We all know that person who walks into a room and just steals the spotlight, right?
But then there are the quiet heroes among us, the naturally humble folks who don’t need the limelight to validate their worth.
They’re the ones who make a lasting impression without even trying. I have a childhood friend who’s exactly like this, and she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.
It got me thinking — what makes someone naturally humble? As I pondered this, I realized there are certain things that humble people like my friend tend to avoid.
I’ve identified 7 of these telltale signs, and if you shy away from these, chances are, you’re one of those hidden gems — a naturally humble person.
1) Hogging the spotlight
Ever been to a party where someone just had to be the center of attention? They’re the ones telling the loudest jokes, constantly updating everyone on their latest accomplishments, and generally soaking up all the attention like a sponge.
But then there are others who gracefully step away from the spotlight, allowing others to shine.
My friend loves art and design, and she won a big art contest back when we were in high school together.
She was asked to give a little speech to talk about her creation process. But instead of highlighting her skills and ideas, she focused on the help and support she got from the art studio and volunteers in it.
It was such a subtle move, but it spoke volumes. This friend had a chance to claim all the credit, but she chose to share the spotlight instead.
If you’re someone who feels more comfortable cheering for others rather than standing center stage, it’s a good indicator you’re naturally humble.
You’re not someone who seeks attention or needs to be the center of everyone’s universe. You’re perfectly happy letting others shine. In fact, you love lifting people up and giving them their moments to glow.
2) Oversharing on social media
All you need to do is open Instagram and you’ll see how some people post every single detail of their lives on social media.
From the perfect latte art in their morning coffee to the swanky places they go for vacations — every post seems like a meticulously curated showcase of their fabulous life.
My childhood friend? She has social media accounts, but she uses them sparingly. She posts moments that truly matter to her and avoids making herself the focal point.
I remember when she finished a challenging race — rather than posting a selfie with her medal, she shared a group photo and thanked her running mates for the incredible journey.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging people who love sharing online — it’s about the underlying intention.
If you’re the type who thinks twice about hitting that ‘share’ button, considering whether it adds value or simply feeds the ego, you’re probably leaning towards the humble side.
3) Bragging about your achievements
It’s clear from both examples above how my friend doesn’t brag about her achievements. And that’s another sign that someone is a naturally humble person.
In fact, whenever I catch up with her, I’m surprised to hear about all the quiet milestones she’s reached, whether it’s a promotion at work, an enriching travel experience, or even her kids thriving in school.
Because she never takes center stage to announce these achievements. You won’t find her broadcasting them on social media or steering conversations to focus on her own life.
Instead, when you speak with her, she gives her full attention to you. She’s genuinely curious about your life, your milestones, and your experiences.
It’s not that she doesn’t feel proud, it’s that her own satisfaction is enough — she doesn’t need the admiration or validation of others, and she’d rather focus her attention on those around her.
This behavior is not only refreshing but deeply insightful, and part of what makes her so charismatic.
4) Comparing yourself to others
We live in a world obsessed with comparison. It’s easy to fall into the trap of measuring our worth based on how we stack up against others. But my humble friend doesn’t play this game.
In fact, she’s genuinely happy for people when they succeed and doesn’t use their accomplishments as a yardstick to evaluate her own life.
Just the other day, we were on a walk and ran into another old classmate from school. He’s also into art, and told us how he has his own exhibition in a local gallery — something my friend has always dreamed of too.
You might expect a hint of jealousy or even a competitive spirit to flare up, but that’s not how she reacted. Instead, she was genuinely thrilled for him.
“That’s amazing! You must be so proud. I’d love to come see your work,” she said, her eyes shining with genuine enthusiasm. She even asked for details about the exhibition, promising to drop by and show her support.
Later, when I asked her if she felt a little envious, she smiled and shook her head.
“No, why would I be? His journey is his journey, and mine is mine. We all have our challenges and our time to shine, and this is his moment. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
If, like her, you can hear about someone else’s successes without turning it into a mental competition or feeling inadequate in comparison, that’s a sign of your own natural humility.
5) Always needing to be right
Let’s be honest — we all love to be right. And some people really show it — every conversation with them feels like a debate, and they won’t back down until they’ve proven their point.
But people who are naturally humble take a different approach. They never prioritize their ego over a meaningful connection with someone else. They’re secure enough to consider they might be wrong, and that there’s value in another perspective.
Let me give another example to illustrate. At our graduation party, my friend and I ended up having a group discussion about climate change.
She is well-informed on the subject, but another classmate was skeptical about the science behind it.
Instead of launching into a fact-driven monologue to prove her point, she listened intently to his perspective, acknowledged his concerns, and then gently shared some information and sources that might help clarify things, inviting him to share his own too.
It was clear she was more interested in opening up a dialogue than simply ‘winning’ the discussion. And that’s a sure sign of humility.
6) Making assumptions about others
Back in prehistoric times, making snap judgments whether someone was friend or foe was a matter of survival. While this tendency to judge served us well back then, it’s much less helpful today. Naturally humble people are particularly good at avoiding this common trap.
They understand that everyone is a complex individual with a unique set of circumstances, challenges, and triumphs.
Jumping to conclusions based on limited information can not only lead to misunderstandings but also rob us of the chance to form meaningful connections.
For example, at the race I mentioned above, my friend and I met a guy who, at first glance, came across as overly confident and brash. I heard others make some comments about how he was “trying too hard to impress”.
But my friend approached him with a sense of curiosity and openness. She struck up a casual conversation with him, asking about his experiences in the race and his training regimen.
And she found out he’s actually a very thoughtful person, just with a more boisterous way of expressing himself than most.
Because of my friend’s humble approach, she was able to see past initial impressions and make a new friend that day. And that’s one of the most beautiful gifts that humility can give you.
7) Holding grudges
Holding onto past hurts and grievances can be like lugging a heavy backpack wherever you go — it weighs you down and keeps you from moving forward.
We all understand this, yet it’s hard to let go — so many of us cling to the idea that we were wronged, and that we should get some form of revenge or acknowledgment.
But humility offers a different path. It lets you see the part you may have played, and consider the other person’s perspective. Maybe they had a reason or good intention for their actions, even if it doesn’t excuse what they did.
Recognizing that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is entitled to immunity from hardship, helps you let go of the urge to hold grudges.
With this humble mindset, you can forgive and release negativity, freeing up energy for better pursuits and peace of mind.
Embracing humility for a better life
Now you know 7 things that naturally humble people shy away from.
If you find yourself resonating with these traits, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re one of the hidden gems who makes the world a better place, not by shouting about your virtues, but by quietly living them.
But even if you don’t resonate with most of these signs, you can always make the conscious decision to start cultivating a humble mindset.
Remember, you’re the only one who defines who you are.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.