Desirable and undesirable characteristics in personality


1. Desirable vs Undesirable characteristics

In the previous tutorial we discussed how most people have about twenty to thirty core characteristics, which constitute their core personality.
These characteristics can be grouped into 2 types

1. Desirable characteristics: These are characteristics such as being hardworking, or displaying honesty and integrity.

2. Undesirable characteristics: These are ones such as lying and stubbornness.

Desirable characteristics are known as qualities and undesirable characteristics are known as personality defects. Characteristics have been grossly grouped in these two categories. Qualities bring about general well-being and have an overall positive effect on the person and one’s interactions. Defects on the other hand bring mental anguish both to the person having them and the people he interacts with.

2. Analysing personality defects and qualities

One study said that there are approximately eighteen thousand words in the English language that designate forms of behaviour. Of these we have selected a hundred common major undesirable (called type I) and a corresponding hundred desirable qualities (called type II). You can find these and analyse yourself in our section on overcoming personality defects. In general, type I includes characteristics which are undesirable from a common sense point of view, while type II includes corresponding desirable qualities, e.g. for ‘rude’ in type I, the corresponding desirable quality in type II is ‘polite’. Knowing a person’s desirable qualities reveals the sources of his strength that can be used in helping him overcome his troubles. Knowing desirable qualities also helps a person who is having problems to boost his self-esteem.

3. Some exceptions

There is another point to keep in mind, which does not undermine what we have mentioned earlier. Whether a characteristic should be considered as desirable or undesirable also varies with every individual, e.g. submissive, humble, nonaggressive, etc. can be considered as good characteristics in a servant, while they would be considered as undesirable ones, i.e. defects if they are present in a chief executive officer (CEO) of a company. Being suspicious may be regarded as an undesirable characteristic in most people, but it may be considered as a desirable characteristic in an officer from the criminology department.

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