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10 Character Traits That Make You a Better Person

Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by Lori

Think about the person you respect the most in life. Why do you respect them? Chances are they possess traits that make you feel they are truly a good person. If you would like to be highly respected also, work on building these 10 character traits that will make you a better person.

My grandfather (one of the most remarkable people ever) had a phrase he liked to say, “Always be a credit to the organization.” His words encouraged everyone to be the best person they could.

Here are ten character traits that can help us all be better people:

  • Honesty
  • Effort
  • Attitude
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Dependability
  • Passion
  • Authenticity
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy

Read more about becoming a better person

WOMAN IN GREY SWEATER DRINKING COFFEE AND CONTEMPLATING HER CHARACTER TRAITS

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10 Traits That Make You a Better Person

1. Honesty

Honesty is one of – if not the most – highly valued character traits.

The definition of honesty is being truthful, sincere, and straightforward in your actions, words, and intentions.

It promotes trust, integrity, and transparency in relationships, communication, and decision-making.

Being honest means telling the truth, even when it may be difficult or uncomfortable, and avoiding deception, lies, or misleading statements.

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It also involves being accountable for your actions and taking responsibility for any mistakes or errors that you make.

An honest person:

  • Speaks the truth
  • Lives in step with their values and beliefs
  • Behaves consistently regardless of the situation or location
  • Takes responsibility for their feelings and actions
  • Chooses not to lie, steal, cheat, or deceive

Learn more about honesty as a character trait from the VIA Institute on Character.

2. Effort

Effort refers to the amount of energy, time, and dedication that a person puts into achieving a goal or completing a task.

It involves a willingness to work hard, persevere, and overcome obstacles in order to achieve success.

How to Demonstrate Effort:

  • Be determined, focused, and committed to your goals.
  • Put in the necessary work and make sacrifices in order to achieve your objectives.
  • Do not be easily discouraged by setbacks or failures.

This trait demonstrates a willingness to invest time and energy into building and maintaining strong connections with others.

Effort helps individuals to develop resilience, perseverance, and a strong work ethic.

3. Attitude

Attitude is a person’s overall outlook or disposition towards life, situations, and other people. It is the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves in response to different circumstances.

People who possess a positive attitude tend to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and open-minded.

Attitude can greatly influence your behavior, choices, and interactions with others.

A positive attitude can lead to:

  • greater happiness,
  • success, and
  • fulfillment,

while a negative attitude can lead to

  • stress,
  • anxiety, and
  • conflict.

Develop your positive attitude by cultivating gratitude, focusing on your strengths and opportunities, and practicing mindfulness and self-reflection.

woman rock-climbing as a way of building character traits of effort and accountability

4. Integrity

Integrity refers to the quality of being honest, trustworthy, and morally upright in one’s actions, words, and intentions.

It involves adhering to a set of moral and ethical principles, even when it may be difficult or inconvenient.

If you have integrity, you:

  • have a strong moral character
  • are reliable and consistent
  • are accountable for your actions
  • don’t sway to external pressures or temptations
  • strive to do what is right, even when no one is watching.

Integrity is an important aspect of personal and professional ethics, as it promotes trust, respect, and credibility in relationships, communication, and decision-making.

It is also important for building a sense of self-worth and self-respect, as it involves being true to yourself and your values.

Integrity helps to guide you in making ethical and moral decisions, and in building strong and meaningful relationships with others.

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.

Japanese Proverb

5. accountability

Accountability refers to the state of being responsible for one’s actions, decisions, and behavior.

To be accountable is to be accepting of the consequences of one’s actions and taking ownership of the outcomes that result from those actions.

Accountability is a vital aspect of personal and professional ethics, as it increases trust, reliability, and transparency in relationships, communication, and decision-making.

It also helps to build a sense of personal and social responsibility, as individuals are held accountable for their actions and are expected to act in ways that are consistent with their values and obligations.

Being accountable means being willing to:

  • admit mistakes
  • apologize when necessary
  • take steps to rectify any harm that may have been caused
  • learn from one’s experiences
  • make changes in behavior or decision-making in order to improve future outcomes

6. Dependability

Dependability refers to the quality of being reliable, consistent, and trustworthy in one’s actions, words, and intentions.

Can you be counted on to follow through on commitments, meet deadlines, and fulfill responsibilities?

Dependability is an important aspect of personal ethics, as it promotes:

  • trust
  • respect
  • credibility in relationships, communication, and decision-making
  • self-worth
  • self-respect

7. Passion

Passion refers to a strong and intense emotional attachment or enthusiasm for a particular activity, interest, or goal. It involves being deeply committed and invested in something, and feeling a sense of purpose and fulfillment from pursuing it.

Those who possess the trait of passion are often described as:

  • driven
  • focused
  • dedicated
  • willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve their goals
  • not easily discouraged by setbacks or obstacles.

Passion can be a powerful motivator, inspiring individuals to pursue their dreams and to make a positive impact on the world around them.

8. Authenticity

Authenticity refers to the quality of being genuine, honest, and true to oneself in one’s actions, words, and intentions.

It means you are able to express your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in a sincere and transparent manner. You don’t feel the need to conform to social expectations or to present a false image of yourself.

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Authentic people are:

  • trustworthy
  • relatable
  • inspiring
  • able to build strong and meaningful relationships
  • able to build trust and rapport through honesty and vulnerability.

When individuals behave authentically, they are better able to understand their own values, beliefs, and goals, and to make decisions that are consistent with their true selves.

Authenticity is also important for promoting mental and emotional well-being, as individuals who are able to be authentic are less likely to experience feelings of anxiety, depression, or isolation.

9. Flexibility

Flexibility refers to a person’s ability to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances, situations, and expectations.

You are able to modify your thoughts, behaviors, and plans in response to new information or unexpected events.

Flexible people are open-minded, creative, and adaptable. They are able to think outside the box and to find innovative solutions to problems and are not easily discouraged by setbacks or obstacles.

Flexibility involves:

  • resilience
  • creativity
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to handle unexpected situations
  • adaptability to changing circumstances
  • critical thinking
woman in red with hands on heart showing character trait of empathy

10. Empathy

If you are empathetic, it means you understand and share the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of others.

You can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their perspective.

To be empathetic is to be:

  • compassionate
  • caring
  • understanding
  • able to listen, understand, and support others.

Empathy promotes kindness, compassion, and social connection.

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change.”

Max Carver

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WOMAN IN GREY SWEATER DRINKING COFFEE AND CONTEMPLATING HER CHARACTER TRAITS
woman rock-climbing as a way of building character traits of effort and accountability
woman in red with hands on heart showing character trait of empathy

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