172: Spiritual Principle – Humility (Sort Of)


We are talking about the spiritual principle of humility. What does it mean to be humble? It sounds similar to humiliation, but it’s very different. We try to define humility. We talk about thinking of ourselves less instead of thinking less of ourselves. How can we increase our humility? Is there a way to practice it? Then we make Billy take a quiz on humility. Listen in and then share your thoughts with us. 

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Episodes mentioned:

Tolerance

Step 2

Spiritual principles

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Transcript:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature [Music]

welcome back it’s recovery sort of I’m Jason a guy who’s hopefully getting humbler by the day and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery and we’re going to talk about humility today spiritual principle again so even just thinking about it there I’m like why do I have to say I’m a person in long-term recovery why can’t I just say I’m a person in recovery I gotta say long term because it elevates me right right there’s no humility anymore right you know it’s interesting because like I tend to think you know before we even get into this I do tend to think I’m a guy that least has some level of humility I don’t know what that level is or what that percentage is in the grand scheme of things it’s more than it was 10 years ago that’s for sure so but I do feel like and in an introduction was kind of a mockery of that when people say like I’m such a humble person or I have so much humility it’s like doesn’t that feel like it defeats the purpose I don’t know it’s interesting yeah and it’s definitely been an asset for me in my life you know as it’s grown like I can see oh [  ] that’s really useful right right and it’s uh you know I don’t know if it’s I’ve seen it be all that useful but I think just seeing not humility in other people or at least what I think of is not humility is so unattractive that I’m like yeah I’d much rather be humble so as we get into it most of my not or understanding of lack of humility is me right like so I see how it’s impacted me being like an egomaniac or not being humble and and now I’m like oh look at my life now like it’s so much easier I’ll be honest uh my strive for more humility probably comes more from just seeing how ugly it looks on people like when people are not humble and I’m just like oh my God I don’t ever want to look at that in public so you know maybe I’m getting humble for the wrong reasons but whatever it’s working um so humility we you know we tried to start with a definition and I think you and I were both kind of pissed off that all the definitions sort of sucked yeah they all have this like negative feel to them or this really this thing that doesn’t feel like empowering or doesn’t feel like a good thing that you want to embrace and push into your life well and maybe even before I say any of these definitions I think one of the concepts that I learned across my my journey in 12 steps was that early on hearing the word humility or humble did feel like it was closely tied into something that felt like humiliation right like you know it had those same root words and all that and I’m like it did feel like a lowly like I need to you know bow down in reverence to whatever be of service or something like it’s a word I picture for like priests or or monks or people who serve you know a higher calling or something like that yeah and and I’m sort of trying to take myself back to like almost like my using time and and remember I had this feeling that pridefulness or ego or this sense of being better and stronger or or whatever than everyone else like I felt like an asset in that using lifestyle it’s like if you weren’t the Predator you were the prey kind of thing right and that you almost needed this false sense of bravado and arrogance to to keep you from getting swallowed up yeah I don’t I mean I guess maybe in the places I ran I I think there was like a feeling of that but I guess I I ran solo so often I didn’t encounter it much but where I did encounter it was in the the prison system like there’s a definite mask ever it seems like everybody puts one in there right um I’m taking my idea and I would imagine the streets did carry some of that same stuff I just wasn’t necessarily around a ton of people all the time and that for me is I guess I should preface that by saying that’s how I felt I don’t know if everyone around me felt that way but that’s how I felt you know what I mean like I walked into a room and I was immediately trying to assess like the room to gauge you know where I fit into that hierarchy of the room right right and and I think one of the things you know I heard early on in recovery was this idea of like an ego Maniac with an inferiority complex right this idea that the reason I didn’t have humility was because I felt so low about myself that I was like trying to pump myself up for belittle others in order to gain some kind of Worth or you know some kind of feeling or sense that we were all on equal footing yeah just to try to make myself feel good enough right you know right because I felt like such a piece of [  ] yeah that’s for sure but but going from this idea so my concept of just hearing people talk about humility was that it was a a low kind of feeling right I need to be less than people in some sort of way and that didn’t ever feel good but I do remember having a conversation at times or hearing from like you know more seasoned members I guess um this idea that humility was not thinking less of yourself it’s thinking of yourself less right so so not so much that like Oh I’m a worse person just maybe I should take more time out of my day to consider other people too not just me you know what I mean just kind of like thinking about my wants less often I guess yeah and I guess what hit me the most that I heard early on was that humility was for me about like not thinking of myself greater than or less than than anyone else it’s like putting us all on equal footing almost like built in with the anonymity that we talk about in the program it’s like no we come in and we’re all the same even though that’s kind of not how it works and then a you have this hierarchy and all that stuff but the idea of humility was that you know I get to learn about myself to put myself on equal footing with everyone else I I gotta be honest I was listening to uh to our Arabs editing our tolerance episode uh yesterday and you were talking about some of the stuff you learned early on from like one of your early sponsors and I I didn’t catch it during the recording of it but when I was editing I was like I think you had a really [  ] great sponsor that most of us did not have like you were privy to some information and I was it the really spiritual guy it’s hard now to remember specifically what came from who because I’ve had four different sponsors through this process I remember you talking about yuichi I think his name is and how like he’s kind of like a character almost outside of n a he’s just got a very different personality than what you would normally he was Asian so he didn’t come from a traditional you know his family was I mean he was raised in America but his family was Asian so they grew up more with a Buddhist you know religious background so they didn’t come into a typical American Christian approach to God or higher power or any of that stuff and he was a practicing Buddhist oh yeah yeah so see yeah I’m not and you know not to get us too off track but yeah I was like damn man he got some information no wonder his vision is skewed about uh all this current stuff because he had all this pretty great information early on where he’s like well no everybody’s getting great stuff and he was my second sponsor so I had four or five years clean when he started sponsoring me and that was five or six years so yeah it’s just a compilation of information you know and it’s one of those things like it it builds over time so trying to remember specifically which pieces I got from where or when it’s kind of tough it definitely made me think would Billy’s views be more similar to mine about 12 steps right now he would have had the sponsors I have and I was just like huh that’s a really interesting question you know what I mean like how much are we viewing what we think of 12 steps and how much they can help people based on what we’ve got specifically yeah and the other I’m going to say huge benefit that I had is I was you know in a relationship with and then married a woman who had significantly more time than me who had already worked through the steps I think at that point multiple times two or three times she had been through the step process so of course A lot of these principles she had a much better understanding