False humility.....

How can I deal with and get rid of false humility and self pity and self loathing? This is my deepest and predominant sin…


Self-Esteem Without Selfishness: Increasing Our Capacity for Love by Fr. Michel Esparza :thumbsup:

With self pity, count your blessings. I once had as an exercise where I literally had to do that every single day. I counted at least 100 things I was grateful for. In the beginning, I had great difficulty coming up with 10. Then later, I could come up with more than 100 without problem.

I recommend you come up with at least 100 things you are grateful for every single day. Example:

I would count that I had my mind, more or less my hands, more or less my legs, health insurance, a place to live, food to eat. I am lucky I was born in the US and not the third world. I am glad I don’t live in poverty, that I don’t live in a country which is at war.

I have dual citizenship. I am grateful for that. I have my mother still alive and brothers and sisters.

I have my life.

I have friends. I can afford to go out once in a while and everything I need. I have some credit cards. I have good credit. I have an electric wheelchair, a manual one, a walker and cane. I have a showerbench, grab bars, everything I need to be rather self sufficient and independent.

I have a wonderful boyfriend. He lives nearby, 3 blocks away, so I have the luxury of seeing him frequently.

I live in a convenient place downtown, wheelchair accessible. Almost everything, including churches are within a 15 min. walk. I have about probably 7 Catholic churches within walking distance.

We have great sunny weather most of the time, no snow.

We have fresh fruits and vegetables nearby cheap year 'round.

The dollar is now strong against the peso, and that helps me.

I have all the medication I need.

I own a computer, phone. I have access to internet. I love my apartment.

I have a great phone coverage. I have NetFlix, and I live alone, so I can come and go as I please. I have a lot of freedom.

I have 2 great volunteer positions which I enjoy. I am able to do what I love. They give me a sense of purpose. My volunteer positions are both only about 3 blocks away.

I know two languages which I am grateful for.

I have a fan, and I don’t need a/c.

My landlord is very nice. I also have some nice neighbors.

I have access to doctors and specialists I need.

I have the luxury of art in my place and decorations.

I have access to clean water and plenty of it.

I have freedom of religion and expression.

I don’t know if that’s 100, but I could go on and on. We are very lucky compared to many people in the world. Be grateful, and that will help keep you from falling into self pity.

Thanks for that recommendation. I haven’t heard of that book, but it looks like a good one!

I think I know how to fight the false humility. It’s how I try to do it. When I catch myself thinking about how to be more humble (which can be a contradiction on it’s own)… Guess what I do? I humble myself about it. :slight_smile:

How? Well. I tell God something like this: “You see, I’m not humble, but I love you, and I accept my lack of humility, please help me in this regard”. That is also the only time I trully feel humble - sincerely.

I think you’ll LOVE this: youtube.com/watch?v=MQS9mbXJ5UU

Insofar as humility is concerned, it’s about being able to realize, and admit, when we make a mistake, if necessary to apologize. At times, it means accepting correction.

If one isn’t saying, “I made a mistake”, “I’m sorry” and “I don’t know” with some frequency, pride is probably the culprit.

Humility doesn’t mean walking hunched over and believing one is like a worm on the ground. It’s okay to have good self esteem but just not to the point of pridefulness and arrogance.

One word about self pity is to realize the secret of happiness isn’t so much getting what you want as wanting what you get.

Pride is believing that you are greater than you actually are.
Humility is NOT believing you are dirt.
Humility is knowing that others are greater, and not being upset.
Humility is knowing that others are worse, and not having contempt.

Years ago I read that “true self esteem is having the character that if you created the most wonderful cathedral on Earth, you would be no less pleased with it if someone else had built it”.


For me, it was not just a good book, nor even a great book. It is a life-changing book. It has changed how I look at God, myself, and others.

I am sure you will not be disappointed by it!


Oh I have to correct something here. Humility actually does come from the Latin word humus, meaning “dirt.” Which is also the root word for the term human.

Therefore humility is not just about believing that you are dirt. It is knowing that you are dirt.

Humility is a “comparative” or “relational” virtue, but humility primarily does not compare yourself to others, but rather it compares yourself to God. Humility recognizes the fact that, before God, we are dirt. Indeed, we are, compared to God, nothing, for we came from nothing.

But humility also recognizes that though we came from nothing, we are now something by the power of God, and since God cannot be forced to do anything, humility recognizes the sheer Love and Mercy of God for us, who, even though we are somethings that came from nothing, died for us.

Humility, thus, is the source of all virtue.



Oh I have to correct something here. Humility actually does come from the Latin word humus, meaning “dirt.” Which is also the root word for the term human.
Humility, thus, is the source of all virtue.

You are in error. Humus (dirt) and humilis (lowly) have the same root, but do not mean the same thing.



From Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰemelo-, from *dʰéǵʰōm ‎(“earth”), whence humus. Cognate with Ancient Greek χθαμαλός ‎(khthamalós), Phrygian ζεμελως ‎(khthamelos, “man”).

(Classical) IPA(key): /ˈhu.mi.lis/


humilis m, f ‎(neuter humile); third declension
1.low, lowly, small, slight; shallow
2.(in respect to birth, fortune or worth) base, mean, humble, obscure, poor, needy, insignificant, low
3.(of mind or character) submissive, abject


You quoted Wiktionary then :slight_smile:

But the thing is, it still stands: as your own quote says, both humilis and humus come from the same root word that means “earth”, which is also “dirt”. And it is not primarily a virtue that compares us to other men, but rather compares us to God and derives everything else from that comparative relationship.

Humility reminds us of how we were formed: “then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” Genesis 2:7.

This is the basis for the ceremony during Ash Wednesday, where we are reminded of what God said on banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden: “Remember, man, you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” Cf. Genesis 3:19.

For example, you said that “true self esteem is having the character that if you created the most wonderful cathedral on Earth, you would be no less pleased with it if someone else had built it”. That is true, and that comes from humility: I know that if God willed it He would have given my same genius to another, and thus if that happened I would not be saddened. But by the Mercy of God He did not, He gave me the genius, He gave me the inspiration, He let me do it, and thus I am grateful.

Be at peace.

Deliberate humiliation is the best form of humility. Other forms generally tend to be false humility.

True humility involves a person engineering events in a certain way to create painful humiliation.

It requires commitment and courage.


Uhm no.

“[E]ngineering events in a certain way to create painful humiliation?” So saying “I am going to be humble but in MY own terms?” Does not sound like humility to me.

“There can be no humility without greatness of soul *…”

  • St. John Chrysostom

Cultivate a spirit of praise and thanksgiving e.g. by meditating on the Psalms. Spend more time considering God’s infinite, pure goodness towards you, which is the cause of anything lovable in you (and everyone else).*

:slight_smile: The limits of our endurance is what defines the limits of our humility, and the uncharity of others is the engine by which we accomplish this. Obviously, this must be done in secrecy or else it’s entirely worthless, because to even mention this idea is to court Pride. The great thing about CAF, though, is that in our anonymity we can discuss practices which would otherwise be very difficult to approach without risking boastfulness.

I have a devotion and love for Saint Isidora, and her approach to humility is perfectly instructive.


What often passes for humility is a blend of good manners and polite silence, which is certainly an agreeable combination and a likable trait, but rather lukewarm to merit being called “humility,” which is a rare and difficult to achieve state.


Humility is not thinking less of yourself…

Humility is thinking of yourself less.

I like that. :slight_smile:

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