The Definitive List Of 85 Personality Strengths And Weaknesses

Believable characters in novels have flaws as well as strengths, whatever their roles in the story. 

You know this as a person and a reader, but it’s no good recognizing that if you don’t see your own character strengths and weaknesses.

Of course, most of us have a much easier time knowing our strengths than identifying our weaknesses. 

Strengths are great and help you achieve.

But those very human weaknesses have a part to play in your life, too.

Understanding how both contribute to your identity is a valuable part of emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

We rounded up the best for our list of strengths and weaknesses, along with some helpful examples.

See which qualities jump out as you read. 

Benefits of Knowing Your Character Strengths and Weaknesses 

While talents and “gifts” are innate to each person, strengths are qualities you can cultivate in yourself and encourage in others.

Strengths are teachable. So are weaknesses.

Both strengths and weaknesses acquired early in life need attention, too.

But to live consciously and grow into your potential, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses you have. 

Before we dive into the lists, let’s consider the benefits of that knowledge:

  • Knowing your weaknesses makes it possible to work on them —  If you know the tools you have on hand and the challenges you face, it’s much easier to make the most of the former and mitigate the risks from the latter. Knowledge is a tactical advantage as well as a strength in itself. You can’t fix what you can’t see. 
  • Knowing your strengths leads to improved health and well-being — Knowing your strengths helps with positive self-talk, fostering confidence and self-love while reducing negative emotions, self-criticism, and loneliness. How you see yourself has a significant impact on your overall health and capacity for happiness. 
  • Knowing your weaknesses helps you empathize with those who share them — Knowing your specific character weaknesses enables you to recognize them in others, too. And instead of judging them for what you see, you’re more likely to empathize with them. You may even learn from them how to deal with those weaknesses.  
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you appreciate diversity — No one is just like you, but many others — people of all races, genders, and beliefs — can share some of your strengths and weaknesses. Seeing that can help you appreciate your differences and what you have in common with others. 
  • Knowing your strengths gives you a social and professional advantage — The sooner you know your strengths, the more easily you see them in others and can use that to build and nurture personal and professional relationships. Knowing yourself is essential to knowing and using your best advantages. 
  • Knowing your strengths makes it possible to develop and use them — If you know your strengths, you can consciously apply them, which reinforces them and helps them grow, to your benefit and that of other people. Also, the more you use your strengths, the more you see their potential — and your own.  
  • Developing and applying your strengths makes life richer and more fulfilling —  Knowing and applying your strengths opens doors to more opportunities to use them. Taking advantage of those opportunities leads to learning and growth, which are essential to your fulfillment and life satisfaction. 
  • Knowledge and cultivation of strengths lead to greater success — The more you play to your strengths, the better your life becomes, and the more clearly you see the kind of success that really matters to you. Putting your strengths to work and addressing your weaknesses helps you become the person you want to be. 
  • Understanding your weaknesses can help you turn them into strengths — Sometimes, a weakness is a strength in disguise; the real problem isn’t the quality itself but its overgrowth. Other times, something at the heart of that weakness can be a strength. Your tendency to reserve doesn’t have to manifest as shyness. 

85 Personality Strengths and Weaknesses List 

Read through this strengths and weaknesses list to see which qualities stand out for you. You can also make a list of the qualities you want to cultivate in yourself or encourage in others. 

Strength Traits:

Personality strengths (or character strengths) are qualities that shape how you live, talk, and act from an early age. As their name implies, they help you along the way.

And knowing your strengths is an even more significant advantage than having them. 

1. Seeing / Looking for the Good in Others

2. Honest / Forthright / Frank / Sincere

3. Authentic / Genuine  

close up of woman in thought personality strengths and weaknesses list

4. Confident / Self-confident / Bold

5. Passionate

6. Patient / Enduring 

7. Kind / Compassionate / Merciful

8. Decisive / Quick-thinking

9. Determined / Indefatigable / Unsinkable

10. Creative / Imaginative

11. Intelligent / Brilliant / Sensible 

12. Perceptive / Alert

13. Intuitive 

14. Wise / Insightful 

15. Prudent 

16. Curious / Inquisitive

17. Sociable / Friendly / Gregarious

18. Well-rounded 

19. Resourceful 

20. Thorough / Careful 

21. Conscientious / Hard-working / Diligent

22. Efficient / Focused

23. Organized / Orderly 

24. Communicative / Open 

25. Generous / Giving

26. Humble / Teachable 

27. Persuasive / Emotionally Intelligent 

28. Reasonable / Fair

29. Charismatic / Natural Leader

30. Practical / No-Nonsense

31. Industrious 

32. Innovative / Inventive 

people in office a desk personality strengths and weaknesses list

33. Adaptable

34. Responsible

35. Just 

36. Loyal / Faithful 

37. Flexible / Open-minded / Broad-minded

38. Brave / Courageous / Willing to take risks 

39. Helpful / Cooperative / Team Player

40. Energetic 

41. Reliable / Punctual / Dependable

42. Self-disciplined / Self-directed

43. Trustworthy

44. Neat / Tidy / Meticulous

Weakness Traits: 

Like strengths, weaknesses impact how you think, act, and speak. But unlike strengths, weaknesses hinder rather than help you along the way. 

