List Of Character Defects

This is a small list of character defects

Listen to the steps Here or read the steps online Here


  • Abrasiveness, hostility, belligerence, being generally bad-humored.  Do I have to make other people suffer when I am angry, annoyed, even hurt?
  • Ambition – an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth.  Seeking these things rather than to be a worker among workers, or to be as useful as possible to God and my fellow human beings.
  • Anger, hatred, aggression, resentment, being argumentative, defiant, oppositional, irritable or sullen.
  • Anxiety – A general way of viewing things with an eye toward what is wrong, what might be wrong, what has been wrong or what is going to be wrong. Excessive worry, especially about things I cannot change.  Failing to live in the now.
  • Apathy, indifference
  • Arrogance, conceit– Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.  An excessively favorable opinion of one’s own ability, importance, wit, etc.  Being a know-it-all.  Telling others how I am better than someone else, or thinking those thoughts to myself.
  • Being undependable – being late, not being where I should be, not doing what is mine to do, letting others down,  not doing my part.
  • Childishness- being immature, foolish, naive, self-centered, dependent.
  • Closed mindedness – Contempt prior to investigation. Disregarding things and ideas just because they are new and unknown. Being unwilling to try things or follow suggestions. Failing to remain teachable.  Having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments.  Can I at least SEE the other point of view?
  • Controlling attitude toward people, places and things; self will – Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding things or tricking them into acting as I wish, even when I believe it is in their best interest to do so. Failing to be equal partners with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions.  Trying to force outcomes.
  • Dependency, over dependency, co dependency – Relying on others to provide for me or do for me what I ought to provide for myself (or letting or getting others to provide things for my family or others I should be providing for). Feeling I must be in a relationship, or must hold on to others who want to move on. Letting others control me to an extreme due to my fear of being alone, abandoned, or independent.
  • Depression, pessimism, complaining – Generally seeing the dark side of things.  Entertaining, feeding and indulging in negative thoughts.
  • Dishonesty and hypocrisy- Sins of omission and commission. Telling lies, hiding things, telling half truths or pretending something is so that isn’t. Withholding important information. Adding untrue details to stories and situations.  Telling lies about another person.  Hurting someone’s reputation.  Pretending to be or to believe something I don’t, especially giving the impression that I am virtuous.  Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t mine and that I’m not entitled to.
  • Fear
  • Guttony, greed – Wanting and taking too much: food, sex, time, money, comfort, leisure, material possessions, attention, security.  Acquiring things (material things, relationships, attention) at the expense of others.  Feeling entitled to (like I have done something to deserve) things like money, time off, privileges, material things, praise, inclusion, benefits.
  • Gossiping – Speaking or writing about others in a negative manner, especially to get them in trouble or to feel superior to them and bond with someone else against the target of the gossip.  When I find myself talking about someone, I must pause and check out why I am mentioning their name.  Am I talking about them with genuine love, interest, and/or concern?  Or am I really putting them down?
  • Humility, a lack of humility – Feeling better than and/or worse than others, and being self centered.
  • Impatience – Being frustrated by waiting, wanting often to be some time in the future, wanting something to change or improve rather than accepting it as it is.
  • Intolerance – Not accepting people or things for who or what they are.
  • Inventory taking, being judgmental, criticizing – Noticing and listing, out loud or to myself, the faults of others.
  • Irritability and touchiness – emotionally sensitive, easily offended
  • Jealousy and envy – Wanting what others have, feeling we don’t have enough or deserve more, wishing we had what others do instead of them. This applies to material possessions like houses, cars, money and such. It also applies to non material things like relationships, a nice family, children, parents, friends and partners, and fulfilling work relationships. We can envy others their looks and physical appearance, their talents and physical abilities or attributes such as thinness, tallness, sports ability or musical talent.
  • Laziness, procrastination, sloth – Not doing as much as is reasonable for us to do. Putting things off repeatedly. Not carrying our own load as much as we are able. Letting others provide things for us that we ought to get for ourselves.
  • People-pleasing, being a “yes” person – Being false by saying yes when I mean no, and feeling resentful about it.  Trying to trick others into liking me by saying what I think they want to hear, rather than what is true.
  • Perfectionism, compulsiveness, being a workaholic – Expecting or demanding too much from myself or others. Treating things that aren’t perfect as not good enough. Not recognizing a good try or progress.  Concentrating too much on what is wrong.
  • Prejudice and favoritism- Pre-judging people based on a group they belong to. Negative or positive feelings about someone based on their religion, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, accent, politics, economic status, physical characteristics like height, weight, hair style, clothing style, physical fitness, age.  Not treating everyone as equal and devaluing or elevating a person or people in my family, meetings, workplace, school, or any group of people.
  • Pride – a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.  Being grandiose or arrogant.
  • Pride in reverse, guilt – from Step Four, page 45 of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions – Spending too much time thinking about how bad I am, how I screwed up, what’s wrong with me.
  • Rationalization, minimizing and justifying, self-justification – Saying and/or believing I had good motives for bad behavior.  Saying that I did bad things for good reasons, or that what I did really wasn’t that bad.
  • Resentment – The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.
  • Rigidity and fear of change
  • Sarcasm, cruelty, meanness
  • Sex: misuse of sex – withholding sex to get my way, being promiscuous, using people, cheating on a partner; lust
  • Shyness, aloofness, being self-conscious (what are people thinking about me?)
  • Self-centeredness, selfishness, self-seeking, attention-seeking – Spending excessive time thinking about myself. Considering myself first in situations. Not having enough regard for others or thinking about how circumstances hurt or help others. Thinking about what I can get out of situations and people, what’s in it for me? Spending too much time considering my appearance, acquiring things for myself, pampering myself, indulging myself.
  • Self pity, being discouraged

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