If Humility is your top strength, you do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.
Humility falls under the virtue category of Temperance. Temperance deals with strengths that protect us from excess. It is the practiced ability to monitor and manage one’s emotions, motivation and behavior in the absence of outside help.
A common misconception is that humility involves having a low self-esteem, a sense of unworthiness, and/or a lack of self-focus. However, true humility involves an accurate self-assessment, recognition of limitations, keeping accomplishments in perspective, and forgetting of the self. Humble people do not distort information to defend or verify their own image, and they do not need to see-or present- themselves as being better than they actually are.
Nelson Mandela- A Paragon of Humility
Place attention on others.
Exercises for Boosting Humility
Resist showing off accomplishments for a week and notice the changes in your interpersonal relationships.
Notice if you speak more than others in a group situation.
Admit your mistakes and apologize even to those who are younger than you.
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama
The Truman Show
Son of the Bride
The Pride of the Yankees
Movies are an art-form highly suited for inspiring character strengths and helping in the discovery, understanding and exploration of these positive aspects in human beings. Ryan Niemiec (VIA's education director) and Danny Wedding explore 1,500 examples in their book Positive Psychology at the Movies, 2nd edition (2014). They explain that the best positive psychology movies meet the following criteria:
- Strong portrayal of a character's signature strengths which are critical to the character's identity;
- Depicts conflict/obstacles that challenge the character;
- The character uses strengths to overcome the adversity;
- The film's overall presentation is uplifting or speaks deeply to the human condition.
- The film holds great potential to generate cinematic elevation (i.e., it causes people to feel motivated to do good and increases their altruism) or cinematic admiration (i.e., it causes people to want to improve themselves and copy the model).
Viva La Vida – Coldplay
With a Little Help From My Friends – Beatles/Joe Cocker
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
I Feel Pretty – West Side Story
Big Time – Peter Gabriel