Open Question: To Be Confident or Humble?

confident-womanIs it greater to have confidence in yourself or be more humble? And is it possible to be both at the same time?

It is one of the greatest ironies of life — people are encouraged to have confidence in who they are and believe in their worth, at the same time they are discouraged from displaying too much confidence. Instead they are told to stay humble and are praised for presenting themselves as unassuming and self-effacing, especially when their accomplishments or skills appear to be more praiseworthy. Public figures are criticized for displaying pride in their achievements, those who are lauded as attractive or intelligent are chastised if they note such qualities in themselves.

Thus confusion is created; most are unsure if they should show any confidence in their innate gifts or practiced skills. How much confidence is too much, when is it warranted, and when will it be considered arrogance? Perhaps it would be better to display humility, after all, it is a virtue.

Due to being unsure of what side of the fence they should be on, some end up choosing one side over the other — complete confidence or utter humility. As a result these people are labeled as arrogant or lacking in self-esteem. No matter which you choose, you can’t win.

So today I’m wondering: do you personally find it better for a person to be confident or humble? Which are you and which would you like to be: confident or humble?

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Open Question: To Be Confident or Humble?

  1. The opposite of humility is arrogance or self importance not confidence.
    My advice is show a confident face to the world and be humble with your friends and loved ones.
    You can still be respectful and modest at the same time as being confident.

  2. Hello Miss Alee,

    I could not wait to comment on this one! In true humility, one acknowledges their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Humility is not the opposite of confidence. I think humility is not running your mouth all the time about how good you are, but putting in the work to be good and letting the results do the talking! Humility is also acknowledging the people, circumstances, and luck that have gone into making you what you are.

  3. Hi Sherry 🙂

    Great way of putting things! I didn’t think humility was truly opposite of confidence, but it seems people like to make them out to be. Like when someone says that they’re not really that good at what they do or dismiss compliments and point out all of their flaws people go “How humble.” It’s really weird.

  4. Agree with Sherry. Having confidence should enable you to know when to be humble.

  5. I know being humble often makes people being perceived as incompetent (or invisible), but personally, being overly confident is such a turn off for me. Overly confident people seem fake and too pushy to me.

  6. foosrock,

    But what if it doesn’t? I’m just theorizing here, but maybe some people aren’t born with the “humble” gene.

    Mira,

    “I know being humble often makes people being perceived as incompetent (or invisible), but personally, being overly confident is such a turn off for me. Overly confident people seem fake and too pushy to me.”

    What would you say is too confident? What does it look like for you?

    Some perceive me as too confident/arrogant…of course I disagree.

  7. billy,

    “My advice is show a confident face to the world and be humble with your friends and loved ones.”

    Why this way and not the other way around? Just curious.

  8. What would you say is too confident? What does it look like for you?

    Hmmm… Let me see. I think I like to see a person displaying some self-doubt and insecurity or at least neutral behavior. I don’t buy the whole “pretend you’re the best, pretend you think of yourself as the best and others will believe it”. It comes off as fake.

    For example, when a person presents himself like he knows everything there is to know about a job and like he’s the best at it. So it prevents him from asking questions or seeking help. Which makes him fuck up completely.

    Stuff like this. It can be about anything: looks, education, knowledge about a subject, etc. I think self doubt and being humble is much better because nobody is always correct and nobody is always the best. So being a bit humble actually makes you look more real and more rational and more capable in my eyes than a person who thinks he can do no wrong. (Also, being humble is a safety net: when you fuck up, like everybody does from time to time, it’s ok, because everybody is human and nobody expected you to be perfect; but if you present yourself as “I’m the best, I can do no wrong” then it’s a total embarrassment and humiliation when you fuck up). So if nothing else, people should be a bit humble to avoid this massive humiliation.

  9. Quiet confidence. You don’t have to rub it in’s everyone face. You don’t have to shout to the world that you’re the shit. If you really are gods gift people will see it for themselves. People respect those that are quietly confident rather than those that show off and are pompous little jerks.

  10. I believe that the is a thin line between arrogance and confidence.

    Confidence is knowing who you are and be comfortable with who you are without being aggressive about it. Confident people are usually friendly, assertive, they compromise with others and they value suggestions or feedback from others and they do not feel threatened (unnecessarily). Confident people are more “We” in a team work

    Arrogant people on the other hand: usually think that they are above everyone else and they are usually know-it-all, it’s always their way or the high way, ***there is a huge difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness *** and arrogant people usually employ aggressiveness and intimidation to get their way. Sometimes arrogant people tend to put up a front (behind closed doors, they lack self-esteem) Arrogant people are “I,I,I ” in a team and in everything and they can be conceited

    In conclusion, Confident people are well balanced, they are humble but yet they do not sell themselves short.

    That’s my opinion.

  11. Mira,

    “So if nothing else, people should be a bit humble to avoid this massive humiliation.”

    Lol, good thoughts! That’s definitely a good reason people should err more on the side of humility. (Interesting how humiliation and humility have the same root though!)

    Froggie,

    Commenters can only use one name, and that includes you. I’ve changed your name back to your usual. You’re welcome. 🙂

    “People respect those that are quietly confident rather than those that show off and are pompous little jerks.”

    Why is it either quiet confidence or loud, obnoxious jerk?

  12. Mkhululie,

    “I believe that the is a thin line between arrogance and confidence.”

    Interesting, but the characteristics you used to describe them sound completely different! It’s probably difficult for people to see when they are leaning more towards to the arrogant end.

  13. @ Alee

    “It’s probably difficult for people to see when they are leaning more towards to the arrogant end.”

    Self-awareness is vital, and with that being said – a constant introspection is mandatory from time to time – that’s how we learn/grow/change. I know it’s important to trust yourself and to believe in yourself and not let others make you doubt yourself. However, it’s also important for one to listen/ observe to how others respond to you and then make a sound judgement(either change or not), for an example; If your family members, and your partner and/ or friends “that you trust” say that you are “jerk”….that might (mean) that you are a “jerk”.

    Another example in my own opinion would be – for those who have seen “Scandal” the series, Olivia Pope is confident, driven and she is not scared to appear vulnerable and you can see that her staff respects her and she values their input(she is a team player and she does admit when her judgement is wrong), on the other hand – Cyrus is arrogant – he is bossy and thinks he knows what’s best for Fitz and he is self-centered..etc

    I hope the above example does make sense?

  14. Oh another thing

    Being humble keeps you on the ground with people and arrogance means that you are above people. There is a saying in my native tongue isiXosa, that says” A bird can fly up to the moon but it has to come down and eat of the ground”

  15. “Why is it either quiet confidence or loud, obnoxious jerk?”

    Well…Cuz I said so, that’s why! :p

    I don’t know why it automatically filled in that as the name…

  16. Froggie,

    “Well…Cuz I said so, that’s why!”

    In that case I guess it really isn’t. 😉

    “I don’t know why it automatically filled in that as the name…”

    It remembers what you put in so you or someone else probably used that name on this or another WordPress blog…

  17. Well that is the name I started with when I signed up. It’s also funny because I believe that this is the first time visiting this site on this browser.

  18. You can absolutely encompass both humility and confidence equally, however, what you cannot control is anyone else’s perception of you. Some see humility as weak, while others see confidence as strong, and vice versa. When I lived in a metro area I led more with my confidence, then when I moved to a rural community it was better to lead with humility. It really depends on the people you are around, so shifting yourself to make others comfortable usually serves as a complementary situation for yourself. Leading with polite is usually best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s