Humble pie – how often do you eat it?

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Good old “humble pie”! 

How often have you heard others mention they had to eat humble pie? Whether we like it or not, we cannot always say and do exactly as we please. We cannot always have the last word or in fact be right in every situation.  Part of me would like to have the last word – to wrap up a discussion/disagreement in my way but there is a time to talk and a time to be silent. I struggle with not having the opportunity to explain myself which can be misinterpreted as trying to talk my way out of a situation. I need to learn to leave things as is. Over explaining is annoying to the recipient and frustrating for the person in question.

Dictionary.com’s definition;
Humility forced upon someone, often under embarrassing conditions, humiliation.

As a teen, I recall my mother regularly mentioning having to eat lots of humble pie as an employee. My initial thought was;
“What on earth are you talking about?” Boy, did I find out once I entered the world of work! 

The rebel in me, yes – she is there lurking in the background but I have learnt to suppress her over the years.  Some days it is far easier than others. 
When working with others, humility is required, we should maintain the mindset of being the “bigger person”! 

Without humility, relationships will suffer whether it be at home, work, church or place of study. The truth is, the person who believes they know everything, is good at everything, is unteachable will begin to grate on even the most patient. They will struggle as an employee whether in a junior or senior role. No matter how high you climb, you will be answerable to another. We are all held accountable – there is no moving away from this.

Do you think humble pie is good for the soul?
How do you work alongside the prideful? Perhaps you are that prideful person – if so, what is the true root to your pride? 

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24 thoughts on “Humble pie – how often do you eat it?”

  1. In a way I feel sorry for the know-it-alls: in reality these people are control freaks (they also lack maturity), and I don’t want to be like that if I can help it. It’s much better to follow the counsel of Henry David Thoreau: “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

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  2. As for me, it was also the opposite. Humility was instilled on me in the martial arts. As for pro-wrestling, being humble hurts you, it is a cut throat business and you have to be arrogant to compete in it.
    For me humble pie, meant being arrogant and not having the ability to back it up.
    But I also remember reading Sherlock Holmes, who thought humility was as bad as arrogance:
    “To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.”
    thanks for sharing.

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    1. Interesting take on humility William. I have never looked at it from this perspective before. To me, humility does not require you to deny your talents or abilities. It means you Know exactly what you have to offer but do not “blow your own trumpet”.

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  3. I tink it is so important to find balance with humility. As women, so many of us struggle to be brave enough to let our voices be heard. But of course, you always have to be respectful to other’s thoughts and ideas. I remember when I was in middle and high school, we actually had speakers come in and teach us how to listen to other’s ideas and make others feel acknowledged. Such a simple lesson, but I feel it has helped me go far in finding a balance between thinking I’m valuable enough to let myself be heard without dominating the ideas or the conversation.

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    1. I always enjoy reading your feedback Erica!

      What a great idea to teach students how to listen and be considerate. It is often assumed that people should already possess these skills. How can they if it was never taught?

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  4. I always do my best to admit when I am wrong or not entirely sure of something. At times, that could be very disarming with students who are used to teachers being know-it-alls. What’s harder is dealing with life’s know-it-alls. More often than not, it’s not worth the energy to argue with such a person and they will shut up faster if not engaged.

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    1. I have “teacher” tendencies but know my limitations. Not everyone wants an answer, at times there is no answer. I enjoy learning from others and listening to their life experiences. No one person is the same.

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  5. I’m a passionate life long learner and that requires having the willingness to admit it when you don’t know something. No problem for me there. B-u-t, I’m afraid I come up way short on patience when dealing with know-it-all’s. Exchanging ideas, even the occasional debate, is fun, but some people aren’t at all interested in considering different viewpoints without there being a right or wrong so in that case more often than not I take the same route Lenie mentioned and just keep my mouth shut.

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  6. Like others who have commented here I have also suffered the company of the self-appointed expert in everything. Would be nice to see those sorts eat humble pie. Or at least shutup once in a while and listen.

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  7. I totally agree. I believe that it is important to learn new things every day. We can’t grow as human beings if we don’t allow ourselves to say “I don’t know.” It is important to give ourselves encouragement and say, “I am strong and am able to figure it out.” Some people just give up when they don’t know something. Thanks for sharing, Phoenicia!

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  8. I used to work with a person who was ‘always right’ and I dreaded seeing him come into the office. The way I dealt with him was to just let him carry on and hope the phone would ring or something.
    There is no sense arguing with this type of person – it just prolongs their stay.

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    1. No point arguing at all. It will not change anything. You have to rise above it and learn to accept people as they are – not easy I know. Whenever I think about someone who has annoyed/irritated/frustrated me, I remember that I probably irritate others too.

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  9. Another hit with another post, Phoenicia! Not that I don’t need to eat more humble pie, but there’s a person in my life who knows everything, is the expert in all fields, and is constantly telling you this. It is exhausting to be around. Humble is not part of their vocabulary. At all.
    When I start to feel that I’m the best, most brilliant, I just need to call my sister. She says (I’m wonderful, of course–ha!) to remember, my ideas are not the best for everyone concerned. Yep!

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