List of Character Defects for 12 Step Recovery Work
Here’s a list I found of possible character defects to consider while doing stepwork. It’s by Lydia at her recovery blog: Don’t Drink and Don’t Die
Lydia’s Character Defect List ( visit her site for updated versions of this list)
- anger, hatred
- anxiety – Not as a clinical diagnosis, but as 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.
- arrogance – Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
- 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.
- dependency, over dependency, co dependency – Relying on others to provide for us what we ought to provide for ourselves. Feeling we must be in a relationship, or must hold on to others who want to move on. Letting others control us to an extreme due to our fear of being alone, abandoned, or independent.
- depression, pessimism – Not as a clinical condition, but as a way to generally see the dark side of things.
- dishonesty – 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. Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t ours and that we aren’t entitled to.
- controlling attitude toward people, places and things – Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding things or tricking them into acting as we wish, even when we believe it is in their best interest to do so. Failing to be equal partners with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions.
- gluttony, 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.
- 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.
- humility, a lack of humility – Feeling better than and 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 – Noticing and listing, out loud or to ourselves, the faults of others.
- 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 nonmaterial 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.
- perfectionism – Expecting or demanding too much from ourselves or others. Treating things that aren’t perfect as not good enough. Not recognizing a good try or progress.
- prejudice – Pre-judging people based on a group they belong to. Negative 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.
- 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
- self centeredness, selfishness – 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
source: Lydia at Don’t Drink and Don’t Die