The 10 Best Traits of Good Character

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The Most Desirable Traits for a Person To Have

No one is free of flaws and quirks, and there are many different qualities that can be good in some people and bad in others. However, there are some personality traits that are almost universally positive, so long as they are not taken to an extreme. These are the signs of character that are important to look for in other people, and possessing them yourself can help you attract the right people and circumstances into your life.

1. Integrity

The definition of integrity comes from the Latin word integritas, meaning “whole” or “intact.” It encompasses many of the best human qualities that make a truly good person, such as honesty, morality, and incorruptibility.

A person with integrity won’t lie to or betray you, and they are people of their word, so if they make a promise, you know they’ll follow through. They won’t go behind your back, badmouth you, or cheat on you. Their code of ethics may make them a bit predictable, but they are good for the heart — and for one’s sense of mental stability.

2. Courage

Let’s face it: very few people want to be with a coward. In this context, a “coward” isn’t someone who is scared of the dark or gets jumpy during horror movies. Rather, this refers to a person who will forsake their own ideals because defending them is too inconvenient. Someone who can’t or won’t stand up for their own beliefs won’t stand up for you. This type of courage may not seem like a big deal to some people, but the people who lack it are far more likely to become silent bystanders who look the other way when things go wrong.

3. Sense of Humor

Life has its ups and downs. There will always be good times and bad times — hard times and easy times. Everything is easier when people can keep a sense of humor and surround themselves with companions who share that quality. There is a reason that countless polls show that most people desire a sense of humor in their partners. It shows wit, and someone who makes you laugh most of the time can introduce a lot of joy into your life, even during your darkest hours.

4. Common Sense

There are many people in life who possess high IQs but absolutely no common sense. Arguably, traits such as common sense, social intelligence, and “street smarts” all overlap heavily, making them absolutely invaluable. Being able to solve the most difficult mathematical problems is a wonderful skill to have, but it doesn’t necessarily make someone a great partner or friend, especially if they can’t hold a conversation, relate to others, or interact with people. These skills require the use of common sense, as this helps people discern what they should do and say (and what they shouldn’t) in everyday settings.

5. Emotional Availability

It can be difficult to be around people who are so closed off that they can’t show any emotion. Even worse is interacting with people who only express emotion when they’re lashing out in anger. There’s a unique hurt that comes from someone only looking at you blankly or, worse, scolding you and putting you down when you’re feeling sad. Being able to share your heart doesn’t mean that you’re weak or whiny. In fact, when someone lacks emotional expression and maturity, it ultimately limits the depth of the human connections they can form.

6. Kindness

Kindness protects you from all kinds of heartache. As with integrity, a person who possesses kindness will usually keep your heart safe and your best interests in mind. Their willingness to help others also translates into a knowledge of how to put someone else’s needs ahead of their own when it’s necessary. A kind person carries a sort of light inside them, and that light tends to attract other “good” people, which makes it one of the best traits for people to cultivate in themselves.

7. Self-Confidence

Everyone gets low on confidence every now and then. However, people with no self-esteem can often interfere with their own success. They are usually driven by self-preservation and will do almost anything to overcome their feelings of inadequacy. This can make them distrusting and emotionally unavailable. This can, in turn, lead to acts of dishonesty, a lack of courage, and a refusal to accept even the positive things in life.

When someone hates themselves and refuses to seek treatment, trying to help them can be like trying to fill a bucket with a huge hole in the bottom. No matter how much love and care you pour into them, it will never be enough to make them feel valued. You don’t have to cut off people with no self-esteem, but it’s important to remember that you can’t fix their problems for them. However, most importantly, practice affirmations and strive to develop your own self-confidence. It will set you up for success in the long run, so long as you don’t allow yourself to become arrogant.

8. Discipline

There are different levels of discipline, and someone who is super controlling can be difficult to deal with. However, it’s also important to avoid becoming someone who has absolutely no discipline at all. Success requires discipline, and anyone who throws in the towel at the first sign of difficulty or opposition will not make a great long-term partner, in love or business. Even more, discipline also translates into stamina or staying power. A person who can’t stick with anything at all is usually unconfident or lazy. Either way, it’s not going to be a winning situation. If someone can’t stick with their own goals, they won’t stick with you either.

9. Generosity

One of the worst types of people to be around in life is the miser — a person who constantly complains about the money they don’t have, especially while spending it on things that don’t serve them. This is not only annoying, but it speaks to a level of cruelty as well. The opposite of “generous” is “selfish,” and very few people want to be with someone selfish in the long run.

This doesn’t mean that someone can’t watch out for their own interests, nor do they have to be saint-like levels of generous. However, be careful of those who are in it only for themselves and no one else. These individuals may be very preoccupied with material or superficial things, and they can miss out on the stuff that really matters.

10. Self-Awareness

Many people believe themselves to be things they’re not. They aren’t really self-aware, and they don’t ever check to see if their idea of who they are aligns with what others see. As already mentioned, everybody has flaws, and no one has a perfect combination of all the traits listed above. Self-awareness is thus one of the most valuable qualities someone can have. It’s the middle ground, emphasizing truly knowing your strengths and weaknesses without succumbing to either self-loathing or arrogance.

