Humility is, without a doubt, one of the most important things you can have if you want a healthy, thriving relationship.
But what part does humility play in a relationship and what does it look like, exactly?
Well, here in this article, I will lay down 10 ways our relationships can benefit from a little bit of humility.
1) Humility keeps conflicts from spiraling out of control
Many of us dream of having our “happy ever after”—a relationship where everything is easy and uncomplicated…one that’s happy all the time.
But sadly, there’s no such thing as a “happy ever after.”
You may find your perfect partner and even marry them, but you will nonetheless face conflicts throughout your relationship.
A good relationship isn’t one without drama, or arguments, or frustrations of any sort. Instead, it is one where issues are dealt maturely and resolved without much fuss.
And this is something you can’t do without humility.
After all, how are you to resolve conflicts if you keep one-upping each other on who is right and who is not?
With humility, you can make even the most complicated relationship problems much easier to deal with.
2) No walking on eggshells
Let’s consider the opposite of humility—pride, and illustrate just how harmful it is.
Let’s say that you caught wind of rumors that your partner is cheating on you, so you confront them over it. They tell you that, no, they’re perfectly faithful to you and even have proof that the rumors simply aren’t true.
But because of your pride, admitting that you made a mistake (especially if you got a little too dramatic about it) and saying sorry is way too much of a bitter pill to swallow.
It’s humiliating, and you won’t stand for it. So instead, you will just walk away or say something like “One day I will catch you” or “Sure, but I’ll be careful out if I were you.”
And this will put your partner on edge, making them feel like they have to constantly prove their faithfulness around you, such as making sure they’re never around others of the opposite sex or be caught chatting with someone late at night.
Humility gets rid of all this.
By accepting that you made a mistake for accusing them and apologizing, you take that pressure off your partner, which means that your partner doesn’t have to spend their days afraid of when you might come at them with an accusation they aren’t allowed to disprove.
3) It makes communication smoother
If you’re paying close attention, the previous example will also highlight another thing that humility offers—it makes communication much easier.
Taking the scenario I described earlier, having humility and accepting your mistakes means that you get the opportunity to sit down and talk about the issue together. In this case, you get to clarify what made you feel like they’ve been cheating on you, and they will get to tell you more about their side of the story.
You don’t even have to wait for big things like arguments for you to feel the effect that humility has in communication.
Even simple stuff like small talk becomes much more tolerable when neither of you have your heads up your behinds.
See, having too little or no humility can easily turn even a simple conversation into a minefield.
You might be talking about bird facts, but then they say a fact is the exact opposite of how you understood said fact. From there, it quickly becomes a matter of ego with neither of you backing down until you stop talking entirely.
I might sound like I’m exaggerating, but trust me—I’ve seen it happen.
With humility, you’ll get to talk openly without having to worry about offending one another and facing the risk of every conversation turning into an argument.
4) It removes the pressure to prove oneself
I mentioned earlier that even mundane exchanges like talking about bird facts or the history of the world can easily get heated if neither of you have enough humility to back down.
If you think about it, humility means accepting the fact that you’re a flawed human being like everyone else. But this is sometimes hard to accept for some of us.
It’s not entirely our fault. Modern society has programmed us into thinking that we’re special snowflakes who are geniuses with unique talents…and that, precisely because of these reasons, we’re meant to have the best of everything.
I found out just how destructive this way of thinking is after watching this video by Justin Brown titled I’m Sorry to Tell You, But You’re Not Special:
I have a feeling that this belief is one of the main causes of our anxiety and depression. And possibly for our relationship problems, too.
You see if we start to think we’re too special, being humble doesn’t come naturally.
And humility is one of the basic ingredients of good relationships.
When you can admit to one another that you can and will make mistakes, that neither of you are perfect, then there isn’t really any pressure to look more perfect than you actually are.
This doesn’t mean that you’re excusing your bad habits because you’re flawed anyway—you should still try to be the best you could be for your partner.
But it does mean that sometimes, you’re wrong about that bird fact you had so proudly belted out moments ago, and that pizza you made is, in fact, overcooked.
5) You’ll create a warm and nurturing space for both of you
A lot of what I have already described will make it clear just how warm and peaceful a relationship will be like when you’re both humble.
