Humility Sayings and Quotes

A soft answer turneth away wrath.
Bible (Proverbs 15:1)

Be gracious in defeat.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Better to give than to receive.
Bible (Acts 20:35)

Better yourself before others.
Darren Bateman

Chickens don’t praise their own soup.
Martinican (on flattery and praise)

Choose to be forgiven.

Cut your coat according to your cloth.
John Heywood (c.1497-1580)

E’er you remark another’s sin, bid your own conscience look within.
Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

Falling is easier than rising.
Irish (on fame)

Good things come in small packages.
Aesop (c.620-560 BC)

It is as cheap sitting as it is standing.
Italian Proverb

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.
American mothers (thanks to J. Martin)

Kind words conquer.
Tamil (Asian Indian)(on courtesy and respect)

Less is more.
Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Let pride go afore, shame will follow after.
George Chapman (c.1559-1634)

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
George Herbert (1593-1632)

Self conceit may lead to self destruction.
Aesop (c.620-560 BC)

Self praise is no recommendation.
Romanian (on flattery and praise)

Silence is golden.

Silence is the hardest argument to refute.

Tell me what you are conceited about, and I’ll tell you what you lack.
Argentinian saying, thanks to Diego Paternostro for the translation.

Your own rags are better than another’s gown.
Hausa (West African)(on self-reliance)

There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.
Henri Frederic Amiel

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
Saint Augustine

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Rick Warren

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
Mahatma Gandhi

Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?
Carl Sagan

Stay hungry, stay young, stay foolish, stay curious, and above all, stay humble because just when you think you got all the answers, is the moment when some bitter twist of fate in the universe will remind you that you very much don’t.
Tom Hiddleston

He who sacrifices a whole offering shall be rewarded for a whole offering; he who offers a burnt-offering shall have the reward of a burnt-offering; but he who offers humility to God and man shall be rewarded with a reward as if he had offered all the sacrifices in the world.
The Talmud

True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.
Tryon Edwards

If thou desire the love of God and man, be humble; for the proud heart, as it loves none but itself, so it is believed of none but by itself; the voice of humility is God’s music, and the silence of humility is God’s rhetoric. Humility enforces where neither virtue nor strength can prevail nor reason.
Francis Quarles

Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.
William Temple

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.
Rabindranath Tagore

Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.
Thomas Merton

Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.
Madeleine L’Engle

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
Saint Augustine

Humility is freedom from your own driven ego.
Martha Kilpatrick

Don’t imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he won’t be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who’s always telling you that, of course, he’s nobody. Probably all you’ll think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him, it will be because you feel a bit envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He won’t be thinking about himself at all. If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you’re not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.
C.S. Lewis

Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free.
Jeff Wilson

The first test of a truly great man is his humility. By humility I don’t mean doubt of his powers or hesitation in speaking his opinion, but merely an understanding of the relationship of what he can say and what he can do.
John Ruskin

A vulgar mind is proud in prosperity and humble in adversity. A noble mind is humble in prosperity and proud in adversity.

Humility is no substitute for a good personality.
Fran Lebowitz

When we become aware of our humility, we’ve lost it.

Those who are believed to be most abject and humble are usually most ambitious and envious.
Baruch Spinoza

Pride juggles with her toppling towers, They strike the sun and cease. But the firm feet of humility, They grip the ground like trees.
G.K. Chesterton

Humility is often merely feigned submissiveness assumed in order to subject others, an artifice of pride which stoops to conquer, and although pride has a thousand ways of transforming itself it is never so well disguised and able to take people in as when masquerading as humility.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man, and this immediately, though, of course, only in the case of complete and permanent humility.
Franz Kafka

When stepped on, the worm curls up. That is a clever thing to do. Thus it reduces its chances of being stepped on again. In the language of morality: humility.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Humility, like the darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.
Henry David Thoreau

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of self.
T.S. Eliot