If someone displays these 11 behaviors, they’re a “humble narcissist”

by Tina Fey | March 20, 2024, 5:32 pm

Today, we’re going to chat about a unique concept: the humble narcissist.

Now you might be scratching your head, thinking, how can someone be both narcissistic and humble at the same time?

Well, it’s not only possible, but it’s also more common than you think.

These folks are confident, sure of themselves, but also grounded.

They don’t think they’re better than everyone else–a rare mix of traits that’s fascinating to explore!

Let’s dive into the behaviors that define a humble narcissist. We’ve got 6 key signs lined up for you.

1. They’re Self-Confident, Not Self-Obsessed

First things first, a humble narcissist has a healthy dose of self-confidence.

They believe in their abilities and aren’t shy about knowing their worth.

But here’s the kicker: they don’t cross over into the territory of self-obsession.

Unlike regular narcissists, they don’t act like the world revolves around them.

They’re not constantly searching for validation or fishing for compliments.

They’re pretty secure in who they are and what they can do, but they don’t let it inflate their ego to monstrous proportions.

So, if you meet someone who’s sure of themselves but doesn’t make every conversation about their greatness, you might just be dealing with a humble narcissist!

2. They Listen More Than They Speak

Ever been in a conversation with someone who just can’t stop talking about themselves?

That’s a classic trait of a regular narcissist. However, humble narcissists switch up the game. They listen more than they speak.

They’re genuinely interested in hearing other people’s stories, ideas, and experiences instead of dominating the conversation with their own.

They ask questions and engage actively, showing that they value your input and perspective.

3. They Know How to Share the Spotlight

Humble narcissists know how to share the spotlight. Let me explain with a little story.

A while back, I worked with a guy named Alex.

Now, Alex was one of those incredibly talented people who could fix just about anything– from a broken printer to a complex software glitch.

He was confident, no doubt about that, but he had this amazing ability to share credit.

I remember once when we had a major project deadline looming and our team was stuck on a difficult problem.

Alex came up with the solution that saved the day.

But when our boss praised him in front of the team, Alex was quick to say, “I might have found the solution, but we all worked hard on this. It’s a team win.”

That right there is classic humble narcissist behavior.

They’re not insecure about their capabilities, but they also understand and appreciate the role others play.

So, if you come across someone who knows their worth but still applauds others for their contributions, you may have found yourself a humble narcissist.

4. They Value Growth Over Perfection

A fascinating fact about humble narcissists is that they are more interested in growth than perfection.

While regular narcissists often strive for perfection to uphold their self-image, humble narcissists see value in making mistakes and learning from them.

People who display traits of humble narcissism are more likely to embrace their flaws and see them as opportunities for growth.

They understand that nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to mess up as long as you learn something from it.

If you find someone who embraces their imperfections and sees them as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, there’s a good chance they’re a humble narcissist.

5. They Practice Genuine Empathy

Unlike typical narcissists who often lack empathy, humble narcissists can genuinely understand and share the feelings of others.

This trait makes them unique. Their hearts are open to the joys and pains of those around them.

It’s as if they have an emotional compass that allows them to navigate the highs and lows of others’ lives, offering comfort, understanding, or celebration when needed.

Their ability to empathize doesn’t make them weak; instead, it’s a testament to their strength and humility.

They can step outside their own experiences and connect with others on a deeper level.

6. They’re Not Afraid to Apologize

In my experience, one of the most telling signs of a humble narcissist is their willingness to say “I’m sorry.”

Let me share a little bit about my best friend, Sam.

Sam has always been one of the most confident people I know. But what sets him apart is his ability to apologize when he’s wrong.

One time, we had a disagreement about something trivial. It escalated and things got heated. Later, Sam was the first one to reach out and say, “I messed up. I’m sorry.”

Sam’s not afraid to admit when he’s wrong. He doesn’t see apologizing as a sign of weakness but as an act of respect towards the feelings of others.

He’s still self-assured, but he understands that everyone makes mistakes–and it takes strength to acknowledge them.

So if you know someone who’s big on confidence but isn’t too proud to say sorry, you might just be looking at a humble narcissist.

7. They’re Real, Not Fake

Humble narcissists are the real deal. They’re not about putting on a show or pretending to be someone they’re not. They’re authentic, down to their core.

I can’t stress this enough: authenticity is a rarity in today’s world of filters and facades.

And that’s what sets humble narcissists apart. They don’t hide behind a mask or put up a pretense just to make themselves look better.

They’re comfortable in their own skin, flaws and all.

They don’t need to exaggerate their achievements or downplay their failures.

Because they know that every part of their journey–the good, the bad, and the ugly–makes them who they are.

So, if you find someone who’s unapologetically themselves, never afraid to show their true colors, and still exudes that quiet confidence–then my friend, you’ve stumbled upon a humble narcissist.

8. They Have a Strong Moral Compass

This might surprise you, but humble narcissists typically have a strong moral compass.

Individuals who display traits of humble narcissism are likely to uphold high ethical standards.

They have a clear sense of right and wrong, and they stick to it, even when no one’s watching.

They’re not about bending rules or stepping on others just to get ahead.

For them, the means are just as important as the end.

If you know someone who holds themselves accountable, deeply respects others’ rights and dignity, and still carries that air of confidence– you’ve probably spotted a humble narcissist.

9. They Embrace Change

I’ve always admired people who can adapt and grow with changes, and humble narcissists are pros at this.

My sister, for example, is a prime example of a humble narcissist.

She’s always been self-assured and confident, but what truly sets her apart is her ability to embrace change.

When she was laid off from her job, instead of wallowing in self-pity or getting stuck in the past, she saw it as an opportunity to pivot in her career.

She took the setback in stride, used it to fuel her determination, and started her own business.

She always says that change is just life’s way of nudging us towards growth. And boy, has she grown!

So if you see someone who welcomes change, uses it to propel themselves forward and still carries that quiet confidence, then you’re likely looking at a humble narcissist.

10. They Don’t Need Constant Validation

Here’s the hard truth: Humble narcissists don’t need your validation.

They’re not constantly seeking approval or fishing for compliments.

They’re confident in their abilities and content in their self-worth.

Unlike the stereotype of narcissists craving constant admiration, humble narcissists don’t rely on others to feel good about themselves. They know their value and they don’t need someone else to confirm it.

11. They Know How to Say ‘No’

Many of us struggle with saying ‘no’, whether it’s out of fear of disappointing others or appearing selfish.

But not humble narcissists. They understand the value of boundaries and aren’t afraid to set them.

They’re not people-pleasers trying to accommodate everyone at the cost of their own well-being. They know when to draw the line and prioritize their needs without feeling guilty about it.

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