Humility might not seem like an important quality to have especially in our culture which normally praises assertiveness and self-confidence. A person who is humble, however, can experience many benefits from their ability to see and admit their own vulnerabilities. Acknowledging your own shortcomings can actually be a useful tool that can improve relationships and help you work harder to reach goals.
Humility is especially important for addicts because they deal with many problems of denial that make it difficult for them to see what they are doing wrong in their life. Instead of seeing what they need to change, an addict may revert to a kind of arrogance that protects them from having to face their issues with substance abuse. It is necessary in recovery to begin breaking down this sense of arrogance so that addicts can understand what they need to do differently in order to grow.
Humility Instead of Arrogance
The word humility can mean something different to everyone. Some might see it as a weakness but others see it merely as being respectful. Humility is defined as modesty, or a lack of pride and ego making you able to see that you are not better than anyone else. Being humble doesn’t have to mean low self-esteem; it means avoiding the type of egotistical thinking that can cause problems in your life and prevent you from learning new things and growing as a person.
Essentially, humility is the opposite of arrogance which can be a very negative quality to have. Arrogant people see themselves as being above others, smarter or more skilled than the people around them. Having a big ego means being unable to admit to that you are wrong or made a mistake and this can be a major barrier in recovery.
The Rewards of Being Humble
There are a number of things which can prevent addicts from being humble enough to accept what they need to change. Making a conscious effort to embrace humility is sometimes difficult but it can bring great rewards. Addicts sometimes use arrogance as a defense mechanism when they truly have low self-esteem and try to boost their ego. Trying to be humble in recovery however can make you more open to accepting all the changes that are a part of your new lifestyle. A humble person asks more questions and is open to learning something from anyone.
It is helpful in recovery to have a beginner’s attitude, allowing you to feel that you don’t have all the answers and need to learn as much as possible to improve yourself. A humble attitude can also be more conducive to developing a sense of spirituality. Many religions see humility as a prized virtue that people should try to achieve. A spiritual life is only possible with a quality of being humble. People with a humble attitude are also far less likely to relapse because they will not become overconfident and believe that they have beaten their addiction and never have to worry about it again.
As a person in recovery learns to be more humble they will find that they get along better with others. Someone who is humble tends to experience less conflict and people will enjoy their company more. An attitude of humility can make it easier to diffuse arguments because you can admit you are wrong and compromise more willingly than you would if you had a strong ego. You are also more likely to be respectful to others and that is something that people will gravitate toward. As a humble person you will be more successful in recovery and live a more peaceful life overall.