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45 Positive & Negative Personality Traits that Can Change Your Life Forever!

Do you want to become a better person? If you do, then here are some positive personality traits to develop and negative ones to avoid to be happier.

positive personality traits

Every single person inhabiting this planet has both positive and negative personality traits. It’s important to focus on the positive at all times, but if you want to become someone who is capable of developing loving, lifelong connections with others, it’s important to work on your negative points too.

What are personality traits? 

First, let’s define exactly what personality traits actually are. 

Personality traits are the foundation of a person – they make them who they are. A trait is a way of behaving and thinking that can be used to describe a person overall.

The traits can be described very specifically or generally. For example, “optimist” and “pessimist” might be two general traits to describe someone’s positive or negative disposition. And “hilarious” might be a more specific one to describe their sense of humor.

Personality traits, such as intelligence or photographic memory, are different from someone’s mental abilities. They are more about how they interact with others and the world. [Read: How to step out and live your life to the fullest]

Why we should develop these positive personality traits

Many people have the attitude of, “I am who I am. Take me or leave me!” But is that alright? Is it okay to be ourselves even when we don’t have enough positive personality traits and negatively affect others?

People with this mindset aren’t interested in being their best selves. Whether lazy or stubborn, they are much more self-centered and think that other people should just put up with their flaws.

On one hand, we shouldn’t try to change other people because that’s just not possible. But it is possible to change yourself and be the best person you can possibly be. [Read: Type A & Type B personality – 69 traits, the good, bad, and who’s a better date]

Why should you do this? For two reasons.

First, for yourself. When you have more positive personality traits, people just like you more! And who doesn’t want people to like them? Not only does it feel good, but it gets you farther in life.

For example, if you are interviewing for a job or a promotion, the more likable you are, the better chances that you’ll get the job. If people don’t like you, then you won’t go far. [Read: How to be charming – 15 adorable habits of really likable people]

The second reason you should develop more positive personality traits is for other people in your life. [Read: 20 secrets to stop being selfish and ways to stop hurting and using others]

You are not the center of the universe, nor is anyone else. Your behavior affects other people, for better or for worse.

So, don’t you want the people you like and love to be happy? Why would you want them to be miserable because of the negative personality traits you have?

If you’re in a relationship and your flaws are causing problems between the two of you, is that really making you happy? As Dr. Phil always says, “Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?”

In other words, being “right” – or just being your flawed self with negative personality traits – won’t make for a happy relationship. Isn’t it worth it to be a better person so both you and your partner can be happier?

As you can see, the answer to the question of why you should develop more positive personality traits comes down to one thing: happiness. Yours and other people’s. [Read: How to be happy in life – hacks to find real happiness instantly]

Isn’t that the whole point of life? To be happy? Of course, it is.

30 positive personality traits to develop for yourself and others

If you’re struggling with building a more positive life, a good start would be acquiring a few positive traits. [Read: INTJ personality – 26 traits, weaknesses, tips, and secrets that make them special]

So, here are some positive personality traits that you should start working on today.

1. Compassion

Having compassion for others means you’re able to sympathize and understand, as well as help with issues that require an extra pair of hands. [Read: How to grow into a better and kinder person]

2. Kindness

Surely this is a no-brainer? Kindness is a basic personality trait we could all do with developing a little more. Be kind to others, but remember to be kind to yourself too. This is something most of us forget to do!

3. Generosity

This doesn’t mean giving away everything you own. It means not being tight-fisted and being able to share with others. 

This doesn’t have to be material things, it can be the generosity of spirit, it can be the generosity of your time, it can be anything. But the crucial part is that you’re opening up and understanding that to give is better than to receive. [Read: How to be a better person with these small changes]

4. Open-mindedness

In the world we live in, we could all do with being a little more open-minded and tolerant. Is this something you can work on? 

Everyone is equal, regardless of their race, gender, religion, age, sexuality, disability, or anything else. If everyone became just a little more open-minded, the world would be a better place.

5. Positivity

Working on developing a positive mindset will benefit you in so many ways, and it will link to your general happiness. Everyone wants to be around a positive person because positivity is infectious! 

Surround yourself with good vibes and work on kicking out the negative. [Read: How to be more positive and increase the quality of your life]

6. Understanding

Being understanding covers a huge umbrella of subjects, but allowing yourself to be able to see things from someone else’s point of view, or perhaps walk in their shoes, will help you be more tolerant and helpful.

7. The art of listening

Do you really know how to listen? Like, really listen? Most of us don’t, but developing your listening skills can drastically improve your relationships. 

How much are you missing because you’re letting things drift in one ear and out the other? [Read: Are you a conversational narcissist who loves talking and hates listening?]

8. Fairness

Treating everyone equally is something we all need to do more of. Is this a personality trait you can work on? Most of us lack fairness from time to time, and most of us can be a little selfish too. Don’t worry, nobody is perfect!

