The More Modest You are, the Happier You are: The Mediating Roles of Emotional Intelligence and Self-esteem

Abstract

Modesty, often defined as a goal-direct self-presentational behavior, is highly beneficial to behavioral health regulation, self-efficacy, interpersonal relation, and group performance. Recent theories and studies have provided evidence that modesty is linked to adaptive well-being, but the potential mechanisms underlying this relationship remain poorly understood. This study examined the mediating roles of emotional intelligence (EI) and self-esteem (SE) in the relationship between modesty and subjective well-being (SWB) as well as depression among 500 Chinese adults. The results showed that higher levels of modesty were positively associated with EI, SE, SWB, and negatively correlated with depression. Furthermore, EI and SE were positively related to SWB, and were negatively related to depression. Path analyses indicated that EI and SE mediated the relationship between modesty and both SWB and depression in-sequence. EI was also a direct mediator between modesty and depression, whereas SE played an indirect role through its relationship with EI. These findings suggest an important role of modesty in promoting well-being and provide the preliminary evidence regarding possible mechanisms through which modesty contributes to well-being.

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Zheng, C., Wu, Y. The More Modest You are, the Happier You are: The Mediating Roles of Emotional Intelligence and Self-esteem. J Happiness Stud 21, 1603–1615 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00144-4

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Keywords

  • Modesty
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Self-esteem
  • Subjective well-being
  • Depression