To be too modest is as harmful as any other aspect that is taken to the extreme. The key is in that “too much”. By that word, the great virtues can become defects and the great pleasures can be transformed into tortures. The excess almost always leads to distort the nature of things.
Modesty is a great virtue, which is related to important human values such as simplicity, humility and temperance. It is the opposite of vanity and conceit, those two traits that have won so much ground in today’s world. Who is modest does not need, nor wants, to boast of something. But who is too modest reaches the point of minimizing his achievements and his qualities.
Although excessive haughtiness generates antipathy and raises a barrier with others, excessive modesty does not lead to healthy relationships, either with others or with oneself. Whoever detracts from what he is and what he does can obtain certain benefits, but instead loses the possibility of reaffirming himself and obtaining the recognition he deserves.
“Modesty is to merit what shadows to the figure of a painting: gives it vigor and relief.”
-Jean de la Bruyere-
Being too modest: a face of inhibition
It is true that being too modest facilitates some aspects of social relationships. Who behaves in this way is perceived as harmless and this prevents jealousy, envy and confrontation. In today’s world there are many individuals who are excessively competitive. In fact, social networks have made us even more competitive. Someone who is very modest manages to avoid these tensions.
Those who feel sure of themselves do not need to show or boast or obtain the recognition of others. That is why he can be modest in a natural and spontaneous way. Now, with someone who seeks to be too modest, something different happens. Theirs is no longer just not being smug, but also seeks to hide, reduce, and even invisible.
It could be said then that excessive modesty is not a sign of humility, but of inhibition. It is feared to the reactions of others and one way to deal with it is by mimicking, preventing being seen. It is as if one does not have the right to be equivalent or better than the others in some aspect. In one way or another, it represents a feeling of shame in front of oneself.
Pride is not superb
Pride is often confused with pride, but in reality it is two very different realities. Pride speaks of an exalted self-love. Pride is related more to wounded self-love. Self-love is the result of self-acceptance and self-assessment. In turn, pride is born when, based on that reality, we achieve an achievement that increases even more that feeling of being comfortable with what we are.
Pride, on the other hand, is basically an imposture. Seek recognition and exaltation that comes from others. Establish a distance that allows you to feel superior and, thanks to this, improve the opinion you have of yourself. Haughtiness thwarts achievements, instead of sharing them. There is something bitter in its essence and it is not filled with anything.
That arrogance is, therefore, an attempt to compensate for the lack of self-love. It is usually artificial and aggressive. If others do not recognize the value of the proud, he feels deeply frustrated. He does not show himself capable of qualifying himself, regardless of what others think.
Pride is needed
Modesty and pride are not far from each other. These realities are not excluded, but, on the contrary, they complement each other. A person can feel proud of what he is, of his achievements and, even so, remain in a position of modesty as well. It means not bragging, or trying to get the admiration or recognition of others, but neither minimizing or invisibilizing.
Being too modest, or arrogant, disproportionate importance is attached to the gaze of others. In the first case, because he is feared and because a feeling of shame and inability to face his eyes prevails. In the second case, because there is interest in prevailing over others. Haughtiness needs to be compared, won and made very visible to others.
Feeling proud of what we are and achieve is positive and healthy. Everything that costs us work andwe pray, deserves the recognition of ourselves. It is also good to share it with others, as we might share a sadness or a defeat. The opinion of others has taken on an unusual importance. The most advisable thing is not to allow ourselves to be invaded by this and to convert our own criteria into the yardstick with which we measure ourselves.