List of Character Traits

There could be many lists of character traits or character qualities. In fact, if you and I were each to make our own list of character traits it is likely that they would be somewhat different.
Sometimes, different words might be used to describe the same character trait – honesty and truthfulness, for example. Or your list might contain character traits that I didn’t think about and would have included if I had thought of them. It might be that one of us would include some things in our list that the other would not agree with. I might include intelligence in my list of character traits, but you might say that intelligence is not a character trait but an ability.
So, in the full knowledge that there may be other just as valid lists of character traits, I am presenting below one list that has been very helpful to me. The working definitions associated with each character trait are from Character First!(tm).
  • Alertness – Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
  • Attentiveness – Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
  • Availability – Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
  • Benevolence – Giving to others basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
  • Boldness – Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
  • Cautiousness – Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
  • Compassion – Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
  • Contentment – Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
  • Creativity – Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
  • Decisiveness – The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
  • Deference – Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
  • Dependability – Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
  • Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
  • Diligence – Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me.
  • Discernment – Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.
  • Discretion – Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
  • Endurance – The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
  • Enthusiasm – Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
  • Faith – Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.
  • Flexibility – Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities.
  • Forgiveness – Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
  • Generosity – Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
  • Gentleness – Showing consideration and personal concern for others.
  • Gratefulness – Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefitted my life.
  • Honor – Respecting those in leadership because of the highter authorities they represent.
  • Hospitality – Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
  • Humility – Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
  • Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
  • Joyfulness – Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
  • Justice – Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.
  • Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
  • Meekness – Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
  • Obedience – Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
  • Orderliness – Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Patience – Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.
  • Persuasiveness – Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.
  • Punctuality – Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
  • Resourcefulness – Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
  • Responsibility – Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
  • Security – Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
  • Self-Control – Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.
  • Sensitivity – Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.
  • Sincerity – Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
  • Thoroughness – Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
  • Thriftiness – Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.
  • Tolerance – Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
  • Truthfulness – Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
  • Virtue – The moral excellen ce evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
  • Wisdom – Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

Character First! published booklets on each of these character qualities. Each booklet is designed to describe the quality more fully and give illustrations of how it is demonstrated in life. These booklets are valuable resources for those who wish to build good character qualities into their lives. Go here to purchase the booklets.

19 Responses

  1. Sophia says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing. You have done a great and helpful job. I will put it into action.

  2. Heather says:

    I actually needed to present this unique post, “List of Character
    Traits » What Is Character?” along with my best close friends on fb.
    I personallyjust wished to pass on your great publishing!
    Thank you, Karol

  3. thomas says:

    I to believe that your work is quite spot-on. I do agree that integrity must be added. Integrity speaks to exhibiting a sound and strong character.

  4. OB says:

    wow…this is absolutely mind blowing.great work. i was just looking out for info on a book chapter on character before stumbling on your work. it has helped ease my work. God richly bless you Larry for this compilation

  5. johnijane says:

    THIS IS the most valuable list I think I have ever read. So profound! By these definitions it clear for me to recognize What is by GODS design for each of us. I believe it is only HIM who can actually produce these qualities in each of us. To NOT recognize them within ourselves is to deny the one who is molding each of us for higher purpose. THANK you so MUCH! Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! You have helped me see how I am being transformed remarkably!! What I have absorbed from this is truly enriching. I am truly grateful for it.

  6. Gary says:

    How about courage or bravery, that is, acting at risk of one’s welbeing for a greater cause. I don’t think your “boldness” covers this type of trait. Or am I missing something in your list?

    I like your list. Similar to the one Andre Comte-Sponville drew up.

  7. Laura says:

    Thank you for this list. I’m currently working on an essay that asks what two areas of my character I want to develop, and your list was very helpful to me!! I picked compassion (before I found your site) and then as a result of this post, meekness. Meekness is something I am just learning about, but know I want for my character in a big way!

  8. Michelle Stecker says:

    I believe that integrity, honesty and truthfulness are not the same thing. For instance, I have integrity when I listen to my conscience and speak or act accordingly regardless of how popular my view may be. I don’t have to be right to have integrity and by being able to listen to my conscience, speaking from that place sometimes leads me to reassess what I believe – especially when I get feedback. I must strip the message from the delivery or deliverer of the feed back and look at it for what I can learn. If the delivery feels grating, threatening or sarcastic, that isn’t what I need to react to or think about; it’s the message I need to understand. If it feels like a personal attack, that’s something interesting for me to examine why I take it that way. I don’t have too. What if my beloved grandmother was telling me the same thing? Then how would I take it?

    Honesty means I am honest with myself first about who I am, what I think and I have to courage to examine why I think the way I do and how it moves me forward AND how it holds me back. I must first take inventory of my attitudes (missing on the list above) and consider how attitudes (mine or others) skew my thinking and therefore my honesty.

    What is truthfulness? I don’t think this word belongs on the list. Being truthful doesn’t mean I’m telling the whole truth. The information I omit, for whatever reason, means my ‘truthfulness’ is just the opposite and is misleading if not manipulative and cowardly.

    And what does any of this mean? Looking it up in the dictionary, knowing it when I see/hear it/think it does not provide clear reliable guidepost. How does that happen? Try listing to you conscience and expressing your beliefs without reacting to internal patterns that may keep you defensive, aggressive and evasive therefore drowning out your the wisdom of your conscience. And, let others speak their conscience and honor the courage it takes to do this. I and you should not defend our inner beliefs and values, but be curious about why others may attack them.

  9. esther says:

    is it possible for someone to have all these traits without the holy spirit? Cause i’ve seen lots of things in this world of ours.

  10. Judy says:

    Can you send me an emailed version. Thank you, this was very valuable.

  11. Loveth says:

    Oh God help me, for l still have a long way to go .this is indeed a qulitiy of a good christain.

  12. Lyla says:

    Is there a printer-friendly version?

  13. emmanuel gankon yohanna says:

    wow! Good thought,i will put it to work.

  14. Mobayor says:

    Wow! Perfect work. Those mentioned traits were honestly thought of plus i think the aggregate of those traits are the true character of a person.

  15. Celestine says:

    accurate and enlightening explanation for each character trait.

  16. Celestine says:

    well thought out and accurate description

  17. daniel wumani says:

    I will meditate on each so as to internalpze them as part of me

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