If someone uses these 12 phrases in a conversation, they lack humility

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You know when you’re chatting with someone and think, “Whoa, they sure think highly of themselves?”

We’ve all bumped into folks who seem a bit too pleased with themselves.

But is there a way to tell if they’re not really humble?

You bet there is. Just pay attention to what they say. Certain phrases can be a giveaway.

Let’s have a look at 12 phrases that might mean someone isn’t as humble as they could be.

1. “I already know that.”

Ever been in the middle of sharing something interesting, and the person you’re talking to cuts you off with an “I already know that”? It’s a bit of a downer, isn’t it?

This phrase is a classic sign of someone lacking humility. It not only dismisses your input but also implies they have nothing more to learn.

A humble person knows there’s always something new to learn and would rather say, “That’s interesting! Tell me more.”

2. “I did it all by myself.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments, but when someone insists they “did it all by themselves,” it can be a bit of a humility red flag.

It dismisses the help and support they may have received along the way.

A more humble response might be, “I couldn’t have done it without the support I received.”

3. “I’m the best at what I do.”

I remember once chatting with a buddy who just wouldn’t stop saying, “I’m the best at what I do.” It got me thinking, “Really? The absolute best?”

This phrase can scream a lack of humility. It overlooks the fact that there’s always room for improvement, no matter how good you are.

A humble alternative might be, “I work hard at what I do and always strive to improve.”

That’s my go-to phrase now. It keeps me grounded and open to learning, growth, and improvement.

4. “I don’t need anyone’s help.”

This statement, “I don’t need anyone’s help,” is often a clear sign of lacking humility. It shuts the door to collaboration and teamwork.

A more humble way to express self-reliance might be, “I can handle this, but I’m open to help if needed.”

Interestingly, asking for help can actually increase someone’s inclination to like you. This is called the Benjamin Franklin Effect.

5. “I don’t have time for this.”

This phrase can be a real heartbreaker. When someone tells you, “I don’t have time for this,” it can make you feel small, unimportant, and dismissed.

It’s a clear sign of lacking humility because it fails to respect the value of others’ time and contributions.

A more humble response might be, “I’m quite busy at the moment, but I’d love to hear about this later when I can give it my full attention.”

6. “I don’t make mistakes.”

This one takes me back. I remember when I was fresh out of university, starting my first job. I was reluctant to admit my mistakes, often saying, “I don’t make mistakes.” I later realized how this made me seem arrogant and not humble.

With time, I learned that it’s okay to make mistakes – they’re stepping stones to learning and growth. Now, when I goof up, I say, “I messed up there, but I’ve learned from it.”

Real growth happens when we own our mistakes and learn from them. 

7. “I don’t care what others think.”

Someone who says, “I don’t care what others think,” might seem fearless or independent, but often, it’s a cover for a lack of humility.

It sends a message that they don’t value other people’s opinions or feelings.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important not to let others’ opinions control your life. But a more humble approach might be, “I value others’ opinions but ultimately make my own decisions.”

Let’s not pretend we’re islands. We’re all in this big, crazy world together and everyone’s voice matters. 

8. “I deserve better.”

While it’s important to know your worth, the phrase “I deserve better” can sometimes come off as entitled, signaling a lack of humility.

A more humble way to express this sentiment might be, “I’ve worked hard and I believe I’ve earned an opportunity for better.”

Knowing your value doesn’t mean you can’t be humble!

9. “I’m always right.”

I’ve got to admit, this one used to be my motto, “I’m always right.” It was a defense mechanism, a way to boost my confidence.

But over time, I realized it was a barrier that kept me from learning and growing. It was a clear sign that I lacked humility.

Now, I try to remind myself, “I strive to be accurate, but I know I can be wrong sometimes.”

Being wrong isn’t a weakness, it’s an opportunity to learn something new. 

10. “I don’t need to change.”

Ah, the ol’ “I don’t need to change.” It screams resistance and a lack of humility. Change is a part of life. It helps us grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.

But when someone says they don’t need to change, they’re shutting the door on self-improvement.

A more humble approach would be, “I’m open to change if it helps me grow.”

11. “I’ve never encountered a challenge I couldn’t handle.”

While confidence in one’s abilities is admirable, claiming to have never faced a challenge you couldn’t handle can be a sign of overconfidence and a lack of humility.

It overlooks the fact that everyone encounters difficulties they may struggle with at times.

A more humble response might be, “I’ve faced my fair share of challenges, and I’ve learned and grown from each one.”

12. “My way is the only right way.”

Insisting that your way is the only correct way can be a clear indicator of a lack of humility. It dismisses the value of different perspectives and approaches.

A more humble perspective might be, “I believe in my approach, but I’m open to considering other viewpoints and learning from them.”

Humility is about recognizing that no one has all the answers, and there’s always room for growth and improvement.


These phrases can be red flags signaling a lack of humility. But remember, we’re all human. We all slip up and let our egos get the best of us sometimes.

The key is to recognize it, learn from it, and strive to do better. After all, humility is not thinking less of ourselves; it’s thinking of ourselves less. And that’s a journey worth taking!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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