9. Faithfulness

Being faithful to your partner, your friends, and anyone in your life who you have developed a bond of trust with is vital. Do you find your head is turned early? 

If so, work out why that is and develop a sense of faithfulness within your character. This is one of the best positive personality traits to own. [Read: [Quiz: Would you be unfaithful to your partner?]

10. Creativity

Developing your sense of creativity will bring a lot of happiness to your life. 

This doesn’t have to mean singing and painting, it can be anything from creative thinking to allowing your imagination to run wild, whatever you want! You simply need to break free of the constraints of logic from time to time and see what potentially awaits.

11. Fearlessness

If you can develop creativity and fearlessness together, nothing will stop you from achieving whatever you want! [Read: How to set aside your fear and live your life]

Most of us are scared of taking risks, but sometimes we need to do this to go after our dreams. Taking measured risks is a positive personality trait to work on.

12. Adaptability

Being able to adapt to new situations quickly and with ease will help you in your life, but it will also help you in your career. Employers always look for an employee who is adaptable to change!

13. Curiosity

Think like Alice in Wonderland and open your mind. What wonderful and unlikely things might actually be true? When you develop your sense of curiosity anything is possible, and that’s a wonderful feeling! [Read: 30 thought-provoking questions to leave you curious and wondering]

14. Trusting and trustworthiness

These two work hand in hand. Are you a trustworthy person? Can people rely upon and trust you to do what you say? In addition, do you find it easy to trust others? 

In terms of positive personality traits, these are some of the most important. Learning to trust will help you to cast aside doubt, but you also need to be the person others can trust too. [Read: Unique traits that make a person trustworthy]

15. Playfulness

Could you do with being a little silly from time to time? Life isn’t meant to be constantly serious, it’s meant to be fun too! 

Not everyone finds it easy to be playful, so perhaps this is something to work on. [Read: 35 easy tips to charm anyone and make people love you]

16. Supportiveness

Supporting others through difficult times is a wonderful trait to own, and it will increase the quality of your friendships and relationships. This also works hand in hand with the ability to be able to listen properly.

17. Disciplined

Are you often late? Do you usually say you’ll do things but don’t deliver? If so, it’s time to work on your discipline, or your self-discipline to be more precise. 

This will help you in your relationships, friendships, and your career. Nobody likes someone who’s always late! [Read: 36 secrets to motivate yourself to achieve anything your heart desires]

18. Politeness

One of the most basic traits everyone should possess is the ability to be polite to others, regardless of the situation. Remember, manners cost nothing! Always treat others how you would wish to be treated in return.

19. Empathy

Empathy is an umbrella term and covers many of the traits we’ve mentioned, but it also means being able to put yourself in the position of someone else and really understand how they’re feeling. 

When you do this, you’re better able to know how to help them. You also have sympathy and compassion when you develop your overall empathy. [Read: How to develop empathy and master the art of growing a real heart]

20. Patience

It is the number one positive personality trait most people need! Developing your patience will make life easier and make you easier to deal with too!

21. Determination

There are too many lazy people in the world who just don’t have passion or goals. But that’s not attractive. Being a determined person who pushes through any obstacles will get you very far in life.

22. Confidence

Not everyone loves themselves, but you should. And not in an arrogant or narcissistic way, but in an “I really like myself because I’m nice, cool, and funny” kind of way. [Read: 55 secrets and self-love habits to build confidence and realize your worth]

Confidence will make your life a lot easier and you’ll be happier, too.

23. Courage

The world can be a scary place sometimes. It’s not easy taking risks and going for whatever it is you want to do in life. But if you don’t take chances, where does that leave you? It leaves you with a very boring life. So step out of your comfort zone with some courage.

24. Enthusiasm 

Some people are more naturally animated and enthusiastic because it’s just part of who they are. [Read: 26 social mind tricks to be more outgoing, friendly, and talkative instantly]

But that doesn’t mean that other people can’t learn to express enthusiasm too. Everyone likes someone who is enthusiastic about life and anything else – it’s contagious! 

25. Honesty

There are too many liars in the world. Sure, we all tell a little white lie every now and then. But big lies are just very unattractive.

So, strive to be as honest as you possibly can without hurting anyone’s feelings with your honesty. It’s so much better than the alternative.

26. Helpfulness

No one can do everything on their own. We rely on other people to help us out sometimes. [Read: Helpful ways to stop being a self-centered person]

After all, if you didn’t have the money to hire a moving company and your friends didn’t help you, how could you ever do it on your own? 

27. Independence

Neediness and clinginess are not positive personality traits, but independence is. That doesn’t mean that you are distant or emotionally unavailable. But you should have your own life, career, friends, and be able to make it on your own in life.

