Human Qualities

A Simple List of Human Qualities

Human qualities not only define as a species, but they define us as individuals as well. These are often passed down from parent to child, but many are learned from society as whole or even innate traits. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but should give you a good idea of what human qualities are and perhaps give you some insight into areas you would like to work on to increase your humanity.


Morality differs in what it means for each individual person, but essentially is having knowledge of right and wrong. Different cultures have different standards of what is morally correct and wrong, and so someone in Japan may have different morals than someone in Spain, but they can each have morality.

If you would like to test your morality, you can simply internalize and explore what actions and behaviors you find deplorable and which are satisfactory. A common exercise for first year law students is to look at controversial laws and see if they agree with them or not, and why.

Sympathy and Empathy

These two human qualities are closely related, but not the same thing. Sympathy is the ability to share in someone’s sorrow. You know what they are going through and you can feel the pain that they are experiencing. For example, if your friend’s pet died and you also lost a pet at one point, you can easily understand the emotions they are feeling and may even begin to experience them again as well.

With empathy, you can recognize the pain of the situation and feel badly for the person. You are not going through the same emotions that they are, but you can understand the severity of their pain and why they are experiencing it.


Humility is not only a great quality in humans, but also a virtue. A humble person is rarely arrogant and contemptuous. They are courteous and respectful of others, and will be modest about their own wealth and accomplishments. They understand that they are only one part of a larger whole and should therefore not place any great emphasis on themselves.


Trust is a tricky, tricky thing for many people. It involves placing your faith and confidence in another person and being at peace, knowing that they will not fail you. Humans mainly deal with trust in regards to personal relationships be they friendly, familial, or romantic, but they can also place trust in public entities and governmental systems.


Forgiveness is very frequently misunderstood. Most people are taught from a very young age that if someone hurts them, they should forgive and forget it. Understandably, this concept is met with much resistance. That is because people tend to believe that they are supposed to accept and condone the act against them. This is not true.


A rape victim cannot be asked to condone the actions of the rapist, but she can forgive the act and let herself heal. What she essentially would need to do is release the anger and indignation that she felt towards the person and allow peace of mind to wash over her.

Self-forgiveness is a great way to achieve better self-awareness. Think back to regrets you’ve had in the past; things you’d change if you could that still bother you. Realize that you cannot go back in time and change them, but that you can make a mental note and personal goal to not repeat the mistake. Let the negative energy out. Forgive yourself.

Practicing exercises in each of these human qualities can do much for your personal life and emotional stability. You may begin to feel like a better person, or at least a more worthwhile one.