You get to avoid so many unnecessary arguments, and what arguments you do get are resolved quickly and cleanly.
And as you know, there’s an overall sense of peace from simply not being tense all the time.
Of course, you already know this from everything that I’ve written so far. But you know what, the fact that simply being humble can create an atmosphere like this in itself is worth talking about.
And that’s because a good, comfortable environment like this is conducive to personal growth and exploration.
You will feel much more comfortable trying out something new, like, say, carpentry. And should you mess it up, you can trust your partner to be honest with you and give you tips
And should you marry (if you aren’t already), then an environment like this would do wonders for any children you might want to raise together.
In fact, if you are to have children, you should first make sure that you’ve already built this kind of warm and nurturing space with your spouse.
6) You’ll learn more from each other
One good benefit of acknowledging that neither of you are perfect is the realization that you have a lot you can learn from one another.
Perhaps you’re bad at gardening, but have always wanted to give it a try… and, what would you have it! Your partner is actually an experienced gardener.
When you’re full of yourself, you might take that as a challenge. To learn “on your own” so that you can prove your own worth to your partner.
But if you’re humble, you’d accept that they’re just better at it than you are, and keep an open ear to whatever advice they might have to give. And if they’re humble too, they can give their advice in a way that makes you want to learn.
It’s the same deal with driving, cooking, fishing, cleaning the house, and even playing games like chess and checkers together.
Sometimes your partner will be better than you at something, and sometimes you’ll be better than your partner.
This give and take is that much more vibrant when you can manage to set your egos aside and exercise humility in your relationship.
7) You both become better people overall
We all have flaws. And while some relationships can bring out the worst in us, there are some that can bring out the best in us.
The kind of relationship that turns us into better people is one that acknowledges the importance of humility.
But the thing is that not all of us are born humble. And we can only change so much.
This is not a problem. The thing is that even if you’re actually egoistic and confrontational deep inside, being exposed to this kind of affirming environment for so long will change you.
You’ll eventually find it easier to sit down and keep your ego in check, as well as sit back when you feel your temper rising.
So in the end you’ll both end up as better people than you were before you tried to exercise patience and humility with one another.
8) There’s no need to worry about each other’s ego
When both of you are humble, then neither of you have to worry about making sure the other person’s ego isn’t being stepped on.
Achievements, knowledge, talents, privilege, and so on…become shared. As well as challenges and flaws.
You’re not trying to hold yourself back out of fear of achieving “more” than your partner, and your partner is free to assert their own likes instead of deferring to you when you speak up.
9) You’ll make them comfortable to be truly honest with you
A lot of people have the impression that if they aren’t told that something is bad, then it’s not bad—so they refuse to listen at all when someone has criticism of some kind to say.
But poop stuck to your boot will be there whether or not someone bothers to tell you about it. The mistakes and the consequences of those mistakes are that piece of poop stuck to your boot.
You can’t really wash it off until someone walks up to you and tells you about it, and being humble means that your partner will know it’s alright for them to do that for you…that you won’t take things personally!
For example, you may have a bad haircut, and your partner can tell you straight up that your hair wasn’t cut right instead of letting you take it all the way to the office for your coworkers to laugh at.
And this is just trivial. Imagine how much you’d both improve if both of you can be truly honest with each other. That can only be achieved if you’re both humble.
10) You’ll make others happy
By being humble, you will cultivate a nurturing environment for you and your partner, as well as any future children you might have together.
They will learn from the same environment that made you both the good people you have become and become good people themselves.
But it’s not just the children who can reap from your coupledom—your families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and everyone you know will find you a blessing, too.
Humility isn’t always seen positively—for some people, it’s almost synonymous with weakness—with being a “pushover.” And there are those who recoil from the word because… well, they are too proud of themselves and see it as humiliating.
But it honestly isn’t, and it’s in fact one of the building blocks to being emotionally mature. Through that, it is an important part of building a stable and happy relationship.
It’s not exactly an easy thing to instill in yourself, especially if you’re a naturally prideful person. But it’s worth all the effort because not only does it improve your love life, it improves your other relationships as well—even your relationship with yourself.