A practical and philosophical deep dive into humility: how it can build confidence, foster honesty about our strengths and limitations, and help us achieve success
Daryl Van Tongeren is a leading researcher on the science of humility. In Humble, he gives this unassuming trait a much-needed rebrand, explaining why the humble enjoy a more secure sense of self, handle challenges better, and, indeed, are often the people we like the most.
That’s not to say Van Tongeren has mastered humility. (When he asked his wife to rate him on a scale from 1 to 10, she gave him a 4.) But in a world where narcissism is on the rise—where the shameless dominate social media and getting noticed is considered key to getting ahead—it’s not surprising that we all have a bit of work to do on our sometimes self-sabotaging egos.
In its true sense, humbleness is the happy medium between self-denial and self-obsession: It grants the holder an accurate view of reality. By seeing where we have room to improve, we can grow. By admitting our doubts, we can learn. And by acknowledging our own worldview as one among many, we can truly connect with others despite our differences.
A thought-provoking call to reexamine our values, Humble signals a paradigm shift—from the “self-esteem movement” run amok to a better world in which we lift up one another.
by Daryl R. Van Tongeren, PhD