Modesty: Not Always a Virtue


Picture by Melissa Canales

By Melissa Canales, Staff Writer

When we were young, our parents celebrated and marveled over all of our accomplishments, even the most insignificant ones. We were praised over our lousy works of mac n’ cheese jewelry, congratulated for getting an ‘A’ on our exams, and recognized for our participation in extracurricular activities. Yet, as the years went on, we learned to develop deflective instincts to any compliments directed towards us, waving it off as “no big deal”. The days of celebrating our achievements have long been replaced with the unshakeable feeling that we are not really as great as people say.

Modesty, they call it.

The state of being modest is seen as a desirable trait, and for good reason too. No one enjoys the company of a pompous person who goes on and on about themselves. However, as modesty becomes more and more popular, people are rapidly losing the ability to see all the talents they possess.

While being humble may be beneficial in establishing healthy relationships with others, it is this very ability that can be a downfall in our future careers. Imagine a job interview: we are expected to be able to convince the interviewer why we are the best option out of the vast selection of candidates. However, the years of denying our own potential from ourselves prevent us from communicating the great reach of our abilities. We are so frightened of coming off as arrogant or boastful that we allow opportunities to slip from our fingertips.

The disastrous side effects of modesty are not always far off into the future. As we brush off any and all compliments we may receive, we convince ourselves that we are not worthy of these praises, thus deteriorating our self esteem. Confidence, indubiously, is an attractive quality to anyone. Confident people often draw people towards them, but are also content to be by themselves, as they are self-reliant. They are also more likely to strive for better things in life, acknowledging that, while it may be tough, they are capable of going through with it.
The real key to modesty is to know when it is appropriate to embrace our qualities, and when it is better to take the focus off of ourselves. So next time you receive a compliment, do not shy away, accept it graciously, and return it with a whole-hearted compliment of your own.