Thursday, February 4, 2016

How to Choose Love by Being Humble: 7 Ways

How to Choose Love by Being Humble: 7 Ways

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."
Ezra Taft Benson

The Power of Good Gifts and Humble Pie

Sometimes I give really selfish gifts. The first time it happened it shook my world:

My husband loves pies! It is what he grew up eating for the special occasions in his life. Several years ago, wanting to do something nice for him, I volunteered to make him one. He gladly accepted. 

I had a specific flavor in mind and began to get the ingredients out. He called to me requesting something else. I explained to him I was going to make a different kind. He asked if I had the ingredients for the kind he wanted. Frustrated, I said I did, but I wanted to make the other kind. 

Understandably, he wanted to know, if I was offering to give him the gift of a pie, why he couldn't choose what kind he wanted - especially if I had everything I needed to make it. Looking back, I think that's a reasonable question.

Long story short, I completely ruined the offering by turning into a witch and flying my broomstick around the kitchen.

Eventually, I had to eat some humble pie, say sorry, and live to see another day.

Here's what I learned about that sad, sad pie.
  • I really wasn't making that pie for him.
  • That pie was my attempt at making myself feel like I was a thoughtful, awesome wife. I was the "who" in the pride statement above.
  • I really wanted the other kind of pie. I figured if I was going to make a pie, it should be a kind I like to eat. But that negated the power of the gift (the "what" in the humility statement). 
  • Witches with pointy pride hats aren't very good at showing love.
Since that day, I've tried to make sure my gifts aren't tied to what I want to give, but what I think the recipient would like to get. It's not about me. It's about them! If that is my thought process from the beginning, then what I want to give and what the recipient wants to get usually match perfectly in the end.

Choose Love by Being Humble

Being humble is one of the best gifts we can give our families. Since loving someone is truly about wanting the best for them, it makes sense that we would take ourselves and our wants out of the equation when possible.

It has been a long while since I posted anything new to my Choose Love series. I hope you'll check out the other posts mentioned below. This post is a continuation of that. If you didn't see it before or just need a refresher, hop over to the original post and check out the free download available: 100 Simple Ways to Choose Love.

Of those original 100 Simple Ways to Choose Love, 7 of them were of the humble nature. 

"Being humble means recognizing we are not on earth to see how important we can become, 
but to see how much difference we can 
make in the lives of others." 
Gordon B. Hinckley

1. Ask for help: I'm not a mind-reader and no one else is, either. Don't assume people know how to help you or what you expect them to do for you. Ask! I know there are situations when expectations have already been outlined. Life gets busy. People get distracted. Give them the benefit of the doubt and ask all over again. 

I really appreciate it when I am asked to help with something instead of being confronted with the assumption I was going to do something and failed to execute. I mean, I'm a mom of six. My brain cell count is getting pretty low. I've given it all away to my children! Remind me, please, that you would like me to help you and I will. 

I know my children love to be able to help with things. Yes, it takes longer to complete the task, but the empowerment they feel when they know they've helped me is well worth the extra time.

2. Say thank you: Appreciation goes a long, long way! Even if things aren't up to your standard, say thank you and find a time to train the person helping you when they are ready to learn. I am definitely more willing to help a grateful person than one who feels entitled to my services. For more on gratitude check out my post here: 7 Unusual Way I Know How to Be Grateful. You just might be sparked with a new way to say thank you!

3. Let someone else choose: This is where I got it all wrong with the pie. Choice is a very powerful gift. Can you let your child choose the family activity, your spouse choose the movie, your teen choose the music? What choices can you delegate today?

4. Apologize first: Wow! Is a hard one for most people or what? We always want to be right. We never want to have to admit we were wrong, or stupid, or careless, or whatever! But guess what? It doesn't matter! Even if you think you are right, the other party probably thinks you aren't. So, take a step toward reconciliation and say you're sorry. The only way it works is if it's sincere. Can you see their side of it? Can you let go of your hurt long enough to turn the conversation back to something with a bit of love in it? Say sorry! Then throw in a hug and a kiss. :)

If you need to, apply the 10-10-10 rule. Will it matter in 10 minutes, 10 weeks, or 10 years? If the answer is no, let it go. The faster the better.

5. Sincerely thank the breadwinner of your home: This is like #2 but bears special mention. Work is hard and often thankless. Don't let that gratitude go unexpressed in your home. Tell yourself or your spouse how grateful you are for their contributions to your style of life. Unless you live under a bridge in a dangerous part of town, you probably can do this one fairly easily. 