of than me you know so I had a good access to her information as well that’ll keep you humble yeah right um so an another thing I remember hearing about humility along the way I feel like all the best stuff I heard about humility really isn’t like in our literature at all it’s just kind of like things people picked up along the way um but another one was like humility is figuring out who you are and doing it on purpose and I kind of liked that one too I like that a lot yeah that fits in with what I think I want humility to be right and like most of these spiritual principles like for me the way that they’ve worked you know over time is I hear about them I sort to sort of start to go okay I I see what that is I kind of and then it’s like you you kind of fake it for a little while like okay this is the way that I’m supposed to act even though it’s not what’s going on in my head you know what I mean my head’s still full of ego and arrogance and pride and all those things but I’m gonna just act like I’m not that now that’s the I’m gonna tell everybody how humble I am right you know that guy and then after a while it’s like that becomes a part of how you live hopefully at least that’s the way it’s worked for me but it’s been years and years of time you know right right I think one of the things I remember um I took an acting class in college just for the hell of it because it seemed fun and one of the things that came to me while I was you know doing that class is this idea of like humility for me is kind of remembering more often that I’m not always the main character for this stage of the play you know what I mean as I’m walking through my daily life like the more I can remember that it’s not always about me first maybe this hour of my day is devoted to like driving my daughter to her work or her friend’s house or maybe you know my wife is the main character this day and I’m just gonna stay home and take care of the kids and she’s gonna go out with her girlfriends or like it’s remembering that I’m not you know sometimes I’m playing a supporting role too and I think the more often I remember that the more I feel like I’m doing humility yeah that’s it well and it’s interesting because it in my head humility is for lack of a better way of saying it like almost like a math problem for me in that like say most situations that I’m in and I still kind of do it I’ve just gotten way better at ignoring the thinking but it’s like I’m constantly assessing like all right how strong is this person how much of an advantage do they have over me or how do I fit in and how do I level that advantage or how do I at least in my mind level that advantage and I’m making all these judgments in my head based off their clothing their speech what they physically look like you know what I mean are they are they more handsome than me do they have better clothing than me do they speak more intelligently than me you know all these assessments that I make in every situation to figure out how I rank in in this you know in the hierarchy in that interaction and so now the idea of humility is to like ignore all that and just be like I have strengths and weaknesses that person has strengths and weaknesses also and those things you know I don’t know what all that their strengths or weaknesses are I don’t know what how they feel about themselves you know that that doesn’t matter I just need to know that for whatever I see that I perceive as this great strength there’s probably some equally things that they struggle with or challenges that they have or or problems that they have in their life so they aren’t necessarily better than me because they’re better than me at a specific skill set right that’s interesting so it’s like I don’t think that that’s not also humility even though it seems like a completely different piece of humility than what I was talking about yeah and that’s what was interesting I’m like wow that’s like it just is different in my head than what you were describing well and it’s interesting too because it’s kind of what we talked about a little bit with the tolerance thing is are these really different pieces or skills or is this all just one big encompassing like if I can just do this version of what we’re calling you know unconditional love or unconditional positive regard or Compassion or empathy whatever it is if I could do that and that’s how I show up in the world just caring about other people and and myself wouldn’t humility exist like wouldn’t it be present in that internal State and I’m like is this all really just us moving towards this one thing that allows us to show up different in a lot of ways uh if we’re lucky I think that’s a good thing to go for you know what I mean like that’s a good goal right whatever the words we use to describe it as we try to get there but yeah yeah good point I’m probably splitting here it really doesn’t matter but yeah it does I don’t know for me it’s like well if I only got to do one thing that just feels a lot [  ] simpler like I don’t have to worry about all these little minute things if I can just work on healing and compassion and love like everything else just sort of happens yeah I think putting the labels to it just gives me a like it’s it’s helped me to Define what that is so when I talk about that as far as you know how I measure myself against everyone else so inevitably you know the the egomaniac with the inferiority complex like inevitably I always feel inferior in almost all situations you know what I mean like so I go in with this feeling of inferiority and so in my life the way that’s played out is I don’t really try to do things that I think are going to be hard or that I might fail at I’m so afraid of failure that I’m like ah that sucks I’m not doing that that’s stupid you know and I don’t have that muscle to be like oh yeah it’s okay to fail at things I’m like fail at things like that is [  ] devastating like people might see that I failed at this thing and what are they gonna think of me right you know and now in my life with some humility I’m like oh that’s actually an asset to be able to try things and fail like that’s a good good thing to have like it’s not a reflection of me as a person because I fell short at some goal that I set like that’s kind of stupid way to look at that right you know but having this idea of like oh yeah humility like let’s look at what other people fail at things all the time you hear about you know these famous people that are all successful and everything now well they didn’t succeed at every single thing they ever tried you know they just failed and they went ah [  ] it and got back up and tried again right right and I think there’s so much benefit to failure like I would truly think and you know you’ll hear this motto I’m sure in like a a motivational speaker’s speech or something but like I truly believe if you never fail you’re not setting your sights high enough like you’re not actually trying for anything I mean if you’re always accomplishing everything you set out to do then you’re not dreaming big enough at all in my mind yeah and and so when I was using I you know rented a room off this guy and lived in his basement and during the time that I lived there he started like two or three different businesses besides his regular full-time job like he started two or three different businesses in that time and they all ended up kind of failing or not working out or not being overly successful and like it didn’t face him at all and to me I was like how the [ __ ] do you even do that like that just seemed like so out of my wheelhouse or you know like it seemed like I was judging him based on that like something was wrong with him for trying to succeed and trying to get ahead based on the fact that he failed like now you’re a failure you know and I was stuck in that mindset so to be able to use it in his basement right well I’m using this is a failure so yeah and that’s the insanity of it so to be able to put like a label to that and be like Oh no you’re this egomaniac person or you’re stuck in this ego thing and the you know to me I guess the opposite of being stuck in the ego is this humility where it’s like oh yeah we’re all just people we’re all just here trying a thing you know living together we’re we’re sort of equal and you know having that to set my sights on help me to build that skill that’s funny and all I can think is no wonder his business is failed he had to use an addict living in his house I couldn’t even pick a good roommate right his decision making was poor right right [Music] all right so let’s look at some of these shitty definitions uh and uh yeah I don’t know okay so humility the quality or condition of being humble we knew that was coming modest opinion or estimate of One’s Own importance rank Etc so okay modest opinion or estimate of One’s Own importance rank Etc

