Below is my proposed list of the six levels of humility, beginning with the best and descending to the worst. While I think that human beings can fluctuate between these levels depending upon circumstances and needs, I think that most people tend to occupy one level most of the time.
If you have any suggestions for additions, deletions, or re-ordering, I am humble enough to consider all ideas.
1. Authentic, honest-to-goodness humility: This is a person who is authentically humble about his or her success, ability, and/or achievement, oftentimes crediting others for the role that they played during their journey and avoiding self-congratulatory statements of any kind. This is a person who knows that it is always better to allow others speak highly of you than to ever speak highly of yourself and would never dream of singing his or her own praises.
2. Disingenuous but effectively feigned humility: This is a person who lacks humility for a variety of reasons but is wise enough to know that humility is an essential quality of a fundamentally decent human being. Therefore, this person convincingly pretends to be humble, thus appearing to possess authentic, honest-to-goodness humility. In effect, this person appears no different than an authentically humble human being. There may be absolutely no humility in this person's heart, but no one would ever know it.
3. Ironic lack of humility: This is a person who expresses almost no humility whatsoever but does so in a tongue-in-cheek fashion for the sake of irony or humor. Their use of irony is a clear indication that the person understands the importance of being humble and likely possesses some degree of humility but chooses not to express it explicitly for the sake of amusement or humor. Kevin O'Leary (Mr. Wonderful) of Shark Tank fame is a perfect example of this type of person.
4. Disingenuous and ineffectively feigned humility: This is a person who is not humble but understands the importance of humility but still boasts about him or herself even though the person knows better. This is the classic humble bragger who manages to sing his or her own praises in the midst of an expression of feigned humility. Sadly, most humble braggers are not aware of their transparency and believe that their feigned expressions of humility are perceived as authentic.
5. Authentic, honest-to-goodness lack of humility: This is a person who is not humble. This person does not express humility, nor does he or she see any need to be humble. This person is direct and honest about his or her high level of self perception. You know exactly where this person stands and how this person feels about him or herself at all times.
6. Unconscious lack of humility: This is the person who genuinely believes that he or she is humble yet repeatedly proves otherwise through comments that everyone perceives as lacking humility except for the person making the comments.