15 character traits that all good men have

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What makes a good man?

That’s more than just a song title from the 2000s UK band The Heavy.

It’s a question that you should really think about if you’re trying to find one or even trying to be one.

These days, the concept of what makes a man is really being challenged by everything from gender politics to social norms and concepts of family.

It used to be that a good man was a protector and a breadwinner, a tough, strong type who didn’t have to say much.

But in the modern world, we’re more concerned with a man’s character than his role, and that’s the way it should be.

So, let’s take a look at these 15 character traits that all good men have so you’ll know how to recognize one when you meet one.

Hopefully, they’re not all that hard to find!

1) Emotional intelligence

One of the biggest complaints people have about their male partners is their low emotional intelligence.


But there are plenty of good men out there who are highly emotionally intelligent, and this plays to their advantage in work and relationships.

Emotional intelligence is understanding the emotions and emotional responses of others and yourself. It helps you to relate to others, predict people’s reactions, and take care of yourself.

Men with high levels of emotional intelligence make great partners because they’re understanding and emotionally available instead of being cut off from their feelings.

2) Empathy 

Good men all have one important character trait that’s lacking in so many toxic guys out there.

I’m talking about empathy, which is the ability to relate to other people’s emotions and share them.

Empathy is the basis of morality in regard to other people. What’s right and wrong is based on what will be good for others or cause them harm.

Empathy develops in young children, tied into their theory of mind.

It helps them understand why another child cries when they fall off their bike and learn how to comfort them.

But in some people, empathy is really underdeveloped, or in the case of psychopaths, almost entirely absent.

3) Maturity

Think of all the characteristics you associate with children.

Self-centeredness, selfishness, poor impulse control (gorging on candy), low emotional regulation (tantrums!)? I bet you come up with a similar list.

Well, good men, thankfully, have grown out of (most of) these immature traits.

Being mature adults, they can put others’ needs and concerns before their own. They can control their impulses and think before they act. And very importantly, they can control their emotions and keep them balanced.

Maturity takes time, but it also requires a lot of insight and self-reflection to be able to grow up.

4) Responsibility

Maturity also goes hand-in-hand with responsibility.

A good man takes on responsibilities and doesn’t leave others hanging.

He covers his expenses and doesn’t sponge off anyone.

He cleans up after himself and takes care of his appearance and hygiene like his mama taught him.

In other words, a responsible man knows what he has to do and does it.

He’s the type of guy that can keep a plant alive or have a pet or, dare I say, kids?

5) Respect

Pretty much every religion in the world teaches a version of the “golden rule” – treat others as you’d want to be treated.

But you’d be surprised how infrequently it sticks.

Well, good men get this concept and live by it.

They treat everyone with respect, no matter who they are or where they are on the totem pole. 

Imagine going out to dinner with a guy who’s handsome, successful, sexy, confident, and clever. Sounds great until he treats the waitress rudely.

Suddenly, he doesn’t seem so perfect, and I doubt there’s much that’s going to keep you from wondering if he’ll treat you with the same disrespect in the future.

6) Reliability

A good man is dependable and does what he says he’ll do.

If he tells you he’ll pick you up, you won’t be left waiting around.

He gets his projects done, and if you need his help, he’ll give it when he’s able.

You can trust him to keep his commitments and not let you down when you find yourself in a sticky situation.

This is definitely the kind of man you need around!

7) Honesty

Another character trait that all good men share is being honest.

Look, we all lie a little.

But there’s a big difference between telling small untruths to save people’s feelings (“Sure, of course, I like the gift!”) and big lies designed to deceive others (“I never had sexual relations with that woman!”).

A good man is going to be honest in both his words and actions.

He doesn’t set out to lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise harm others for his own advantage.

And if he makes you a promise, you know he’ll keep his word.

8) Self-confidence

With all of the character traits I’ve mentioned already and the ones left to come, it’s no surprise that a good man will also be self-confident.

No matter what he has achieved in life, a good man is essentially good, knows he is good, and has pride in himself.

He knows his strengths and accepts his weaknesses.

He’s not always trying to show off or be something that he’s not.

And he doesn’t harm himself with a negative self-concept.

And there are many things more attractive than confidence, are there?

9) Integrity

Integrity is about sticking to your guns.

Good men everywhere share integrity in common. They have a moral code, and they stick to it, even under pressure.

These are men who see opportunities for corrupt behavior like cheating or taking bribes, but they reject them.

They keep on the straight and narrow because they know what’s right and doing wrong is harmful to others.

10) Attentiveness

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand when people look right at you but don’t listen to what you’re saying.

It just strikes me as disrespectful.

If you’re not ready to listen, just tell me, and I’ll wait, right?

But you don’t have to worry about this when you meet a good man who is able to give his attention when it’s needed. 

He’s able to pay attention to people or activities where required and doesn’t get lost in his daydreams or longing to be playing video games instead of doing what he’s doing.

11) Open-mindedness

The world is really in flux now, especially when it comes to social norms.

It’s important to be able to keep up with what’s happening in the world, what’s changing and developing, and not be closed off to it or intimidated.

Mostly in social situations, a good man is able to always treat people with respect, and he adjusts what that means to the people receiving his respect.

He knows his own feelings and boundaries but doesn’t stop trying new things to help himself develop, learn, and improve.

12) Communicativeness

So many men share lots of these traits, but they still struggle with communication.

Let’s face it; men were often told that talking about certain things like feelings, for example, was undesirable and not “manly.” So, it’s no surprise that many men don’t like to share their thoughts and feelings.

But good men are able to get past whatever negative social training they had and both talk and listen effectively.

13) Trustworthiness

A man you can trust is a good man.

You don’t need to tag him with a tracking beacon or grill him when he gets home.

He continually shows you through his honesty and actions that you can trust him, and you don’t have to worry about infidelity or any other dishonest activity. 

14) Accountability

A good man will stand up and declare, “I am Spartacus!” at least if he really is.

He takes responsibility when he is responsible, whether the things he does have positive or negative results.

He answers for the things that he does, owning his failures as much as his successes.

In this way, he learns from his actions and continues to develop as a person.

15) Courage

Good men around the world share one more thing – they’re courageous.

But this courage isn’t just the battlefield or burning building type you see in movies.

They’re courageous about challenges in life, whether financial, work-related, or even emotional.

They don’t back down or shy away from these challenges. Instead, they look tough situations in the eye and draw on their personal power to confront them.

But they might also run into a burning building to save some kittens, too!

A few good men

Are there any good men left? 

They’re not all taken. And more develop every year from boys and even bad men turned good. 

So look out for these 15 characteristics, and I know you’ll discover some good men in no time!

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