like that’s not nice that’s not like a Level Playing Field like you just described to us of everybody in humanity that is hey there’s some people above and below you and you’re in the middle [  ] accept it that sucks so yeah and I guess when I hear that I feel like everyone’s in the middle but maybe I’m picking my own well it is it’s saying hey everyone’s in the middle but we all know the people that ain’t right we can name them they’re in the news um yeah that’s I don’t like the definition though so here’s another one uh humility a modest or low view of One’s Own importance that doesn’t sound good either yeah and of course immediately what I think of is like like the old Buddhist monk imagery of like a guy walking down the road that you know people might make fun of or whatever but he doesn’t care like he’s he’s cool being who he is like their assessment of his lowliness doesn’t matter you know but that sounds very much like the Christian idea of like the meat will inherit the earth like hey suck it up and get made fun of while you’re here but in heaven you’ll have a great it’s kind of like a tolerate the [  ] now and I don’t know it doesn’t feel good I don’t ever want to think of myself as having a medium importance we’re all really important I don’t want to think of myself as well maybe oh equal importance it doesn’t say that it says modest or low equal would be fine yeah uh okay here’s another one humility the quality of not being proud because you are aware of your bad qualities [Laughter] that does not Encompass the totality of humility to me I mean that might be part of it I’m not saying it’s not okay hey I’m aware there’s some darkness in me that’s fine but like it doesn’t even mention in equal quantity to the light or you know what I mean yeah it’s like yeah you know you’re shitty so be humble uh okay here’s humble having or showing a modest or low estimate of One’s Own importance uh oh here’s a great one someone lower in dignity or importance is humble