Self-awareness allows people to see where they need to change certain behaviors and patterns, and people without self-awareness may struggle to grow in any meaningful way, because they cannot see their past mistakes well enough to learn from them. Self-awareness also allows people to develop any of the other positive traits on this list — and it makes it easier to maintain those qualities over time. Remember, if you don’t know who you are, you won’t know what makes you happy either.

How These Positive Qualities Can Affect You

Developing these traits in yourself will make it easier to identify them in others, and to attract partners and friends who also possess these positive characteristics. While it’s true that people always connect with those who challenge them, push them to grow, and help them overcome personal issues, birds of a feather still flock together. The key to finding happiness is to work on becoming the best possible version of yourself. Everything else will follow naturally.

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46 thoughts on “The 10 Best Traits of Good Character

  1. Heather

    So; just to make sure I understand, a person who shows too little emotion is damaged goods, but a person who shows too MUCH emotion is basically damaged goods as WELL…SO…PLEASE feel free to enlighten us on the benchmark for the goldilocks amount of emotion…we are ALL different beings, so everyone must have a different perspective on what’s appropriate, yes?


    When it comes to looking for the greatest qualities in a friend or the best qualities in a mate, there are questions to be answered when determining what your compatibility with another person will be like does my mate value the same qualities I do or do my friend and I share the same qualities .

  3. Riliane

    You say it is important to be kind but then you tell people to abandon their friends if they are not confident (“stay clear of people with no self-esteem”) because they are not good enough? It isn’t very kind to insult people for having a certain problem, you know? I thought hurting people was considered wrong by the “good people’s standards”. But I guess I was wrong. I can’t understand moral people or what they consider right. There are just so many contradictions. I don’t get it.

    1. Charlynn

      Don’t sell yourself short – the traits described which you possess are incredibly valued and important to any woman or man desiring meaningful NOT superficial qualities.
      Perhaps you haven’t met the right woman yet, by that I mean a woman deserving of a man like you in her life.
      Keep living well and goodness will find you.

  4. matt

    What a fantastic article i appreciate that you have listed these wonderful traits and i vow to continue to improve myself in some of the areas i am lacking in to better the world we live in one person at a time.

    Thanks again

  5. Paul

    Sadly, most of these traits are not based in reality. The first ten should be 1. Handsome 2. Nice body 3. Makes me feel like a woman 4. Good in bed 5. Has money 6. Self centeted and ambiguous 7. Has money 8. Nice car 9. Somewhat of a “bad-boy” 10. Funny

    Then you can add all that other stuff. If you are like me: kind, honest, caring, funny, fatherly, loving, career oriented, loyal, content, hard working and honest….it isn’t gonna get you very far with today’s modern Americanized woman.

    1. Clytie

      If you r sincere, & true to ur self!! Don’t go to any ones level, (unless) u r trying to psychological figure them out! Then if there’s red flags!!!! The truth shall set” u free!!!! Clytie.

    2. Charlynn J.

      Don’t sell yourself short – the traits described which you possess are incredibly valued and important to any woman or man desiring meaningful NOT superficial qualities.
      Perhaps you haven’t met the right woman yet, by that I mean a woman deserving of a man like you in her life.
      Keep living well and goodness will find you.

    3. Kay Silence

      I hope you really don’t think that woman are so shallow as to think things like kindness and honesty don’t matter to us. Money and materialistic things should never play a part in relationships -if someone loves you, then they admire your personality, not how nice your car is.

    4. CommonlyUncommon

      My soul cringed as i read this.. This is exactly how Trump is in the lead.. Your 10 can very simply be refined to “looks good, can f*ck my brains out, has money, makes me laugh, puts himself before others and will break morals to get ahead, and then maybe is a good person too but thats not so important..”
      Like the movie notebook, but instead of marrying the guy that will read to you when you’re old and senile, you leave him for the rich guy to be a trophy wife who just would have committed you to an old folks home and bought a new mail order bride from russia once you started sh*tting the bed.

  6. Cookiesliyr

    guess most people who comment didn’t read the first 3 lines, check the quote “character traits of highly successful people.”. being sensitive, humble and having empathy won’t bring money ==> success & power and fame if you asks me …

  7. Sateesh

    Lovely article. It looks very close to reality. I have seen so many people with different personality traits which is very closed to this article. Especially I have seen some people with “Generosity”. Integrity is very rare trait nowadays but try to be integrity would be really awesome feel.

    Even we can check our own characteristic after reading this article. Of course this is what I did, but I am sure we can’t judge our self because we will give high points on all good qualities to self.

    Thanks for great article Carmen Honacker. Very impressed.


    1. Charlynn J.

      Great comment Sateesh. Seems you have a high degree of self-insight. Good quality to possess.

  8. Bee

    I think that I possess most of these qualities to some degree, except courage, which mental illness has compromised. I have backed away from situations that frighten me because I am afraid of my own anxiety.

    However, I do show courage by sticking up for my principles and other people even when it’s not exactly in my interests to do so! I think kindness and a sense of justice make that happen without even having time to get afraid. It’s in the context of my own concerns and life that I find it easier to back away.

