How to Be More Modest

Three Parts:Cultivating a Modest AttitudeLiving a Modest LifestyleDressing and Behaving More Modestly

Modesty generally refers to decent, unassuming behavior. It is typically marked by a humble attitude and a desire to show kindness towards others. Whether you're interested in being more modest for religious reasons or simply want to live a more restrained lifestyle, you can become more modest by changing your attitude, living within your means, and conforming to prescribed modes of dress and behavior.

Part 1
Cultivating a Modest Attitude

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    Have a healthy, realistic impression of yourself. Being modest begins with how you see yourself and your place in the world. By being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you can avoid the pitfalls of arrogance and start to live more modestly.[1]
    • Try to see yourself the way others see you by asking your closest friends how they perceive you. Ask about both the good and the bad, and let your friends know you'd like a fair and honest assessment.
    • Acknowledge your good qualities and your positive accomplishments, but don't let these things inflate your ego or define your life.
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    Seek out advice and constructive criticism. A modest person is defined by his or her humility. If you're trying to live more modestly, you should accept the fact that you do not know everything about yourself, and that you may need advice and guidance from others.[2]
    • Accept that you may be wrong from time to time. Remember that there's nothing wrong with this; no one is perfect, and no one can be right all of the time.[3]
    • Don't interrupt when someone is criticizing you or giving you advice. You may be tempted to defend yourself, but by listening actively you'll learn a great deal about yourself.
    • Don't dismiss the criticism others offer you, but don't accept or believe it all at face value. Ask other people who know you if they've noticed similar patterns of behavior, and assess your need to improve while keeping your ego in check.
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    Resist the urge to brag about yourself. Another facet of humility is personal restraint. Modest people do not brag about their wealth or accomplishments, and they don't let these things define them. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should hide anything about yourself; it simply means that you shouldn't boast about anything.[4]
    • Telling a new acquaintance in conversation about something significant that you've done isn't necessarily bragging if it's relevant to the conversation.
    • Telling someone about your accomplishments repeatedly, or reminding someone who already knows about them, could be seen as bragging.
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    Accept compliments without an ego. A modest person should not let compliments get to his or her head. You can accept a compliment graciously, but you should not let it feed into your ego or make you think that you're better than others.[5]
    • Recognize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but don't let those qualities define you or anyone else.
    • If someone compliments one of your strengths, you can practice being modest by thanking that person and complimenting them on one of their strengths.
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    Strive for selflessness. A modest person puts the needs of others ahead of his or her own needs. That doesn't mean forcing yourself to suffer; it simply means being considerate of others and fostering a desire to help others in some way.[6]
    • Be kind to others and think about whether their needs are being met.
    • You may find that it is ultimately more important and more rewarding to elevate others than to try to elevate yourself.

Part 2
Living a Modest Lifestyle

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    Live within your means. The key to living a modest lifestyle is living within your means. That means avoiding extravagance and settling for the basics. You don't have to deprive yourself to live modestly - you just have to value function and practicality over luxurious status symbols.[7]
    • Drive a car that is safe, comfortable, and works well. Don't choose a car for its flashiness or status value.
    • Buy or rent a home that is sturdy, comfortable, and in a safe neighborhood. If you only need two bedrooms then don't rent or buy a place with three bedrooms.
    • Find out the average cost to purchase a home in your area and try to work within that price range (if it fits your budget).
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    Buy used or discount items whenever possible. One easy way to live a more modest lifestyle is to buy items that are used or discounted instead of paying full price. This can help you save on the basics when you're at the store. Look for items on sale, discount, or clearance when you're at a retail store. You can also check thrift stores for gently-used items available at a fraction of the cost of new items.
    • Gently-used items are often in like-new condition. You can find these at thrift stores, consignment shops, and pawn shops.
    • Many clothing stores put out-of-season garments on clearance. These can typically be purchased at a very low cost.
    • Check stores that are going out of business, as they often have good deals to move products out the door.
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    Try not to worry about whether others are impressed. Living modestly and humbly means emphasizing your values ahead of the opinions of others. Don't trouble yourself wondering whether others are impressed with you or with your possessions. Instead, focus on living a meaningful and upstanding life.[8]

Part 3
Dressing and Behaving More Modestly

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    Wear clothing that is not revealing. Many religious and cultural institutions encourage people to dress modestly. The goal of dressing modestly is to provide a good, morally-sound influence to the people you interact with.[9]
    • Generally speaking, modest clothing is any article of clothing that is not sexually suggestive and does not show off the body.
    • This means avoiding any clothing that reveals too much skin, and it may also entail avoiding clothes that are tight-fitting.
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    Avoid extremes in appearance. Modest dress may also include a general avoidance of extremes, depending on one's culture. This may mean being neatly groomed and manicured, conforming to prescribed fashion trends, and abstaining from getting tattoos or piercings.[10]
    • Someone who wants to live modestly and also wants to have pierced ears may find that a single pair of plain earrings will accommodate both desires.
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    Use language that is positive and uplifting. Modest speech means refraining from vulgarity or negative language. Instead, a modest speaker should strive to be a positive role model for others and should try to make others feel happy.[11]
    • Don't use swear words.
    • If you're trying to be modest for spiritual purposes you should also avoid blasphemous language.
    • Ask yourself whether the things you say would inspire and uplift others, or them feel uncomfortable or upset.


  • Respect the beliefs that other people hold. Don't expect others to conform to your way of life, and don't judge other people for living in a way that makes them happy.
  • Be patient with yourself. It's hard to change old habits, and it may take you a while to figure out how to implement a more modest approach to your life.

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