Humility Vs Low Self-Esteem – 5 Important Differences

Humility is very different than low self-esteem it is almost the opposite, however many people confuse them since they might manifest similarly in some situations.

In this article, I will try to show you the differences between having low self-esteem and humility and why they are so different that you should not ever mistake one for another when you meet a person.

What is low self-esteem?

A low self-esteem person is someone who lacks confidence, doesn’t believe in themself, and feels like they are good at nothing or very few things.

People with low self-esteem focus more on not making mistakes rather than making something they are proud of, and they focus too much on not disappointing other people around.

What is humility?

Humility is the sign of being humble and modest and understanding that you are not good at everything, but at the same time, you are fine with this. It is the opposite of pride, cocky, or overconfidence, and it is an intentional decision of letting your mind open to learning new things, even in the fields where you are pretty good.

Some people might confuse it with low self-esteem, but it manifests drastically differently.

humility vs low self-esteem

5 Differences between humility and low self-esteem

1. Intentionality

Humility is something that you are consciously doing on purpose to keep you open to new ideas and new things to learn, not to annoy people around you are making them feel inferior to you.

When you show modesty rather than overconfidence, you will give other people the chance to show you what they know, and that way, you can learn from them. While by being overconfident, you might annoy people and make them don’t want to share what they know with you because you give them the impression that you already know everything.

Low self-esteem is not something people do on purpose and want to be a quality they are associated with. So humility is a choice, while low self-esteem is not.

Read Also: Sharing Your Dreams And Goals In Life

2. How they manifest

Humility is manifested by being humble, modest, and open to learning more and getting better but with confidence and not by fear.

A person with low self-esteem is paralyzed by the fear of failing and disappointing other people, which limits their ability to learn new things since they are not focused on improving but rather on how bad they are and how to avoid mistakes.

Low self-esteem might also manifest by hiding the fact that you have low self-esteem and posing as overconfident. That is the opposite of what a humble person will do even if they are confident about a topic.

This obviously leads people with low self-esteem to an awkward and difficult situation when their confidence is challenged.

Also, low self-esteem might make you afraid, and do your best to avoid all the circumstances where you might be put in challenging situations. This leads to a lack of progress in different fields of our life.

3. Confident vs. unconfident

A person with humility is often confident even when they say they don’t know something, while a person with low self-esteem will have difficulty understanding that it is ok not to know everything.

This is a very common problem I noticed from people around, there are not many people that are willing to say with confidence,” I know nothing about this topic” or “I’m not good at this thing”.

We have a problem in our country because we believe that any man should know how to do all the house repairs and so on, which is crazy if you think about it. How likely is it to simultaneously be a good electrician, painter, plumber, interior designer, and so on? However, I know very few men who confidently say they are not good and ask for advice. I had a full apartment renovation recently, and many of the guys I hired were shocked when I asked for basic things, but they were happy to explain to me, and now I know more than before the renovation.

At the same time, I know people who knew things wrong or very little and argued with the professionals because they don’t want to admit that they might be wrong or they don’t know, and obviously, they end up with a disaster.

I haven’t asked them with my head down or things like that, but I said, “Look, I haven’t done this before, so clearly I’m not good at most things in this field, please explain to me this and that”.

4. What it says about you

Humility shows that you know what you want and what you are good at. Also, it shows that you don’t do things to impress other people around, even if you might have what it takes to be proud or overconfident.

Low self-esteem shows that you don’t trust yourself, and you believe you are worse than others in many areas.

5. What you get out of it

When you show humility, you will be more reliable to other people, they will most likely not envy you as much and will respect you because you are not overconfident even in a situation when you might be entitled.

That doesn’t mean that you should not be proud of yourself but don’t be annoying to others and overconfident. You should focus on sharing the facts and not bragging, and only when the other people are interested in what you have accomplished, and it might inspire them.

Read Also: 5 Differences Between Being Clingy And Being Affectionate


There are big differences between humility and low self-esteem, and if you pay attention to yourself or other people, you will know how to tell them apart.

I hope you will know from now on when someone is modest and when someone doesn’t trust themselves.