uh and then I just looked up proud for the hell of it feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of One’s Own achievements qualities or possessions that feels yucky yeah I like myself because I have yeah so all those definitions suck I don’t think any of them like Encompass what I think of as humility yeah they have pieces in it at least what I what I understand of humility I mean I will say though like in my household like it does sort of function or say function better I feel know how to say this exactly so in the household like if I put my needs in once ahead of everyone else that doesn’t always feel so good when I’m for me personally when I’m being of service to my family and doing a lot for them like I feel better about myself so in that respect like putting my needs lower does work but and there’s the caveat to that is I still have needs and I’m still going to ex ask for them to be met doesn’t mean I just throw them out the window it just means they don’t need to be the most important you know which is kind of parsing some of that picking the pieces out of those definitions that I like yeah well that’s tricky too and and I don’t I don’t mean this from any like mean Place whatsoever but I I do Wonder how unbiased either of us would be able to be with like out knowing more so okay yes that that works for you and I’m not denying that it does it sounds like a great strategy but does that come from also a feeling of I’m slightly less important or I need to do things for people to earn my worth you know what I mean so like how much of that is inside of you in a subconscious level that impacts the way you need to apply humility in your life and I don’t know and it would be the same for me like how much of whatever it is that I have going on for my history impacts and the way I feel about myself impacts the way I would need to look at humility yeah and that’s where these things get tricky because as we’ve talked about on most of these spiritual principle episodes like that asset overblown becomes a defect so if all I’m ever doing is running around serving my whole family and doing everything to make them happy because it gives me some kind of value or self-worth well that’s not really that healthy either like I should get my value and self-worth from I don’t know where I get it from but not from serving up you know what I mean like I shouldn’t be seeking that from other people or outside things this is my theory about it though and I don’t know I mean it’s open to argument I’m sure a lot of us think human nature is not necessarily positive or good um I tend to think if if you and I just went home today and said for the next three months we’re just gonna do exactly what we need to do and we did all those things that we needed we would feel so much better inside our body that what our needs would turn into would be oh [  ] I just feel good because all my needs are met I really don’t need anything what do they need I want to help them feel better like I feel like if we gave ourselves the space first to have all ours met we’d all feel so much better and have so much fewer needs because everything’s kind of met that we would just have all this space to want to help other people feel as good as we did and then it would be like everybody’s needs would just start getting [  ] met all over the place but it would start with us just doing what was right for us first at all times yeah but then how do you get the maintenance of that like so you do that let’s say for the three months or whatever and then how long do you go into the I just want to serve others before your needs start Rising back up and then you gotta kill them to you know yeah I don’t think you jump in like 100 I’m just gonna spend all my life serving others it’s like okay now that all my needs are met how much open space do I have outside of the time I spend meeting my needs so maybe over the course of a week now you really only need to spend eight hours you know hour and 10 minutes a day or something and your needs get met and that opens up a lot of your time to decide well what do I want to do with this now got all my needs man don’t really need anything do I want to lay here do I want to go help him my wife meet her needs I don’t know you know what I mean but there’s so much extra time because it takes so much less to meet your needs now well and right off the top of my head like I think that’s kind of how I feel about my life now which is pretty good I mean I haven’t thought about it that way but I’m like yeah I mean I don’t feel like I have these tremendous needs I have some wants and some goals and stuff like that but but that also comes with a level of like work that I put into certain things to get my needs met because of course I still have some you know emotional issues that I’m dealing with through 12-step work and stuff like that right um so that’s where I guess it gets trickier for me is like I don’t know that I want to go out to these meetings or not just the NA meetings but other meetings that I go to too I don’t know that I want to go do that in the moment but when I go it feels better so I don’t know that’s getting off track a little bit but well this is one of the spiritual principles that it does feel like our literature has some positive things to say about it um we were kind of scrolling through this morning and maybe not so much in the the basic text I feel like the basic text of Narcotics Anonymous generally has the same thing that every spiritual principal has which is not much in the way of like what it is how it looks how you would practice it but it does seem like in the step working guides there is some definitions or some words around humility one of the first ones would be humility is most easily identified as an acceptance of who we truly are neither worse nor better than we believed we were when we were using just human I like that idea right it just who am I not am I good not really am I bad just who am I yeah and I think this ties into that this was out of the basic text and it’s pretty close oh yeah yeah it’s the one that was any kind of useful out of like 30 references to humility right but it said as we grow we come to understand humility as acceptance of both our assets and our liabilities what we want most is to feel good about ourselves so I think that ties in with that same attitude it’s like I just want to know like who am I what am I about what are my you know and that’s a big thing I tell people now like with step work and and people that I sponsor or people that I talk to in meetings it’s like the goal of a sponsor isn’t for me to tell you what your values are and how you need to think about them the goal of the process is for you to figure out what your values are I can help you to understand some of these words maybe what they look like but like your values that you put on family or Finance or career or relationships like they might be different than the values that I put on those things and that’s okay you know it’s completely okay the idea is that I live a life that I’m happy with that fulfills me you know and that is to me like what is based in humility like just understanding like this is who I am this is what I want and that’s okay I’m okay with who I am and what I want and how I feel about things those statements are so similar and yet I feel like they carry a different like nuanced connotation for me because the one over here was like we’re not worse nor better than we believed we were right just human and kind of this idea of like it’s not really about the good or the bad it’s just like who argument and yours was like oh no we’ve got to accept the things we we look at as positive and the things we also label as negative they’re both there and that’s all of us and I I don’t like that quite as much yeah okay but uh the the last part of that sentence I don’t think I can remember reading that and I can remember reading those words and I’ve never heard them like I did till you just said them today read that last piece of it again what we want most what we want most is to feel good about ourselves yes I have never had that really hit me right that’s pretty interesting but I will say I I kind of disagree slightly with it even though I like the idea and I don’t think they could have possibly known back then when they wrote this that it was going to be different through through the world but I think it’s more we want to feel good in ourselves you know what I mean and like this concept good about ourselves is almost like I need to be a certain thing to look at myself outwardly you know look inwardly from the outside at myself to say oh yeah that looks good enough whereas like feeling good in yourself is just more your body feels good about the life you’re living yeah that makes sense but but I like the idea that at least that’s in there because I don’t like that didn’t hit me when I right and I never considered throughout my recovery that like that’s what I was going for necessarily right just to feel good just to feel better right like it didn’t occur to me that that’s one of my main bad things making me feel better right right right yeah so that’s pretty cool and what I thought about was back to the same idea of like for me there’s a lot of like what I’ll call like left brain or like rigid thinking with me so that idea of like assets and liabilities is it feels like almost like things I can grab or yes yes like yeah I can make lists and I can look at them like like abstract thinking is so hard right right what do you mean I’m not bad for hating that person right it feels bad right here’s another interesting piece from the the step working guides it says the principle of humility Springs from our acknowledgment that there is a power greater than ourselves what do you think about that I always want to call you like I’m gonna be like what do you think about that non-believer I don’t know why as the anti-god guy right that’s the that’s the god hater all right so I don’t want to mess at it so read it again I’m sorry oh yeah the principle of humility Springs from our acknowledgment that there is a power greater than ourselves kind of like the idea behind that I don’t know that I necessarily believe it yeah so the way I understand or interpret that is that I cannot do everything myself I left to my own devices you know can’t like fulfill my own happiness joy and freedom whatever um for a long time like that’s the way I lived like I don’t need anyone I don’t need anything just me and as long as I do what I want take care of me everything will be fine and that actually just LED deeper into addiction it wasn’t getting me out of that pit it was leading me deeper into that pit um and so now it’s this idea that like no I don’t have all the answers and in fact that’s dangerous for me to think that I do have all the answers you know being open to outside ideas being open to to other uh opinions you know is a again that’s a benefit that’s not a defect that’s a that’s an asset I think it was our second step episode and I I thought it was you that said it I don’t know maybe I heard at a meeting and I said in the episode who knows but it was something like I need to get my couch up to my second floor apartment and I can’t carry it up by myself but me and my friend Ken that’s a power greater than myself us together right and it was just so basic and so simple and it’s like yeah I guess there really is power is greater than ourselves even if we don’t believe in you know a specific God or anything yeah and I probably didn’t say that one but because the one I know is about painting a house but it’s the same idea it’s like I could paint my house and I could probably paint it by myself but I could also ask people to help me and then that’s a power greater than me and that will get it done a lot faster I feel like in your house that’s a power lesser than you because they won’t pay it as well as you would have that’s true I won’t paint it right they’ll just paint it poorly right it’ll be painted but not good um I just I guess I do like this idea though that it does help me feel right sized in the world when I remember that there’s power bigger than me like that helps me and maybe that’s part of what humility is for me like kind of this idea of like the right proportions or the right size for me in the world it’s like I have a proportion but also other people have proportions and I need to make sure I keep my proportion not at 100 so there’s some space for theirs yeah something like that and I I guess think of it in those terms for me it’s more uh there’s there’s a greater purpose to the world there’s a there’s something much bigger going on in life than just me and me being the center of the universe you know you’re getting close to home on something I’ve been feeling lately I’m like yeah there is something bigger going on in life we’re all paying to have like six billionaires do whatever the [  ] they want I’m tired of doing that that is not the goal in my life I’m done with that [  ] if I’m trying to buy my property I’ll be good and live off the grid that’s my whole goal I know that’s why I’m trying to have friends that’s what I want to do that’s why I’m trying to have friends that buy property of their own yeah

um when I get mine you can come live there you got to build your own cabin not build your cabin yeah I’m good with that okay I’ll start and you’ll come help me because I won’t be doing it right God damn it Jason let me just do that yeah like yeah it is not right

so here’s another interesting paragraph about humility it says we should not confuse humility with humiliation when we are humiliated we are ashamed we feel worthless humility is almost the complete opposite of this feeling through working the steps we’ve been stripping away layers of denial ego and self-centeredness we have also been building a more positive self-image and practicing spiritual principles before we couldn’t see our strengths because the good healthy part of us was hidden behind our disease now we can that is humility

