The “What, Why and How” of Modesty

From The Family Virtues Guide

What is Modesty?

Modesty is having a sense of self-respect. When you practice modesty you are not showy of boastful. Modesty comes when you have a sense of self-acceptance and quiet pride. Modesty is to value yourself and to have a sense of privacy about your body. Modesty means having a sense of what is appropriate and inappropriate about showing your body and well as how you allow others to touch you. It is keeping private parts of your body to yourself and not allowing others to touch you in ways that abuse your privacy. People who practice modesty wear clothing which is both attractive and respectful. Modesty means to accept praise without getting conceited or puffed up with a feeling of superiority. You are grateful for your gifts, and you know that others have gifts too.

Why Practice Modesty?

Without modesty people do all kinds of things just to attract attention. They brag and boast. They even allow others to take advantage of them and use them in disrespectful ways. Without modesty people don’t set boundaries about how they wish to be touched or not touched. They often feel used by others and don’t know why. Without modesty people sing their own praises, and their virtues get lost in the noise. Bragging puts people off, so immodest people can become quite lonely. When people practice modesty, they don’t need to tell others about how great they are. They just let their actions and virtues speak for them. They show self-respect and then others respect them too.

How Do You Practice It?

Modesty is an attitude. It begins by being comfortable with yourself. It is knowing that you have special gifts and that other do as well. Humility helps in the practice of modesty. When you do something with others, you don’t take all the credit. You don’t brag or boast of show off.  You accept praise without getting conceited. You share your excitement about something you have done without making it sound like the best thing that anyone ever did. Modesty is practiced when you keep others from exploiting you. You are respectful of your body and your privacy, and you expect others to be too. If anyone touches you in a way which doesn’t feel right, go and tell and adult you trust. Don’t keep it a secret. When you are modest, you don’t try and attract too much attention to yourself. You dress in a moderate and respectful way.

What would modesty look like if…

  • A friend tries to convince you to buy a flashy outfit because everyone else is wearing it?
  • Someone starts to tease you and tickle you near your private parts?
  • You played really well and your team won the game?
  • Someone wants to kiss you and you don’t want him to?
  • You feel like bragging about something good you did?

Signs of Success

Congratulations! You are practicing modesty when you…

  • Are comfortable being who you are
  • Respect yourself
  • Do not permit anyone to abuse your body
  • Set boundaries about your right to privacy
  • Dress in a way which feels right to you
  • Share your victories without boasting
  • Share the credit with others who deserve it

Keep trying! You need more practice when you…

  • Need to attract attention to feel important
  • Rely on words more than deeds
  • Dress in a way which disrespects yourself and others
  • Constantly let other know how great you are
  • Allow anyone to use or abuse your body
  • Take too much credit instead of sharing it with others who deserve it too


I am modest. I have no need to brag or attract attention. I am worthy of attention just as I am.

Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin, and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.


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