50+ Good Character Traits Every Person Should Have [2020] (2023)

By January Nelson

Priscilla Du Preez

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By January Nelson

What makes a person deemed as “good”? Well, certain qualities and character strengths are a good start, but also how one responds to situations and the negative character traits of others, and even how they react to success. Human beings are born with that natural instinct of fending for one’s self, which is considered one of many negative traits. Having certain behavior towards life’s situations and circumstances is the same has having reactions and feelings towards other people and their actions.

So what makes a “good person”?

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First things first: how to understand the behavior and personality of someone. It’s important to note that a person’s character is based on 3 main things: core values, external behavior, and an internal compass. Core values are the basic idea that if you value kindness and loyalty, that’s great, but do you practice it? External behavior, also known as “personality traits”, is what you do about the things you value. For example, do you value courage and are also learning how to be a braver person? If you practice what you preach and act out in what you value, that is your internal compass, or rather, who you are.

So let’s get into a list of character traits — all the positive, good character traits, at least:

List Of Character Traits

  • Kindness
  • Understanding
  • Empathetic
  • Compassionate
  • Caring
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Adaptive
  • Honesty
  • Forgiveness
  • Respect
  • Responsible
  • Patience
  • Generous
  • Loving
  • Reliable
  • Positive
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Encouraging
  • Polite
  • Considerate
  • Leadership
  • Self-controlled
  • Diligent
  • Unselfish
  • Hardworking
  • Mindful
  • Pragmatic
  • Warm
  • Strong (mentally!)
  • Temperate
  • Thrifty (not wasteful!)
  • Cooperative
  • Faithful
  • Assertive (takes the initiative in a good way!)
  • Great listener
  • Thorough
  • Fairness
  • Loyalty
  • Flexible
  • Perceptive
  • Resourceful
  • Imaginative
  • Ambitious
  • Curiosity (eager to learn!)
  • Eloquent
  • Friendly
  • Independent
  • Focused
  • Punctual

Here’s a little character trait vocabulary lesson for you, in case it’s needed:

Character traits like kindness, love, empathy, and compassion are all very similar in definition. In fact, most of the qualities on this list are pretty much self-explanatory because they are things we should’ve been taught in our childhood. But what about the others?

Perseverance and patience can go hand-in-hand. Wait for the right time of things and accept the things and situations you can’t change. It’s okay to work towards something while you wait for it to fall into place.

For example, maybe you have a dream of traveling somewhere you’ve never visited before. Most of us can’t just snap our fingers and immediately book a flight and a hotel and go. Things take time! Have patience, and in the meantime, persevere! Do that by saving money and fitting a trip into your schedule. Be positive, too! It doesn’t hurt to think good thoughts.

Or maybe you have dreams of growing up to become a teacher or an architect or a nurse. The things that are worth it won’t come easy — what you strive for is going to require a lot of patience and perseverance.

How To Build Good Character Traits

Character Education 101: Address the qualities you lack and learn how to make positive changes in your life.

Maybe you have a hard time staying humble, adapting to change, having positive thoughts, or being a good leader. Take that core value and run with it. Learn it. Practice it.

For example, how do you react to success? How did you react to it in the past? When you were in high school or college, did you ever receive a school achievement that was worth noting? How did you respond to it? Internally, were you excited, happy, proud of yourself? Great! Those feelings are valid! But how did you respond to that achievement externally? Humility is important – your reaction to your success is important. You shouldn’t brag or boast about your accomplishments, but rather, be proud of yourself and embrace a job well done, but don’t rub it in people’s faces. In situations like that, you showed positive character traits–hardworking, focused, and curiosity–and you should react with more positive character traits with humility and self-control (don’t brag).

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Or maybe you’re learning to be adaptive. Maybe you’re making the most of every situation, or maybe you’re responding to your own negative traits by working on changing it up. If you notice that you’re having a hard time being understanding or empathetic, talk to people and see where they’re coming from and how you’d feel if you were in their shoes.

They say that women are more empathetic than men, which very well could be true. However, that doesn’t mean young men aren’t empathetic at all. It doesn’t matter what your gender is–what matters is a person’s character.

Or maybe you value leadership, but you don’t know how you can practice that in your everyday life. Great leaders have a positive character and good character traits, like honesty, integrity, courage. In fact, great leaders might value and practice what’s on the character traits list above.

A Classic Example of Character Development

Let’s take Neville Longbottom, a character from the Harry Potter series. Neville had these habits of not fully grasping spells, living in fear of Voldemort, and never believing that he had the ability to help people. Still, he kept working on himself. He knew that his weaknesses could be turned into strengths.

Long story short, Neville was the one who defeated Voldemort, not Harry. (I mean, Harry had a huge part, obviously, but if you pay attention, you’ll realize Neville is the one who saved the day.) He recognized the traits he lacked and believed in his ability to change for the good. Character trait examples he started to practice and work on: bravery, courage, perseverance, patience, and even adaptivity. We love a good character development!

Mentally Strong People: The Traits List


Strong people practice gratitude. Count your blessings, not your burdens. It’s like the law of attraction: if you continue to act on the good character traits you have, whatever they might be, you will always have more.

Think of yourself as a magnet. Be a positive character and you’ll get positive characters in return. If you have a negative character and are greedy, boastful, or you lack empathy, you’ll attract those negative qualities in the people you surround yourself with. Be a positive, good person in your own life and you will attract more people like you.


If someone is mentally strong, they most likely accept challenges.This is both positive and negative, but it’s mostly a good thing!