I like the beginning of it but I don’t know is that humility that we can see the good parts of ourselves because they’re not hiding behind the disease like I don’t know that just doesn’t feel like a very useful tool to like because I could be I’m picturing some very times when I wasn’t humble and I could see a whole lot of good in me and that doesn’t feel like it would have helped me point out I’ve been like oh good I’m humble yeah look at all this good I got yeah the beginning I liked that you know where like talks about you know what what I really needed in my life was just like you said feeling comfortable in my own skin being okay with who I am and when I can do that it’s opened up a place to allow other people to do that like you can have your opinions you can have your values I don’t have to be feel feel like threatened I don’t have to be you know feel bad because we think differently you know you can just be who you are and have your opinions and beliefs and that’s cool that’s fine I can have mine too and we’re all like it’s it’s all okay we don’t have to convince anyone of anything hmm I like this one too humility is a sense of Our Own humanness I dig that that feels like what I want humility to be

but I will say that idea of like understanding my assets and defects like it helps me in practical ways like in my career for example and having sort of that mindset about myself also lets me do that with people around me you know so I can set people up for Success like in you know my job where we do a lot of different like service work like I know like certain guys are better at handling certain situations than others certain guys have a better skill set for dealing with let’s say a customer who’s disgruntled or whatever or someone I know is gonna like complain about their bill and want to haggle over the bill you know like certain guys just have things that they’re better with certain um situations that they’re better with and I can set them up for Success because nobody wants to be pushed into a situation where they know they’re going to struggle you know most people don’t like that right you know knowing that or if I do have to put them in that situation I’ll usually try to talk to them about it ahead of time and be like hey you know just so you know this lady’s upset about this or that so when you go in she’s going to be a little upset if she has anything to say you know you can tell her this tell her call the office talk to me you don’t have to make those you know just different things I can do when I’m willing to look at like every guy isn’t going to be perfect at everything or every situation like they’re each individual human beings that have strengths and weaknesses and I can use that not just for my advantage but for their advantage as well right I think the thing that stands out when you say it that way it’s and it’s shitty because everything we call them is good or bad we say good or bad qualities we say positive traits we say negative traits we say uh character assets and Character defects right like it’s always a positive or negative strengths and weaknesses but like the reality is if I go into a situation with a few people and we need to divvy up the things that need to be done yeah there’s things that I you know quote unquote are better or worse at uh in my mind it’s I’m more interested or less interested in them right like I don’t I don’t know a [  ] ton about spreadsheets Billy but like when I’ve had to play around with them most days some days I just get frustrated and I’m done with it but most days I’m like fascinated at figuring out formulas and [  ] right so it’s not necessarily that I’m good at it but I’m interested in it which makes me willing to do the Googling and the work to get it done well whereas other things I might not be interested in getting done well because I just don’t really give a [  ] about it so I think knowing these things about ourselves like what we would generally call strengths and weaknesses but what I want to refer to is just like interests and non-interest I think that can help us take the Judgment out of it like yes we want to know these things about ourselves why would we sign up to do a job that has nothing to do with what we’re interested in and we’re going to be miserable at we want to know that about ourselves but we don’t want it to be a character defect or a negative quality it’s just a just not our area of life like we can go do something else and not feel bad about it are you following me I I am and I guess I’m trying to think of there so I don’t know another way to describe things that I fall short on I know you know that’s where it’s one of more things that I wish I was better well what I’m picturing is the one that comes to mind is you handed off the finances in your marriage yeah because you don’t want to do it because you say I’m bad at it but we know I think rationally like you’re definitely smart enough to do the math it takes to do finances and keep track of it right that’s not that hard and I don’t think it’s impossible for you to choose to not spend money in a frivolous way if that’s what you wanted to do like you’re pretty committed you’ve committed to the gym for a couple years now and stuff like that so there’s nothing that actually makes you bad or negative or defective at keeping track of the finances or doing the finances it’s just you’re not interested you don’t care to be any better about it yeah but some of that is like those skills that you just described or things that I’ve developed later on like so I could probably do our finances now much better right because I’ve developed some of those skills over time you know what I mean like that commitment and those sorts of things um but at the time like I don’t think I could and back then I mean we’re talking it’s been probably 10-ish years now right so I was not going to the gym or dude my discipline wasn’t as good but like I think of things that I’m I’m not great at now that I recognize and so it helps me to be better so what I mean is I am terrible at like committing to things because they sound really good in the moment but I don’t really like Mark them down or keep track or whatever it’s like hey do you want to go to this thing next Tuesday night at whatever I’m like oh [  ] yeah that sounds great yeah I’d love to go and then then I leave and then it’s out of my mind until like you would call me on Monday and go hey what time are we meeting together that thing tomorrow and then I’m like oh [  ] uh I don’t know that book right and so just recognizing that about myself like I go okay well maybe I should be using my phone more like I have this tool that can help me do this better so I get better at it but if I don’t recognize it’s an area that I’m not living up to the type of person that I want to be you know what I mean I don’t know that I’ll take some corrective action to get better at it I guess we could just I hope we can find a way to acknowledge that without the bashing the negativity yeah you know what I mean like you you said uh you didn’t have those qualities for the finances 10 years ago when you were doing it and you would probably be better at it now right so maybe it’s like oh that’s skills I haven’t honed or developed as much quite yet you know what I mean like maybe there’s some way we can say it that just doesn’t feel like I suck at this well and even and so even then though like just to get it back to humility like I didn’t have enough humility to go to my wife and say hey will you show me how you would do this it was like nope I don’t want to do it you just do it and not even to have some humility to let her show me or teach me or maybe guide me like it was like I’m just bad at this you just do it like yeah I feel like that’s like survival though it doesn’t sound like a I chose to be unhumble that’s very much like I need to protect my myself and my inner you know ego and stuff oh yeah it just feels really protective it doesn’t feel like you know you were being shitty no and well it it had to do more because I wasn’t okay with not being good at things you know what I mean like now I’m okay with going oh I’m not necessarily good at that and that’s I’m okay with that you know right golf for example like I tried to play golf a couple years back and I went out and tried a handful of times and I was okay just because I’m somewhat athletic but I just could give myself no uh uh leash to like be like hey you’ll learn takes practice all that stuff I’m like nope I’m just not good at this I’m not gonna do it anymore but it seems fun like I drive by golf courses and be like oh man that looks kind of fun I’d like to be out there so science has a little bit to say about humility uh they were trying to Define it for