Humility and purity as exhibited by one's social behavior.

False/ostentatious modesty, however, is an affectation and a vice and isn’t very useful to have around.

There’s modesty in terms of not showing off, not being arrogant, etc. And there’s modesty in terms of not wearing revealing clothing, being overly flirtatious, discussing your private life, etc. Same word for both, but they seem like they’re different things.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • braggadocio
  • haughtiness
  • humble-bragging
  • immodesty
  • false modesty
  • lewdness
  • tooting your own horn
  • self-promotion

Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere


Inspirational quotes

  • “No doubt, when modesty was made a virtue, it was a very advantageous thing for the fools; for everybody is expected to speak of himself as if he were one.” ―Schopenhauer
  • “Strive to render yourself perfect; but avoid the appearance of perfection and infallibility.” ―Baron Knigge
  • “I will not grieve that men do not know me; I will grieve that I do not know men.” (Analects of Confucius, I.XVI)
  • “He who speaks without modesty will perform with difficulty.” (Analects of Confucius, XIV.XXI)
  • “The higher type of man is modest in what he says, but surpasses in what he does.” (Analects of Confucius, XIV.XXIX)
  • “If you want other people to speak well of you, do not speak well of yourself” —Pascal
  • “The quality of a really virtuous person is to be unknown to people, or to be misunderstood by people, but not to be disappointed by this.” —“Chinese wisdom” (attributed by Tolstoy)
  • “In public avoid talking often and excessively about your accomplishments and dangers, for however much you enjoy recounting your dangers, it’s not so pleasant for others to hear about your affairs.” —Epictetus