    I also lack discipline. Yes, I lack discipline. Anxiety and depression necessitate going easy on myself sometimes, and sometimes it’s hard to know when to push and when to back away for my own sanity. This is similar to courage for me.

    I also lack self-confidence. This is such a tough one, because it is also related to anxiety and depression which will suck away your self esteem. You begin to feel damaged and you question yourself constantly. With more discipline and courage, I could do things that would improve my self confidence. It’s a challenge.

    However I am kind-hearted and honest and generous, smart and self aware.

    1. matt

      I read your comment on this article and it sounds like i wrote it if my ego didnt hold me back from doing so. Just wondering if you have learnt any strategies based on the inadequacies you said you described as you have had time to work on these since you wrote this comment back in 2015. Thanks for commenting to

  9. jasper godfery

    Thanks for this articl
    all life for the support of one another if you have a
    self centered mentality you are of no value to others without these qualities mentioned above qualities you are worthless and helpless.

  10. Antonio Balta

    Great thoughts, with many opportunities to continue growing. Thank you so much.
    Consider some of these a reformulation/consequence of virtues given by Greek and Roman philosophy:
    Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Courage, Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love).
    J. A.



    1. matt

      Do you know who you truly are? Would you say you where enlightened to whatever theory or religion you abide by? If so how do you stay at the top of your game in everyday life and its ups and downs?
      Thanks for posting

  12. Jessica

    So, let me ask a question. I have been repeatedly damaged by heartbreak, been rejected all the time by potential partners based on my Gender Identity (MtF Transgender), been rejected by my “loving” family, and been abused by partners (cheating, lying, using me for sex, etc.). As far as Im concerned, I have been emotionally scarred countless times and I can say for sure that I am emotionally damaged and severely lonely. Does this mean, even though I have all the traits (positive) mentioned above, because I am emotionally damaged that makes me undesireable? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Sounds like a personal oppinion to me and not an article that applies to everyone. Help me understand this. Thank you and sorry for dumping my guts out.

    1. matt

      Where all damaged jess, But the problem comes when we change ourselves into to being something different than the perfection that we know we are to make others take notice of us because we have a low self esteem and thats where the problem lies because by living unauthentucally for a period of time has our egos beleiving we are the thing/personality we created in our own minds. We are and we become what we beleive we are. Goodluck on working through your difficulties you described

  13. Missn

    I am glad you pointed out the problems…but the thing is working on the solution. You know, nothing is more important than being better people, and as helpful as it is to point out what keeps us away from that, it would be helpful to know how to turn that ship around,

  14. Pat

    I enjoyed reading this article. Folks who have these traits should show them proudly and make others want to have these traits as well.

  15. Marcus

    Thank you, this is an absolutely lovely article, full of simple yet essential truths. It’s currently helping me to reset my life compass, and aim to become the person I want (and need) to be, i.e. self-awareness… nice to know I’ve already got at least one of the ten traits! 🙂

  16. sangram samal

    your lines are so true about life.these are things we know , but are unable to apply.well we must try at least. thanks.

  17. vishal nigam

    Nice thinking , we must have a feeling to take the world on postive direction. Today every where people are thinking to get more and more money, name and fame.

  18. Jerome

    You mention many of the qualities I admire in others and which I try to remember as I go along in my life.

  19. Jacqueline

    Hi Carmen,
    I love your article, Coreen you are someone who I personally admire your energy is very pure. I think it is so sad to find people who have these traits, it saddens me that it seems the list is so small, mother earth is pushing us to find these qualities and use them on a daily bases.

    Often it is harder to live and apply these characteristics to ones life, but it shows who you are.

    Jacqueline x9472

  20. velvetoversteel

    I agree with you both, Carmen & Gina Rose!!! These are the traits I would like to have/keep and that I would also like to find in someone. I think I have… if Gina Rose, Jacqueline & MaryAnne are Right & they always is right.. correct?! 🙂

    Another Great article, Carmen!! I always read yours, I just don’t always have the time to write a proper comment. Keep them coming!!!!!

    Hugs & Many Blessings,
    Coreen @ VOS

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  22. Christine Caprelian Bedoyan

    Thank you Carmen for this article. These are the standards I try to hold myself up to everyday and the ones I was raised with and they are fading. That is because the immorally crass have become part of our popular culture via Hollywood and now the internets. God bless.

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  24. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Carmen,
    This article made the top of my list for favorite articles.

    Integrity is rare nowadays….. I was raised that my word, and my handshake, is my bond…..If I say that I’ll do it, I will. If my answer is no, I will say it upfront….and why.

    Courage is truly rare nowadays too…..I don’t mean heroism, I mean everyday courage.
    To speak up, to go against peer pressure, for what is fair.
    ( Maybe bullying wouldn’t be so common , if more were taught to speak up and stand up for what is right.)

    Discipline…..another rapidly disappearing trait today.

    Such a wonderful article……I told my daughter about this article, her & I were discussing these traits just last week, when we were discussing my little Grand Daughter of 2 yrs old.

    Keep up the great work Carmen !!!!

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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