some of the research and some of the things they noticed first humility is most accurately judged when it is under strain that’s interesting another thing they noticed was that humility is easier to observe accurately in others than it is in oneself so maybe I’m I’m not as humbled as I thought um third humility strengthens social bonds fourth humility might optimize the benefits of competitive traits by buffering the wear and tear they can have on relationships and fifth higher levels of humility may be related to Better Health outcomes so that was some of what they learned in trying to define it yeah well you would think I mean at least for the health outcomes if you’re a humble person you would think your relationships would be better the quality of your relationships would be better and therefore the quality of your life would be better because we know that’s a major metric in you know people’s happiness and quality of life is the quality of their relationships ooh and maybe that’s like a perfect way to test ah I don’t know if we’re testing the humility or the relationships but like if somebody’s walking around thinking they’re a really humble person yet all their relationships sucks because they feel like people treat them shitty maybe you’re a people pleaser not a hobby right like maybe that’s a good uh a good way to assess that yeah and I gotta watch that stuff for myself because I am codependent I mean I recently had a situation that I was you know it’s a dumb situation that I found myself in like this turmoil so I have a sponsee who is getting ready to celebrate an anniversary and this was just this past week so my home group is on Wednesday his is on Thursday he never even told me about it at the meeting on Wednesday somebody announced that he was celebrating the next day and I was like oh what the [  ] you know what I mean like God he didn’t even let me know and I have a service commitment on that day so I’m like well do I cancel my service commitment to go to this anniversary and you know to try to make it easy on him or do I say up too bad I got my service commitment and and what do I do like which part of that’s people pleasing and which part of that’s you know me living up to my values and and so there was a lot of wrestling there with what how to handle that situation like what is the is it humble for me just to inject myself into that situation what’d you do so I ended up I said I will ask other people to see if someone can feel the commitment if someone can I will go and if someone can’t then I’ll do my commitment and I was able to get someone to fill my commitment so I ended up going to the anniversary did you give them a day yes were they expecting you to be there sort of yes so another member of the Home Group reached out to me that same night and said hey you know so-and-so celebrating tomorrow uh it’d be great if you could make it you know he would but he so I ended up texting him and said hey did you get a new sponsor or something like I just found out from someone else you were celebrating he’s like no I just didn’t want to ask you because I haven’t been in you know one of those deals where it’s like you know I didn’t want to ask you because I haven’t really been calling you’re in touch with you and I didn’t want to inconvenience you because he just decided to celebrate last minute so it’s kind of one of those situations and then me as the good codependent person be like oh no let me step in and make it all better you know like that’s what I want to do so it’s just a weird it was a good opportunity to reflect on like I want to be a person that lives by my intentions you know what I mean I don’t just want to be sucked into some situation you know out of some weird obligation that I put on myself no I dig it I dig it I like that it seems reasonable like the whole response it wasn’t like bitter or I’m gonna do this despite this one or I’m gonna do this intentionally for this it was just I’ll do what I can to get I guess yeah but it was that measure of like is that codependent or is that people like am I am I because now it is inconveniencing me because I do have to ask people last minute to fill in for my position and I don’t like that I you know but are you happy with the way it handles it um yeah I think so I mean but I would say that’s probably more in hindsight than it was going into it only because I think it meant a lot to him that I showed up and he was grateful that I came but if he wasn’t then I probably would have felt bad about how I handled it so I don’t know if that’s healthy or not but like his response made it worth the inconvenience but had he not had a better response I don’t know it’s interesting it’s weird I mean and again it all gets back to you know am I living by my values am I being the person that I want to be and living with intention you know and and I guess to me that’s what humility has helped me to figure out like if I’m just running around being a people pleaser trying to make everybody feel better like oh I recognize how he feels and I’ll just take care of this for him to make him feel better you know because it makes me look good that’s definitely not how I picture yeah that’s not the connotation that it has for me I’m like man and and you didn’t know this going in but like what you learned about or you did kind of know this you texted and he said you know I was I was just didn’t want to bother you and like that feels super not humble but like the other version of humble words like lowly and like I’m not worth it and and I don’t know I don’t know I just picture you being like man that sucks that somebody feels so low they don’t feel like they can even ask me when they decide a week ahead of time that they’re gonna celebrate if I can make it I’m really glad I got to show up for that guy because he is worth it yeah it feels nice to me I mean it’s still yeah I mean I guess it after measuring it all out like that was what was in alignment with my values was to say if I can get someone else to fill in like I can’t neglect my commitment I have a commitment there right so if I can get someone to fill in I certainly will and so I just asked and and of course I’m learning that about healthy relationships and humility it’s like oh you should uh just ask the [  ] for what you need you don’t need to like try to you know I forget the wording they used in this reading that my wife and I read the other day but it’s like I don’t need to like throw my hooks out there with my like right right guilt or or manipulation to try to get someone to commit to something I want them to do without directly asking them like no I just ask and and same like so I can ask and if anyone is out there like people pleasing on the other end I hate to say that’s kind of on them but I don’t have to take responsibility for someone else’s unhealthy Behavior you know what I mean like I just asked and if you can do it great and if not don’t you know like and I put it out there that way I said if if no one can do it I will make sure the commitment is met but yeah I always try to use that disclaimer as well yeah right I’m like don’t go out of your way for this yeah um here’s some of the it’s six intrapersonal aspects of humility according to science a willingness to see ourselves truthfully an accurate perception of our place in the world that feels so [  ] yucky an ability to acknowledge our mistakes and limitations openness low self focus it’s an interesting term an appreciation of the value of things I thought those were interesting I hate when they say accurate perception of our place in the world because in in like a spiritual understanding of the world where we’re all kind of the same and and human and equals and stuff you know all men are created equal very nice myth uh spiritual concept that’s beautiful but in the world we actually live in accepting my place in the world that feels [  ] terrible because we’re meaningless yeah well that’s it well I was gonna say why does it does it feel terrible in it because in the actual version of the world there’s like I don’t know 25 30 important people and the rest of us don’t [  ] matter oh yeah right that sucks I might want to accept that I’m gonna change that yeah I don’t know I I yeah I get it I guess for me it’s just there’s some level of Peace in that like I always looked at it like we’re like ants in an ant farm kind of thing like all of us yes yeah right but in the scheme of the way we look at it where there’s 86 news articles about some actress’s nipple in a see-through shirt and you know one news article 18 people got shot at a club last night like no names or anything none of us [  ] matter and that feels like [  ] I don’t want to just accept that or acknowledge it oh maybe I’ll smash it

