In Praise of Modesty
By Susan Leigh
It can sometimes be difficult to strike a balance between being modest and being so self-effacing that we completely undersell ourselves. Modesty is about being well-mannered, restrained, quietly confident. There is no need to brag or boast about ourselves, we do not need to show off or prove anything because we are comfortable with ourselves, with what we are doing and who we are. Being confident about ourselves and our achievements is fine, whilst being ostentatious or excessive in our behaviour and interactions with others can be offensive and counter-productive.
Modesty can be important in many areas of life:
- Language is an area that affects many other people as well as ourselves. Shouting, swearing, being coarse, all impact on the people around us as well as demonstrate the type of person that we are. By using vulgar, loud and offensive language we give the impression of being those things to the people around us. Sometimes people behave like this because they are lacking in confidence, they think that by behaving in this way they will be able to hide behind a tough facade. In truth it often looks more loutish and pathetic than anything else.
- Dress. It is reasonable to dress appropriately for where we are going, to respect the event, other people and the occasion. Revealing clothes, especially on women can be offensive to others. There is a time and a place for exposing flesh, but young girls especially can get themselves into awkward situations, sometimes fuelled by an excess of alcohol, and this can result in much distress all round. Being a little more restrained can be far more attractive and alluring. Many people agree that they prefer the human body when it is draped and clothed. Leaving something to the imagination is often far more attractive and inviting.
- Behaviour. Being confident is important, and true confidence is about an inner sense of self-worth. With that there is no need to boast or constantly inject stories about our own successes into the conversation. Being loud, aggressive, demanding can all affect the atmosphere and cause other people to avoid us. Being more modest and restrained is about being respectful of others presence too.
- Possessions. I used to know a man who had a really special skill. People would telephone asking him to work all over the world but he would only take on a job when his funds were low. He would work hard, bank the cheques and then return to his family and his other interests until such time as he needed to earn more money. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be in that position. But do we really need to continually be chasing the next promotion, working longer and longer hours. When do we have enough to be able to have a comfortable enough work/life balance? Moderation does not have to mean deprivation.
Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with
- stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief,
- couples in crisis to help improve communications and understanding
- with business clients to help support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams
For more information see http://www.lifestyletherapy.net