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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eating Humble Pie - a guest blogger post by BLissed-Out Grandma

HUMILITY - The quality or condition of being humble; imitate Jesus and Socrates. [Humility week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

So happy to introduce Nancy, also known as BLissed-Out Grandma is today's Humility guest blogger. If you don't know her already, do hop on over to her terrific blog and be ready to be wowed. Without further ado, here is Nancy:

Eating humble pie

It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say
“I don't know!” —Somerset Maugham 

The most difficult time for me to be humble is when I’m angry and I’m arguing a point. I don’t want to back down; I want to win. I may stop listening to the other person because I’m too busy planning what I’m going to say next.

A while back I worked with someone I thought was lazy, incompetent, and making bad decisions for the organization. I was often angry. I battled, I mocked, I rolled my eyes in frustration. Then one day I decided maybe I didn’t have all the answers. Maybe I’m wrong about this particular detail. And even if I’m right, maybe I should behave as if I COULD be wrong. I didn’t have to stop believing in myself, or advocating my point of view, but I could approach things another way.

The minute I decided to allow for the possibility of being wrong, two things happened. One, my anger softened. I was still frustrated, but I was willing to listen and consider, and that took the heat out of my rage. Two, I felt better about myself. I felt like I was operating on a higher level. Not better than others, but better than my own self just the day before.

Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening! —Author Unknown 

I’m not an arrogant person; I’m often too self-effacing (that’s a post for a whole ‘nother day!). But when I’m feeling threatened and pride becomes my defense, I try to call upon better behaviors:

Give up the need to be right. I try to remind myself that being right doesn’t always make me the winner. There is often a better answer, one that accommodates conflicting needs and unforeseen factors.

Let down your guard and look for a shared solution. Practice asking what others think. When you do put forth your opinion, ask for feedback and receive it with an open mind. Remember that the process is often at least as important as the answer.

Apologize—and forgive. It’s hard to apologize. Sometimes I’ll strike up a superficial happy conversation and leave thinking I’ve smoothed things over. But if I haven’t apologized, we are both likely to remain uncomfortable. Better to be humble enough to say, “I’m sorry.” And when the shoe is on the other foot, “I forgive you.”

Remember that humility is not the enemy of self-esteem. I believe we must nurture in ourselves and our children a deep appreciation of our gifts and talents, and a confidence in our ability to do great things. We should not use “humility” as an excuse to be timid or self-limiting. We should aim to excel at whatever we do, and be humble enough to know that we won’t be perfect.

It is always the secure who are humble. —Gilbert Keith Chesterton 

—Nancy, aka Blissed-Out Grandma

Humble Pie Image is from The Culinary Arts Blog

Get to know our guest blogger here.

Next Post: Wrapping up Humility Week

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. LOVED this post! Thank you so much!

  2. Hi I'm following now from FF. Love the theory behind your blog. This is a great post.

    When conflicts arise (especially in marriage) sometimes the best thing to ask yourself you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

  3. Hi! Thanks for the follow and your thoughtful comments! Love your blog- I'm your newest follower and I look forward to reading more posts. have a great day : )

  4. Found you through another blog doing FF. I love your blog header! Going to follow you!

    Stop in and see me too if you get the chance!!

  5. Ah, truly words of wisdom. I find humilty quite hardest at times of anger as well..."RIGHT" me kicks in and kindness and humilty go out the window.

    I do, however, feel the release described when I allow myself to think I'm wrong...the gut just kinda relaxes a bit. (I'm still working on actually admitting it, though!) :)

    Nancy, Lovely post!

    (Kathy: Just wanted to check - are you getting my emails?) :)

  6. Thanks, writing this really got me thinking, too!


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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