try not to pay attention to too much of that it’s time to stick my head in the sand ostrich and that ostriches stick their head in the same oh God and there’s a whole lot of stuff on this article that I’m not going to read apparently great practices but they’re not nice little convenient bullet points for us so [ __ ] them [Music]

thank you so I found a couple of quizzes one was a little more serious and then I was like looking at the questions and I’m like I don’t I don’t know maybe we’ll do that one too but I definitely want to do the one that seemed a little more fun so maybe we’ll I’ll let you take it since it’s gonna give us a score what is your age you’re 41.50 in your mail okay when someone pays you a compliment how do you react respond [  ] yeah I know I’m amazing duh respond thank you very much respond Blank Stare oh the second one yeah I don’t know every once in a while I hit my wife what the [  ] yeah I know I’m amazing oh yeah generally nobody else [Laughter] uh a co-worker takes credit for a great idea at work you shake your head and keep it to yourself you’re sure to get credit next time publicly humiliate the co-worker with an elaborate Revenge plot request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the matter it doesn’t say it’s your idea but I’m assuming it’s your yeah I took out of that too um probably of those more the second one I mean what I think is what I think what I would probably really do is like not say anything in the moment and then subtly sneak around and tell everyone else that it was my idea they stole it but that’s not in there well that’s kind of like an elaborate Revenge plot so it’s just not very elaborate yeah you just got a trendy new do hairdo your arch nemesis makes a snarky remark such as that’s an interesting choice of color you respond thanks I love it too go home and cry change it next time you’re scheduled yeah I know this is a little more geared towards women maybe it’s not your hair maybe probably the thanks I love it too I would think yeah you just kind of give a little a little passive aggressiveness back yeah

all right I’m gonna change the genders or sexes in this to make more sense for you so give me a second it might take my brain a trashy man is hanging all over your wife on your night out and she seems to be enjoying the attention do you politely tap him on the shoulder and drag your wife out of there accidentally spill a full glass of wine on his head start a rumor about his girlfriend has a scorching case of herpes quietly slip out of the bar and call Uber go to your wife’s best friend’s house and revenge [ __ ] her all night long Jesus wow that got brutal uh or cry yeah that was a lot of options yeah I don’t none of those I would just go to my wife and say hey I don’t like the way that he’s talking to you can we get out of here okay so we’ll go with the politely tap on the shoulder that’s close yeah yeah that sounds good you just passed an extremely intense exam you barely studied someone in your office is struggling with the same exam and has been studying for months do you go back to the office and toot your own horn by sending out a company-wide email of your success tell your boss and wait for the congratulations to roll in make it a point to make the other person feel like an idiot by telling them first kick the office door in and do a victory dance around the office

I can’t even blame Jenny Jenny for this quiz now can you read that first question again that you passed an intense exam and you barely studied that somebody else is struggling and has been studying for months so I guess they’re like how do you deliver the news back to the office that you have passed I guess you’re gonna have to deliver the news it’s probably like a a licensing test for your line of work or something so everybody’s gonna know it’s just how are you going to deliver it gosh I picture you being a tell your boss yeah like I don’t want it to be me I’ll just tell them yeah that’s probably it yeah yeah all right you’re surrounded by people who can barely string a sentence together do you can’t care constantly point out their spelling errors ask them if they finished eighth grade go home and drink vodka from large handle bottle with a straw every night I guess that’s how you cope with working with people you feel are inferior I don’t know this doesn’t feel humble at all maybe maybe this is right the answers terrible humility yeah yeah see how unhumble you are um well go with go with the Jesus version if you thought it you did it you probably point out their spelling errors in your head yeah that sounds good I’m trying to help you yeah and I’m like I don’t know that I do any of those things you just found out that a woman you can’t stand’s husband is cheating on her so you feel bad for the guy don’t feel bad for the girl offer to talk if she ever needs it send a congratulation card to the husband I would feel bad for her