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For example, challenging yourself is positive classroom behavior. If you’re in school and you have the ability to go out of your comfort zone, not only will your teachers notice and applaud you, but once you get into that habit, it will become one of your life skills and even one of your strengths.


They set healthy boundaries. If you’re mentally strong, you know that there are some people in your life who aren’t all that great and it’s important to stay away from them when you can.

This negative person doesn’t have moral values or many/any positive character traits. This person’s behavior has a strong effect on you and how you handle things. If you’re mentally strong, you know to cut those people out or set boundaries to stay away from them.

Strive For Positive Qualities And Get Positive Qualities In Return

Another important thing to note is that you are who you surround yourself with. This goes for friendships and relationships! If you want friends who are kind, reliable, and open-minded and you value those qualities, make sure you act on them too, because they’ll want that in return. Same goes for a relationship: do you want them to be loving, considerate and trustworthy? Act on those good character traits too!

Remember: do unto others as you would have them do unto you! If you want others to be a positive character in your life story, you should be the same for them.

The thing is, if you’re a good person–if you have the most of the redeemable and good qualities listed above–people will want to be around you and will want you in their lives.

Keep working on the positive traits you have or the positive traits you wantto have. If you want to be more compassionate and empathetic, think about how you would feel if you were in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is a trait not many people have, and if you do have it, you probably have a naturally loving and nurturing personality — and that’s good. The world needs more kindness.


What are 5 positive traits? ›

Positive Character Traits Education
  • Courage.
  • Trustworthiness, including honesty, reliability, punctuality, and loyalty.
  • Integrity.
  • Respect and courtesy.
  • Responsibility, including accountability, diligence, perseverance, self-management skills, and self-control.
  • Fairness, including justice and freedom from prejudice.

What are the top 10 personality traits? ›

The 10 personality traits of a psychologically healthy person
  1. Openness to feelings. “Openness to feelings means that we are not afraid of our feelings,” says Hayes. ...
  2. Straightforwardness. ...
  3. Competence. ...
  4. Warmth. ...
  5. Positive emotions. ...
  6. Low levels of angry hostility. ...
  7. Low anxiety. ...
  8. Low depression.
Dec 21, 2022

What are 6 good traits of a good character? ›

The Six Pillars of Character are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

What do you think are the 5 best character traits that you should have? ›

Miss one of these, and you'll find a weak link in your character—one that might be your leadership's undoing.
  • Integrity. Integrity is a good catchword that is similar to character but provides us with a different way of looking at the ideas of character. ...
  • Honesty. ...
  • Loyalty. ...
  • Self-sacrifice. ...
  • Accountability. ...
  • Self-control.
Oct 18, 2022

What are the 8 essential character traits? ›

8 Traits of Exceptional Character That Lead to Happiness and...
  • Honest. At the core of any person with good character is honesty. ...
  • Survivor. Character is largely developed from suffering the trials and errors of life. ...
  • Lover. People of good character are loving people. ...
  • Leader. ...
  • Elegant. ...
  • Hard worker. ...
  • Helper. ...
  • Inspire.
May 24, 2018

What is a Big 5 personality trait? ›

Before we go into the reasons why they are important, let's quickly remind ourselves of what they are. The five broad personality traits described by the theory are extraversion (also often spelled extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

What are the 16 most common personalities? ›

The most common personality type is the ISFJ personality type, known as 'The Protector'. This type occurs in 14% of the population. It is also the most common personality type among women. ISFJ stands for Introversion, Sensing, Feeling and Judging.

What are the list of 16 personalities? ›

Socionics divides people into 16 different types, called sociotypes which are; ESTJ, ENTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, INFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ENTP, ENFP, ISTP, ISFP, INTP & INFP.

What is the most powerful trait? ›

Here we will feature the strongest and most intriguing character traits that can make your characters even better.
  • Loyalty. ...
  • Self-Control. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Spirituality. ...
  • Impatience. ...
  • Greed. ...
  • Cruelty. ...
  • Unforgiving.
May 13, 2019

What are 10 positive traits? ›

List of positive qualities & characteristics
  • Warm.
  • Friendly.
  • Clean.
  • Honest.
  • Loyal.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Dependable.
  • Open-Minded.

What are the 7 principles of good character? ›

Pillars of character

True character is instilled at a deep level so that positive behavior is automatic. The Josephson Institute of Ethics defines the main pillars of character to include: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, caring, fairness and citizenship.

What are the 3 best qualities? ›

Good qualities of a person make professional life successful.
  1. Confidence. Having confidence is one of the great qualities of a person which an employee should also have. ...
  2. Excellent Communication Skills. ...
  3. Work Experience. ...
  4. Growth Mindset. ...
  5. Leadership Potential. ...
  6. Innovative Ideas. ...
  7. Teamwork. ...
  8. Reliable.
Jun 2, 2021

What are the 6 main traits? ›

What are the 6 Traits? The Six Traits of Writing are rooted in more than 50 years of research. This research reveals that all “good” writing has six key ingredients—ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

What are 5 examples of traits? ›

Character Traits List & Examples
  • Honest.
  • Brave.
  • Compassionate.
  • Leader.
  • Courageous.
  • Unselfish.
  • Loyal.

What are 5 character traits examples? ›

Character Traits Examples
  • loyal.
  • generous.
  • kind.
  • sincere.
  • persistent.
  • open-minded.
  • brave.
  • quiet.

Which Big Five trait is most important? ›

According to Essentials of Organizational Behavior: 14th Edition, the big five personality dimension that has the biggest influence on job performance is conscientiousness. Those who score higher in this trait are likely to have higher levels of job-related knowledge as those who are highly conscientious learn more.


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