How to Change Negative Character Traits

how to change negative character traits, man outside in nature overlooking view of mountains, dark foggy day, peaceful, sad

When we dislike a behavior we do, many times, the tendency is to fix or suppress the issue. Unfortunately, with those approaches, the problem is still there. Rarely do we go deeper and attempt to discover how to change negative character traits.

You can imagine the “fix it” approach to a doctor who gives you medicine for a headache when you have a hemorrhage. The headache may go away temporary but the more serious issue that caused the pain in the first place is still there. It’s not until you identify the hemorrhage that you can begin to fix the problem and heal.

Our negative behaviors are often times, indicators of a deeper issue, a character defect. This defect can stem from many different sources such as a traumatic experience or from an abusive spouse. But yet, many times the key to that negative character trait lie within our childhood. I know this sounds a bit clinical but once I explain you can understand why that’s true.

Parents have an important role. Their job is to provide, protect, and prepare a child for the real world. Many times parents have no problem with the first two but complications arise with that last one. Transitioning a child from being a minor to a high functional adult goes beyond making sure they are college ready or can get and keep a job. (Unfortunately, some parents don’t even do that). It also requires recognizing character defects and working with the child to overcome them.

We either inherit or cultivate the defects in our character. If we inherited these traits, our parents passed them down to us genetically. If we cultivated them, we learned these actions from interacting with our environment. Many times our parents allowed us to strengthen those negative character traits through practice. Other times we learned them subconsciously from our parents themselves! As we interacted with and watched them, they had an influence on us.

Either or are serious but I want to focus on cultivated tendencies here. These are usually harder to identify because it may indicate some form of neglect or indolence on behalf of the parent. Also, it involves the parent recognizing and fixing the serious character defects they have. Unfortunately, many parents never fix their own character issues. Instead, they place the stamp of their character on their children.

Before you begin to suppress, ignore, or apply a quick fix to your defects, go deeper. Spend time thinking about why you may be interacting the way you are. Don’t stop at the superficial reasons but take it all the way back to your childhood. What was it that mom did or didn’t do that had an adverse affect on you? What is it that Dad said or didn’t say? If you weren’t raised by both parents, think about the parent who was present in the home. You may also need to access the impact the absent parent had on you.


So, what do you think?

Do you have negative traits that you have changed or would like to change? If you overcame them what technique(s) did you use?



Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat. Please consult a licensed therapist if you are suffering from serious mental health issues. Chic LadyT claims no responsibility or liability for any injury, loss, or damages suffered as a result of the implementation of the suggestions and practices contained in this website.

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5 thoughts on “How to Change Negative Character Traits”

  1. “Doctor that gives you medicine for a headache when you have a hemorrhage” real stuff right there…..whew!!!! How do I correctly assess the problem and get rid of issues from the past though?!?

    • Hi Mikey! Thanks for commenting! The answer to that question is loaded. Maybe I should write a post on it one day. In a nutshell you should find a quiet, secluded, place to think. Go there and ask yourself a series of questions such as: Why am I so upset? Why did I respond the way I did? What vulnerabilities and sensitivities did the situation trigger? Why do I have those vulnerabilities and sensitivities? When did I ever feel those same emotions as a child? What was said or done at that time when I was a child that made me feel that way? Who did it and why? After asking yourself these questions you will find yourself asking more questions and ultimately you will discover answers of what lies deep within you. I also recommend seeing a counselor because they are very good at helping us dig deep. However, if that is not an option for you, you can try what I suggested. Of course, I am not a licensed therapist and I am only recommending what worked for me. I hope I understood your question correctly and my suggestions help!

  2. Wow! Thanks for the response! And yes! Latrly ive been asking some real deep questions to myself…sometimes the truth is unbearably ugly to look straight at and afterwards I do discover lots of truth about myself.! But next step is developing the perseverance and tenacity to move pass these old becomes a fight that sometimes I don’t wanna fight! Ughhhhhh! But I like the direction of this new blog! Very pretty as well! Thanks!

    • No problem Mikey! I’m glad I could help. And, you’re right. Once you discover the answers, the next step is to move forward toward forgiveness and healing. Sometimes you might have to confront someone. Sometimes you have to simply pardon them in your mind and let it go. But once you forgive and heal, you’d be surprised. The hold that the negative trait had on you is usually released. Your faith can also help you in that area.

  3. I’m glad you like the posts! Please sign up to get new articles delivered in your inbox by clicking the follow button on the right in the sidebar. God bless you!

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