Most Admired Character Traits (or, what is a friend?)

If any time in my life has been ‘transitional,’ now certainly is (I graduate in 3 weeks; Bryan and I are moving to DC in a month; I’m starting my first full-time job in August). Somewhat counterintuitively, during times of transition I find myself reflecting on the friends I’ve made, friends I want to keep in touch with, and acquaintances I wish were friends.

A few months back, I stumbled on a blog in which the author listed his arbitrary “most admired character traits.” I’m sorry; I can’t find it on the web/blogosphere anywhere now. But reading it inspired me to compile my own list and standards of most valuable character qualities. I’ve returned to this today. I think reading them centers me – How am I acting toward others? Would I want to be friends with myself? What insecurities might my friends have (I think many of these are correlated with self-confidence)? Who is just flat-out a wonderful, thoughtful, exemplary friend?

In my last post I asked: “How many close friends can you really truly have?” I think about this often because I enjoy people; I enjoy meeting unique personalities, and stories. But it’s important to me that their novelty isn’t the only reason I befriend them. It’s important to me that I’m invested in their life – their joys and trials. That’s when I consider them truly a close friend.

And so, without further mumbo-jumbo philosophical opinions, I’ve included my list of character qualities I most admire (and covet); these are the characteristics I most want to cultivate in myself:

  1. Earnest humility. Hardworking.
    1. Willingness to learn.
    2. Willingness to admit mistakes.
    3. Knowing you don’t know it all.
    4. Respect for the unknown.
  2. Selflessness in daily life (loving friends & strangers; wanting to help).
    1. Natural gratitude – awareness of indebtedness and blessings.
  3. Self-awareness.
    1. General Confidence.
    2. Having Personal Style.
  4. Genuine happiness for others’ victories.
    1. Admiration without jealousy.
  5. Honesty – fearlessly honest in order to bond with others.
  6. Empathy.
    1. Understanding that most people are not acting against them but in conjunction with innate characteristics.
  7. Respect for peoples’ reason & beliefs.
    1. Ability to hold a great conversation.
    2. Present listening.
  8. Not influenced by others’ physical appearances (they’re overweight but they’re pretty. — fill in the blank, etc)

What do you think? Are there character qualities you wish came more easily? Or any traits your friends have that you’re supernaturally drawn to?


PS: If I’ve ever addressed you as “friend,” please know you’re already a pro at so many if not ALL – of these qualities. LOVE YOU, FRIENDS!


One thought on “Most Admired Character Traits (or, what is a friend?)

  1. Well,Sweetheart…I had to grab a pencil to copy your thoughts this time because they are priceless and worth studying over when time permits. We have had several little health issues that have captured our time at Dr.s offices, etc. PLUS 4 extra Easter Services which require time to prepare and
    recital is May 9th…Fri. evening and wedding music for a June bride…that’s all
    extra than just regular scheduling…however when I look at YOUR schedule, mine looks quite small. Oh..I celebrated my 78th b/d on April 9 and our 59th anniversary the following day…WOW! God be praised! Thanks so much for your precious card…and the time that took…I keep them all…It reminds me again and again that you are TRULY are most admired and loved. Have a Blessed Easter.

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