrogant, to float so high off the land you’re unable to see reality.
That line can often be blurred, making it difficult to see if someone’s bragging or simply celebrating a win—but these 14 behaviors can reveal a person’s true level of humility.
Want to know what they are? Read more below!
1) Admitting mistakes
It’s so easy to point out other people’s mistakes.
That’s why we have so many art critics who usually can’t even create their own art, food critics who don’t actually know how to cook, and opinion writers who can’t live up to their own righteousness.
Their abundance goes to show that it’s so easy to criticize other people’s mistakes, but impossibly difficult to own up to your own. That’s your ability to admit your mistakes can reveal your true level of humility.
Being truly humble means to sincerely apologize to the people you’ve hurt, make the proper reparations, and most of all, make an effort to never do it again to show that you’ve learned from the mistakes you’ve made.
2) Learning constantly
Everyone should be in a constant state of learning and personal growth, no matter the age.
But you’re truly humbled when you meet someone who knows better than you do.
It can be so scary to meet other people who might be smarter than us in fear of looking stupid, but if you’re truly humble, you won’t avoid being in the presence of a smarter person.
You won’t shy away from people who know better, because no matter how good you are at your craft, you know there’s always someone better whom you could learn from.
3) Knowing that there’s always someone better
Society rewards people who are brilliant in their craft. When you’re the best, you’re irreplaceable.
That’s why it’s so hard to accept people who are better than us, because we see them as threats.
When you don’t grow out of this belief, arrogance becomes a defense mechanism that protects you from the perceived threat of replacement.
But if you make an effort to learn humility, you will actively seek out people who are better than you, because you want to be better, too. You don’t see them as threats, but opportunities for growth.
Moreover, to become an even better person, you will train yourself to see feedback and criticism as advice that can help you grow.
4) Accepting feedback and criticism
A person’s true level of humility is revealed with how open they are for feedback and criticism.
If you’re arrogant, you’ll only see them as mere personal attacks that insult your authority and apability.
To be humble means to listen to feedback from other people and to realize that fresh perspectives are always helpful for your growth.
In fact, your ability to accept feedback and criticism also helps you become willing to ask for help.
5) Being able to ask for help
Asking for help means lowering your pride to show vulnerability, which then reveals your true level of humility.
If you’re not able to swallow your pride and ask for help, you’re far from being humble. That means you believe in yourself too much to ask for help, even when you’re struggling.
And this kind of pride makes you hog all the credit in a group work, unable to recognize other people’s efforts.
6) Giving credit where it’s due
While it’s natural—and even healthy—to feel envious of others’ milestones, it’s another thing to be so jealous of them that you discredit them for something they worked so hard on.
That’s why your true level of humility is revealed when you’re able to give credit where credit is due.
You compliment people for their hard work, boast about your friends’ achievements, and feel unadulterated joy when you see them doing the things they’ve always wanted to do.
Because while it’s not your turn yet, you find happiness in celebrating other people’s wins.
7) Celebrating other people’s wins
To celebrate other people’s—especially your friends’—wins is essential to make meaningful connections in life.
But you’ll be surprised at the amount of people who bring others down when they’re seen at their highest. Instead of celebrating with them, they actively try to discredit them and reduce their achievements down to nothing.
That’s because arrogant people think other people’s wins are their losses.
A person’s true level of humility is revealed in their ability to celebrate other people’s wins, and when they actively listen and see their loved ones bask in the joy of their achievements.
8) Listening actively
The amount of time a person talks and listens in a conversation reveals their true level of humility.
If you’re the one who always talks, and only talks about yourself, you’re an arrogant person.
But if you listen and ask questions and only talk about yourself to relate to others, you’re a genuinely humble person.
You’re a joy to talk to because you don’t make everything about yourself, because your genuine curiosity about others makes people feel seen and heard. Instead of cutting others off while they’re speaking, you’ll patiently wait your turn.
9) Waiting their turn
The way someone approaches a conversation says a lot about their humility.
I’ve been with a lot of people who can’t wait their turn to speak. I’ve been cut off multiple times while speaking, and it definitely feels quite mortifying—like I’m treated as background noise rather than as a person with meaningful things to say.
So when someone listens to me, doesn’t cut me off, and waits their turn before responding, I feel seen and heard.
These people are the most humble people I know, and they’re my absolute favorites because they don’t only listen to me—they also know how to say thank you when I’ve done something for them.
10) Knowing how to say thank you
Knowing how to say thank you is one of the marks of a humble person.
Arrogant people are often too proud to express gratitude or appreciation, because they feel entitled to your time and energy to say thank you.
That’s how you can uncover a person’s true level of humility. When they say thank you, even to the simplest things, instead of simply dismissing you as if you’re they’re loyal servant, they’re truly humble.
11) Empathizing with other people
Your ability to empathize reveals your true level of humility. If you treat people with dignity, take their feelings into consideration, and treat their needs as important as yours, you’re a humble person.
But if you’re arrogant, you will step all over their feelings without remorse. You’ll be too proud to say sorry because you believe you’ve done nothing wrong.
That’s why it’s so hard for proud people to retain meaningful relationships.
12) Retaining meaningful relationships
I’ve had a friend once who didn’t have any friends before they met me. I genuinely thought we’d be together for a long time, but after seeing their true level of humility, I decided to cut them off.
That’s because they’re too proud to say sorry when they hurt my feelings, and will find ways to make me feel insecure about myself.
Their behavior made me see that they’re far from being humble. In fact, since I cut them off, they haven’t been able to make lasting friends.
That’s because humility takes you far in life. If you’re humble enough to see the needs of other people, you’ll be able to make meaningful relationships like my former friend never did.
Because with friendships, when you’re too proud and self-interested, you won’t be able to make decisions that benefit everyone.
13) Making decisions that benefit everyone
When working in a group, a person’s true level of humility is revealed with the way they make decisions.
If they only further their own interests even at the cost of other people’s happiness, they’re far from being humble.
But if they consider everyone and try to make a reasonable compromise despite their differences, that shows that they’re truly humble, because they’re able to make decisions that benefit everybody.
Their ability to make decisions that benefit everyone, instead of only themselves, show that their self-worth is stable enough for them to avoid selfishness.
14) Knowing their self-worth
Our idea of arrogance is people who see themselves to be too worthy to be around others, or to put others’ needs above their own.
But when you know your worth, you don’t have to bring other people down to feel better.
If you’re humble, you won’t feel the need to overcompensate with arrogance. You don’t see others to be less important than you, because you know how much you’re worth.
In fact, knowing your self worth is the true mark of humility—because even when you reach great heights, you’ll still be able to stoop down the level of others to understand their humanity.
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