Still, we prefer to think of them as personal challenges rather than defects. When you’re aware of your weaknesses, and you take action to address them, growth becomes easier.

45. Unkind / Merciless / Lacking in compassion

46. Unjust / Indifferent to justice

47. Slothful / Lazy / Indolent

48. Gluttonous / Lacking in Self-Control 

49. Greedy / Grasping 

50. Arrogant / Conceited / Elitist

51. Lecherous / Ruled by Lust

52. Envious / Covetous 

53. Inconsiderate / Thoughtless 

54. Independent to an Extreme / Unable or Unwilling to Ask for Help

55. Cynical / Pessimistic / Expecting the Worst

56. Distrusting of Authority / Rebellious 

57. Guarded / Unable to Trust 

58. Aloof / Unsociable or Asocial / Antisocial

59. Resentful / Bitter / Unforgiving

60. Argumentative / Querulous

61. Dishonest / Disingenuous 

62. Flaky / Unreliable 

63. Narcissistic / Self-Centered 

64. Short-tempered / Combative 

65. Needing to be Right (all the time)

66. Perfectionist / Compulsive / Nit-picking 

67. Inflexible / Stubborn / Obstinate

68. Humorless / Unable to Laugh at Yourself

69. Playing the Victim / Blaming Others

70. Refusing to Take Responsibility (for your own words and actions)

71. Conflict-Avoidant / Passive-Aggressive 

72. Dismissive / Uncaring / Lacking in Empathy 

73. Insecure / Lacking in Self-Confidence / Shy

74. Bossy / Dictatorial / Pushy 

75. Manipulative / Controlling 

76. Workaholic / Addicted to work or to productivity

77. Close-minded / Narrow-minded

78. Unfaithful / Disloyal / Untrustworthy 

79. Aggressive / Seeking to Intimidate or Bully Others

80. Impulsive / Careless / Acting without Thinking

81. Unorganized / Messy / Chaotic

82. Sloppy / Unkempt / Unhygienic

83. Condescending / Pedantic 

84. Judgmental / Quick to judge

85. Risk-Avoidant / Risk-Averse


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7 Examples of Personality Strengths 

Now that you’ve looked through the lists above let’s look at some examples of strengths in action. Make a note of any that strike you as familiar. Or try writing one of your own. 

1. “He’s brilliant as well as creative and funny as hell. And to top it off, he’s got the kind of confidence I wish I had.”

2. “She’s hopeful but guarded. She wants to see the good in everyone, but experience has taught her to be careful—sometimes too careful. She needs a friend.”

3. “You’ll never meet anyone more generous, authentic, and genuinely kind than Mitch. He was there for us when everyone else forgot we existed.” 

young man practicing kicking personality strengths and weaknesses list

4. “Since she started speaking up for herself and taking more risks, her life has gone from bleak and boring to rich and fascinating. I’m taking a page out of her book.”  

5. “I know it sounds like a small thing. But not everyone would have made sure that lost child was safely reunited with his family. Not everyone is kind.” 

6. “She’s braver than I was at her age. She didn’t hesitate when the teacher asked her to perform in front of everyone. And if she was nervous, she didn’t show it.” 

7. “He’s my favorite study partner, not because of his intelligence but because of the way his mind works. He’s insatiably curious. And he sees the most bizarre connections. I can’t help but laugh at some of them. He’s changed the way I think.”

7 Examples of Personality Weaknesses 

Now, to be fair, let’s see some examples of personality weaknesses to see how they play out in real life (or in fiction): 

1. “She was halfway through her sentence when he gave a dismissive wave, muttered something she couldn’t quite hear, and walked off to greet someone else.” 

2. “She learned conflict-avoidance at an early age. It cost too much to disagree with the people she relied upon. She found safety in quiet diligence, getting things done without costing anyone more than the bare minimum of expense or attention.“ 

3. “She walked into the office looking as if she hadn’t showered in a week, unkempt, with visible wrinkles on her blouse and scuff marks on her suede ankle boots. ‘Coffee first,’ was all she said as she headed for the breakroom.”

4. “He’s not a bad doctor, really. But that condescending tone he took when I was going through labor… He’s lucky I couldn’t reach him.” 

5. “She can’t seem to help trying to boss people around even though she’s not the boss anymore. That’s about to catch up.” 

6. “He has a hard time trusting anyone, even those who’ve done the most to earn his trust. It’s as if he can’t help seeing in others everything he’s come to expect from people. Nothing makes a dent in that armor.” 

7. “She’s good at faking empathy for the camera. She’s a two-faced elitist who will always represent the interests of the 1%. Those are her people.”

Now that you’ve gotten this far, which character strengths and weaknesses resonated with you most? 

Which strengths do you see in yourself that you’d like to develop further? What weaknesses are you most keen to work on? And what will you do differently today?

How do you know your strength and weaknesses in your personality? Read this post and learn your personality's strengths and weaknesses.

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