there’s only three more bill you can do it yeah your new girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is certifiably insane your car mysteriously gets vandalized you have no proof that it’s him so you smash his headlights in with a baseball bat sprinkle a box full of Rusty Nails behind his tires file a report with your local police department you have no proof what can you do file a rapport with the police department you just got accepted into a prestigious graduate program people are congratulating you and your response is even ivy league isn’t good enough for me but I guess it’ll do thank everyone and mean it you’re so overwhelmed that you got accepted think to yourself thank God it’s out of state so I can move away from these idiots laughs probably number two we’ll see and this is what’s funny is what were my first thought be and then what would my actual action and second thought I want the spectrum between number two and three so there’s some of three in there all right [ __ ] yeah you have a friend of me who is always one step ahead of you and no one has ever gotten the best of everyone hates him behind his back he gets unceremoniously dumped you feel genuinely upset on his behalf ignore all his phone calls smile because the dick deserves it give all the single dudes you know her phone number [Music] I would say number one but I guess I’m I’m not 100 what’s a friend of me like like somebody that you are talking to but aren’t really all that you don’t really like them all that much okay third part of your life maybe they’re a college yeah I would still feel bad for them you’re 50 humble meh you need some work on becoming more humble they just seem like weird situations I don’t find myself in very often like okay so more serious quiz and the science version of this they often refer to intellectual humility which I don’t particularly like because it just feels like another separation between mind and body but right I don’t know I guess that’s the point of the way they can measure it so here you go before forming a strong opinion I prefer to review evidence and different viewpoints and this is strongly disagree disagree neither agree strongly agree

yeah I would say strongly agree yeah I feel like you do that you always talk about doing that I definitely do not do that

I have at times changed opinions that were important to me when presented with new evidence yes strongly agree I do that I can recognize the evidence supporting opinions that are different from my own yeah strongly agree I acknowledge that my beliefs and attitudes may be incorrect yes I strongly agree I feel like you’re an agree on that okay we could do agree well I mean I I think you do I think you’re actually better at this than I am and realizing like maybe I’m not right right now just like I wasn’t right 10 years ago when I thought I was like I feel like you do that better than me but I feel like it’s it’s almost impossible to always be doing that because there’s times when we just fall into like this is what I believe and I’m arguing about it yeah what I mean oh yeah for sure that’s true and of course it’s hard to not think I have all the information that there is to make the best decision right now right then I did it now I have it all that’s hilarious oh I’m careful to calibrate the strength of my opinions to the strength of the evidence I have hmm I I think I strongly agree that you do that yeah I feel like you do thank you all right it’s still humble if I say you did

I am willing to admit it if I don’t know something yeah I would say I do that I welcome different ways of thinking about important topics oh definitely yeah even when I disagree with others I can recognize that they have sound points hmm I agree but no no strong sound is worse

I have a soundist right right I have a hard time admitting when one of my beliefs is mistaken yeah that’s the belief yeah I would say I agree I mean it does take a lot for me to change my opinion I am willing to hear others out even if I disagree with it yeah I would say agree I tend to feel threatened when others disagree with me on topics that are close to my heart yeah yeah I mean yes I would agree with that you’re European European American in terms of your uh

you don’t have a degree right no sorry it’s asking all the dumpster would this be rural or would you consider elkton’s small City or Suburban uh I would say rural Jesus I’m not going to ask your income on the air I’ll just throw something in there uh how would you describe your political views very Liberal Liberal moderate conservative very conservative uh liberal what is it gonna tell us Billy you’re gonna be like a hundred percent your intellectual humility score is 47 out of 55 and if I read any more of this paragraph you will no longer have intellectual humility

suggesting that your ability to acknowledge your own limitations and value other people’s beliefs is strong that’s right just thinking the fact that I would answer strongly agree to any of those means I don’t have any humans it could also be a point I guess that is the other side of the coin yeah of course I strongly agree that I’m that great so I don’t know man I uh while I still kind of disagree that all these are separate things and I kind of think we’re just sort of doing one thing whatever like you said I mean parsing out making new words for the Nuance of it doesn’t hurt nothing I don’t while I’ve argued that most of these aren’t real I guess this would do not be real if it’s all just one other thing but whatever it’s interesting I like you I like this idea of like just being okay with just who I am and that’s what I think humility comes down to in the end the ability to feel good inside my body without having to do anything different to earn that like Worth or value yeah for sure and it’s interesting just those the difference of those two quizzes like just makes me aware like oh I do like recognize I am probably way more intellectually humble than I am like emotionally and I just don’t have as good an understanding of my emotions and being emotionally uh in tune as I am with my intellect you know it’s interesting just to pick that up the difference between those two quizzes huh because I know they are all connected like I know we’re all these we’re one thing we’re not right right but in my head it’s so much easier to separate out the intellect because it’s concrete and there’s a right and wrong and you know it’s it’s almost easily measurable whereas with emotional stuff that’s not always as easy to parse out the right thing to do well and I think we get a strong connotation from our our caregiver modeling and our early experiences with Society of what the right external looking behavior is and it’s different from family to family community to the community but you still get an idea of like there is a particular this is how you’re supposed to treat people no matter your emotional state um and there’s not a lot of leeway for like oh they’re upset maybe you can treat those people like we hope you do later but right now you can’t um you know another thing and you just said this I didn’t hear this much in in Narcotics Anonymous at least in the area I was in but I did know people who were in AA in my area who would talk a lot about this idea of we’ve always put emotions over our intellect and like you need to put intellect over emotions and sobriety or whatever and at the time it made sense but the more I learn about our emotional states and nervous system I disagree more and more but it’s like I don’t know I have heard that theory around did you hear that before um not specifically although I’ve definitely had that in practice I mean that I guess was my understanding earlier in recovery is like just I mean or I don’t know that’s my understanding in recovery it’s the way I approached things early on was just stuff all your emotions down and don’t pay any attention to them and just you know act as if or do the next right thing you know what I mean and it’s like don’t pay any attention to how you feel just do what you’re supposed to do awesome awesome well uh humility is great do you have any final thoughts about it no I mean other than it’s been it is one of those things that I think has been a big huge benefit in my life to be able to look at and practice and learn about all right go out there be humble tell everybody else to be humble listen to our podcast see you next week [Music] [Applause]

did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoverysortup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Reddit YouTube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us [Music]

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