Distinguishing True Humility from Its Two Extremes:
False Humility and Pride
False Humility
[thinking poorly of oneself, low self-esteem, feeling inferior]
True Humility
[lowly of heart – not arrogant or boastful, ready to serve, teachable]
Pride
[vainglory, being conceited, 
feeling superior, arrogant]
Self-defeating mind-set and poor self-image, evaluating oneself too negatively – I’m a failure, I’m worthless, I can’t do anything right, no one likes me. Self-forgetfulness, selflessness, not self-centered, not fearful about what others think of you, or preoccupied with self concerns Self-conceited – thinking too highly of oneself – an exaggerated opinion or exalted view of oneself
 
Tendency to be self-despising or to belittle oneself, to be self-deprecating around others, excessively modest, due to feeling inferior, useless, or unworthy  Balanced view of self and good understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses, and one’s role and position in the wider community and society Vanity and vainglory – excessive display, and boasting in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, and achievements 
 
Preoccupied with anxious concern for oneself, can’t focus on others 
 
Self-giving and self-sacrificing for the sake of others in order to help, encourage, serve, and care for others  Self-centered, self-seeking, and selfish, concerned chiefly or only with yourself and your advantage, to the exclusion of others
People pleaser – does whatever others want regardless of what is the prudent or right thing to do Lowly of heart – treats everyone with respect, care, and concern, regardless of their status, position, or worthiness, not playing favorites Selfish ambition and the drive to get ahead of others at their expense
 
Timid or insecure – lacking in self- assurance, afraid to take initiative, afraid to speak up or be assertive when needed Other-focused, mindful of others’ interests and concerns, and ready to put aside personal preferences to serve others  Domineering and over-bearing, too demanding, too opinionated, too outspoken, too assertive 
Overly dependent on what others think – lacks prudence to think and judge rightly Servant-hearted, ready to serve others wholly for their good without seeking personal gain Treats others as inferiors or unworthy of your care and concern
Fearful of correction and feedback because of low self-worth or poor self-image Teachable, receptive to receiving correction, training, and feedback Unteachable, refuses correction, resists feedback
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Chart by Don Schwager.
See helpful article: Attaining True Greatness – Humility versus Pride.

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