Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Humility

Emotion Humility

When you want to write the emotion humility, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid emotional tells and immerse your readers in your story.

Humility is a state of being modest and respectful of oneself. It is the quality of being humble and not arrogant. It involves acknowledging one's limitations, weaknesses, and mistakes while also recognizing the value and contributions of others. Humility is often associated with a willingness to learn from others, a lack of ego, and a sense of gratitude. It is an important emotion to consider when writing characters as it can add depth and relatability to their personalities.

  1. Different Types of Humility
  2. Situations Associated with Humility
  3. Physical Reactions to Humility
  4. Thoughts Associated with Humility
  5. Atmosphere of Humility
  6. Verbs Associated with Humility
  7. Emotions Before Humility
  8. Emotions After Humility
  9. Telling Humility Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Humility
  11. Exercises for Showing Humility

Different Types of Humility

Here are some different types of humility:

  • Genuine humility: Characters who possess genuine humility recognize their own limitations and are open to learning from others. They don't feel the need to prove themselves or seek attention.
  • False humility: Characters who display false humility may appear humble on the surface, but they are often seeking attention or validation. They may use self-deprecation as a way to get others to compliment them.
  • Humility in the face of adversity: Characters who show humility in the face of adversity remain humble even when faced with challenges or setbacks. They don't let success go to their head, and they remain grounded and grateful for what they have.
  • Humility in leadership: Characters who exhibit humility in leadership recognize that they are not infallible and are willing to listen to the opinions and ideas of others. They don't see themselves as above their subordinates and are willing to roll up their sleeves and work alongside them.

Situations Associated with Humility

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of humility:

  • Failing to achieve a personal goal or aspiration
  • Being corrected or criticized for a mistake or wrong action
  • Witnessing the success of others and realizing one's own shortcomings
  • Being in a position of powerlessness or vulnerability
  • Learning a humbling truth about oneself or the world
  • Experiencing a profound loss or setback
  • Admitting to a wrongdoing and taking responsibility for it
  • Facing a situation that requires putting aside one's ego or pride

Physical Reactions to Humility

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing humility might have:

  • A lowered head or avoiding eye contact
  • A quiet or soft-spoken tone of voice
  • A lack of assertiveness or willingness to defer to others
  • A willingness to listen to others and their perspectives
  • A lack of desire for attention or recognition
  • A willingness to admit mistakes or faults
  • A lack of pride or arrogance in one's accomplishments

Thoughts Associated with Humility

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing humility might have:

  • I am not better than anyone else
  • I have a lot to learn from others
  • I am open to feedback and criticism
  • My mistakes do not define me
  • I am grateful for what I have and the people in my life
  • I am willing to admit when I am wrong
  • I am not entitled to anything
  • I am just one small part of the world
  • I am willing to serve others before myself

Atmosphere of Humility

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of humility in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Choose a setting that is modest and unassuming, such as a small room or a humble home.
  • Use language and descriptions that are simple and unpretentious, avoiding grandiose or boastful language.
  • Incorporate small gestures of humility into the actions of the characters, such as apologizing or admitting fault.
  • Highlight the strengths and virtues of other characters instead of focusing solely on the accomplishments of the main character.
  • Show the character expressing gratitude and appreciation for the help and support of others.
  • Use dialogue that is respectful and considerate, avoiding arrogance or condescension.
  • Create a sense of modesty and humility by using understated and subtle character traits instead of overly dramatic or flashy ones.

Verbs Associated with Humility

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of humility:

  • Admit
  • Apologize
  • Submit
  • Yield
  • Acknowledge
  • Reverence
  • Respect
  • Honor
  • Recognize
  • Appreciate
  • Grateful
  • Modest
  • Unassuming
  • Meek

Emotions Before Humility

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences humility:

  • Arrogance
  • Pride
  • Self-importance
  • Conceit
  • Egotism
  • Hubris
  • Narcissism
  • Overconfidence

Emotions After Humility

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences humility:

  • Gratitude
  • Acceptance
  • Openness
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Generosity
  • Curiosity
  • Serenity
  • Forgiveness

Telling Humility Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion humility in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • She felt humbled by the grandeur of the cathedral.
  • He tried to be humble, but his ego kept getting in the way.
  • She knew she had a lot to learn and approached the task with humility.
  • He humbly accepted the award and thanked his team for their hard work.

Practical Examples of Showing Humility

Here are some examples of showing humility in a sentence:

  • She lowered her head and averted her eyes, feeling small and insignificant in the presence of the towering mountains.
  • He hesitated before accepting the award, feeling unworthy of the recognition and grateful for the support of his team.
  • She fumbled with her words, stumbling over apologies and admitting her mistakes, feeling humbled by the grace and forgiveness of those she had wronged.
  • He stepped aside to let the others pass, feeling content to fade into the background and let someone else take the spotlight.

Exercises for Showing Humility

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing humility:

  • Write a scene where your character is in a situation where they are out of their depth or lacking knowledge, and must rely on someone else's expertise.
  • Imagine a scenario where your character is given credit for someone else's work. How do they react?
  • Write a scene where your character is faced with a difficult decision, and ultimately chooses the path that is best for others, even if it means sacrificing their own desires.
  • Create a character who is very accomplished in their field, but struggles with imposter syndrome. How does this impact their behavior and interactions with others?
  • Write a scene where your character is confronted with a mistake they have made, and must take responsibility for it. How do they handle the situation?
  • Imagine a scenario where your character has the opportunity to take credit for someone else's success, but chooses to give credit where it is due. How does this impact their relationships with others?

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full thesaurus of emotions.

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