Does Confidence Make You More Humble?

Is humility a byproduct of gaining confidence? Think of people you know who exhibit higher than usual levels of confidence. As each person comes to mind, recall their behaviors.

Do they come across as arrogant? Do they seek others’ approval? When complimented, how do they respond? Let’s explore each of these questions in more detail.


I doubt that you considered any of them arrogant. My experience has been that confident people rarely consider themselves special…even though they are. Confident people:

  • Have no illusions that they know everything.
  • Are always open to the possibility that they might be wrong.
  • Know that they can learn from everyone they meet.
  • Welcome new ideas and perspectives…even ideas at odds with their own.

These are hardly the qualities of an arrogant person. While confident people tend to be very open and transparent, arrogant people often appear to be closed minded and ambiguous. Ambiguity helps them avoid challenges to their position.


Confident people don’t need others’ approval. They are comfortable in their own skin. While they appreciate kind, encouraging words, they don’t need them to feel good about themselves, to feel fulfilled.

Because confident people don’t need others’ approval, they don’t seek it. Their indifference to others’ approval doesn’t come across as arrogant or aloof because they simply don’t consider themselves special.

That is the essence of humility…that you appreciate and value the skills and abilities you’ve acquired without feeling that you’ve accomplished something others cannot. Indeed, confident people typically encourage others to believe in their ability to achieve anything they desire.


Upon receiving a compliment, confident people will typically:

  • Say “Thank you.”
  • Remind the other person that they too possess these qualities/abilities.
  • Help others develop the ability if they don’t possess it.

The confident person doesn’t deny or denigrate their own abilities, nor do they tout them. They let their abilities speak for themselves.

For you

When you meet someone who appears arrogant, self-serving and desirous of others’ approval, realize that they lack confidence. That doesn’t make them bad people, it means that you have an opportunity to help them gain the confidence they need. In helping them become more confident, they will become humble.

For our kids

As you encounter people, especially in the presence of your children, who lack humility help the person gain confidence. Your kids will see how readily confidence turns arrogance into humility.

After the person has left, let your child know that the person was simply lacking confidence. Help your child realize that they have an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better when they meet someone who is self-serving and arrogant.

Let them know some of the techniques that work well for you in bolstering other peoples’ confidence. When they come up with techniques of their own, congratulate them on their creativity and their concern for the welfare of others. In doing so, you enable them to be more confident…and more humble.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs.

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.

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