6. Count to 10: Breathing deeply is a sure technique to bring everything down a notch when in a stressful situation. A deep breath involving a mere four seconds can rewire our brain so it is more rational. Count to 10 and see the benefits almost triple! Chances are, you will have time to think about what you really want to say. Maybe it's "I'm sorry" or "I love you". Swallow the pride pill in just 10 seconds and feel your stress dial down quite a bit. You will live with fewer regrets over conversations gone bad. I promise!

7. Express sympathy or empathy: Can you put yourself in someone else's shoes? Or have you been there yourself and can truly know how it feels? Don't let kind words sit unused. Don't give advice unless it's asked for. Remember, this is about the other person - not you. A listening, sympathetic ear is sometimes all that is needed to give someone comfort during a hard time. 

There you have it: 7 Ways to Be Humble. I know this list could a lot longer. I would love to know what experiences you have that have humbled you or made you grateful for another person. Share in the comments below. If you liked this list, would you please share it on Facebook? (Or anywhere else. :)) Thank you!

You might enjoy these posts:

1. The Choose Love goal that started it all:

Images by lisasolonynko
Quotes by Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley


  1. What an amzing post, my dearest, wonderful friend, how much love you put in it ...
    Humbleness is probably the most beautiful quality a man can belong show, and I think, in our world, the hardest to preserve from our childhood.

    Thank you for your words, quotes and images making this post of yours truly unique, my sweetie, have a blessed remainder of your week
    sending love to you

  2. These are all great tips on how to be humble. Now I'm going to tell you a little story. I am Greek and grew up in NY so when I moved back here I carried with me the american culture of being polite and saying thank you, please, etc. Well, the people there looked at me as if I was crazy. They could not understand why I was saying thank you all the time. They did not get my form of politeness and thought I was foolish. To this day I refuse to change. Being polite and humble is who I want to be and no amount of cultural clashes will change that. Unfortunately for me they view it as a sign of weakness. Kathryn life is a journey and we are always learning and some times it's hard to stick to the road you have chosen. Thanks for such an inspirational and thought provoking post.

  3. Kathryn, these are all wonderful ways of showing you care and that you are humble. I can relate to your pie situation and a true gift is a selfless one although doing good and being humble feels good! But that's ok!

  4. The time I spend here with you is so much precious to me, my darling !
    That's why there's a surpise for you at ~ My little old world ~, hope you'll enjoy it ..
    Sending so many hugs to you

  5. Such timely and important words. I remember someone saying one time "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy". The way to happiness is through love, often times expressed through humility. Thanks for a beautiful reminder.

  6. Kathrn, I know I am guilty of the 'pie' scenario...I guess we all are at one time or another. Your insight and suggestions will help me right my ship when I feel it tilting the wrong way. Thanks and very timely with VAlentine's Day right around the corner.

    Hugs, Lynn

  7. So nice post dear Kathryn, we should learn and follow as much as we can or may be all. Thanks for sharing.I have shared on google plus.

  8. That is a great post about being humble. I wish everyone in the world knew how to be humble. Wouldn't that make the world a much better place? Popping over from #waywow Facebook

  9. Some of these, like saying thank you, and thanking my husband for working so hard to provide for our family, I do regularly. Others, like asking for help, I need to work on. And with three sets of little eyes watching and learning from me, I need to set the right example. Thank you for the reminder.

  10. I love this post Kathryn. You have given us to many fundamental and crucial ways to show respect and basic kindness to each other which fosters love and builds strong relationships. Thank you so much for putting so much into this fabulous post so we can all learn and change to be better by following your advice.

  11. Such wonderful words on being humble. I love all of your quotes, they are inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful wealth of information.

  12. All such great reminders. I can use them all!

  13. Wow, this is so timely, I needed to read this. When Levi was declared mentally ill by professionals someone said to me "Aren't you proud? You were right." I think that they were congratulating me on fighting for my son. My response, "I never wanted to be right, I just want to do what's right." That was several weeks ago, and then I read your post, it encourages me that I'm on the right path. I really needed that! Thank you so much. xx

  14. This is really a wonderful post, very single idea is so true, I was totally lost in the post while reading. The start is so nice when you explained the difference between pride and humility.

  15. Carol Kovach BrayApril 15, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Very good post on something everyone should know and practice doing more often. I've been in the position several times where there's no doubt that humility is the way to go.

  16. You have the gift of writing! All of these are so important, but I really like #5, and you hardly ever hear anyone say it. I believe you do need to thank the breadwinner. They need to hear it.