28. Optimism

Being a “glass half full” kind of person is so much better than being the half-empty type. [Read: Negative thinking – 32 signs and ways to stop and get rid of negative thoughts]

Being a pessimist makes your life miserable. If you live your life seeing the bright side of everything that happens to you, then you will be a much better person. 

29. Loyalty

Anyone who has been cheated on or otherwise betrayed knows the importance of loyalty. You should have your loved ones’ backs at all times. But you should also be loyal and true to yourself so you don’t become a pushover and get taken advantage of.

30. Responsibleness

Don’t you find it irritating when other people show up late to see you? Or when your roommate doesn’t pay half of the rent on time? Irresponsible people are difficult to deal with. [Read: How to be an adult – 27 mature ways to grow up and behave like one]

So, you should strive to be a mature adult and do everything you need to do at all times.

Negative personality traits to avoid

Now that you know the kinds of positive personality traits you should strive to have, there are also some negative ones you should try to avoid. Here they are.

1. Aggressiveness

There is a difference between being assertive and standing up for yourself to get what you deserve and aggressiveness. [Read: How NOT to be an asshole – what makes one, 41 signs, and how to fix yourself]

Aggressiveness is when someone doesn’t have empathy and doesn’t accept the opinions of others. It can even be violent if it gets too bad.

2. Apathy

Apathy is when you just don’t care about something.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who just doesn’t care about you. How would that make you feel? Of course, it wouldn’t feel good at all. So, you have to show that you care about people.

3. Arrogance 

Arrogance is thinking that you are better than other people. [Read: Confident or cocky? 16 subtle signs that split an arrogant and modest man]

Well, not just thinking that you’re better but acting and saying that you are. No one likes to be around someone who makes them feel like they are beneath them. That brings people down.

4. Bossiness

There is nothing wrong with being a natural leader. Leadership skills are great when they listen to other people’s concerns. But when you take on an authoritarian type style with others and boss them around constantly, no one likes that. So just don’t do it.

5. Conceitedness

If someone is conceited, then they have an excessive or above-average opinion about themselves. [Read: 73 red flag narcissism signs and traits of a narcissist to read them like a book]

It doesn’t matter whether or not they actually are better or not – they still act and think that they are. This is not a positive personality trait at all!

6. Dishonesty

Have you ever met anyone who likes a liar and a deceiver? Probably not. Dishonest people are the kind you want to avoid, not hang out with. So, you really need to try to tell the truth as often as humanly possible.

7. Impatience

It’s not easy to be patient for most people. And it’s understandable because hey, you want what you want when you want it, right? [Read: Why does everyone hate me? 69 things you do that people probably don’t like!]

But there is reasonable impatience and unreasonable impatience. You want to have the reasonable kind.

8. Greediness

Sure, most people want enough money to live a good life. That’s normal. But when it crosses over into greed, then that is when it becomes unattractive. You should only expect your fair share and should also be a giver, not just a taker.

9. Jealousy

It’s natural for people to get jealous from time to time. [Read: Jealousy in a relationship – how to accept, deal, and overcome it in love]

A lot of people have low self-esteem so they’re jealous of everyone. But jealousy is annoying to most people. Just appreciate what you have and don’t compare yourself with other people. Love yourself.

10. Laziness

Imagine if your roommate or spouse just laid around all day and let you go to work, come home, cook, clean, and do the laundry all by yourself. And they never lifted a finger to help you. That’s not really someone you would want to be with, right? Of course not.

11. Maliciousness

Being malicious is having the desire to cause someone pain or suffering just because it’s enjoyable. [Read: Malignant narcissist – 48 scary traits, causes, and what makes them so bad!]

It could be something like spreading malicious gossip or doing or saying cruel and hateful things. Who wants to be around that poisonous behavior? 

12. Obnoxiousness 

An obnoxious person has crass or nasty behavior. They might do it so they can be the center of attention or act like a celebrity of the “life of the party.” Obnoxious people really grate on other people’s nerves, just like fingers on a chalkboard.

13. Manipulation

When someone is manipulative, they use strategies and behaviors to gain power or influence over other people. [Read: Am I manipulative? 20 sneaky signs you manipulate people in your life]

These often include attempts to damage the other person’s emotional and mental well-being. It usually leads to an imbalance of power.

14. Self-centeredness

A person who is self-centered is overly concerned with their own desires, interests, and needs. They have no interest in other people’s needs because they are so self-involved.

So, when someone is around someone only concerned about themselves, it’s a real turn-off.

15. Thoughtlessness 

People who are thoughtless lack consideration for other people. They might not think enough before they say or do something that could hurt someone else’s feelings.

It could be anything from forgetting someone’s birthday to never cleaning up after themselves.

[Read: Follow these golden rules to evolve more each day]

How many positive personality traits can you identify on that list as points to work on? If you recognize all 30, no worries! The more you focus on your own self-development journey, the brighter your future will be.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...