True humility is not heard by talking about it, but by talking about others. By being less focused on self, and more focused on those around us. Ask yourself how much of your conversation with others starts ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’? True humility is seen in serving out of the limelight—away from the attention of social media, rather than carefully documented ‘acts of kindness’.
I was watching a clip the other day about a 911 emergency call operator who twigged that something was up with a 911 call they received. Albeit it took them considerable time to figure out that the person couldn’t speak openly because the antagonist was within earshot. Apparently the person had tried several times to get an operator to realise the issue. But eventually this one did, and in the interview said, “I was so humbled to think that I had realised what she was saying when four others hadn’t.”
“I was humbled”—perhaps one of the least subtle of the humblebrags I’ve seen. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘humblebrag’, it means to boast whilst seeking to appear humble.
It crops up all over social media—self-promotion in many ways being of the essence of social media. Often it incorporates a complaint of some sort, which acts as a foil to the real boast, “Why do I always get asked to work on the most important projects—something ordinary would be nice for a change!”
Or it may be a photo with a self-deprecating caption, but with some carefully positioned designer item in the background—a sort of “Hey, I want you to notice, but I want you also to notice that I didn’t want you to notice. I want the kudos for both.”
It is the manner of doing it—a desire to appear virtuous, while desperately drawing attention to your achievements, possessions, status, etc.