Ideal Character Traits of the Modern Male

Young male alone in thought pondering the path ahead to becoming a well-rounded man.

Defining the character and behavioural traits that a man should ideally aspire to is a herculean task, as each individual has unique goals and aspirations. Our value as a man is a concept we continually contemplate from infancy until death.

It's also important to note at this point, that possessing ideal male character traits does not necessarily equate to popularity.

Ideal character traits are values that make us like ourselves. They help us to become better humans, and just as importantly, to sleep well at night.

NOTE 9 Dec 2023: I write a lot, about a million words a year. As with all my large articles, this is a live work-in-progress which will end up being epic, and then broken up into separate articles as I flesh out each category. That's how I roll. Thus, I apologise for the haphazard unfinished nature of this particular article, but it will end up being something special.


Some general characteristics and traits are considered universally desirable for a man to possess. That said, the following list is just a guide.

We will also look at negative traits and alternative points of view.

The goal is to keep opinion balanced and give readers something to think about to help draw their own conclusions.


Integrity is a key trait for any man to aspire to. This means being honest, trustworthy, and having a strong moral compass. A man who is true to his word and acts with integrity gains the respect of others.


Independent Thinker


Compassion (not empathy)

Men should aspire to be compassionate. This means attempting to understand and relate to another person's experiences and feelings without enforcing one's possibly-misguided preconceptions upon them. It also means to do so without judgement or condescension.

A desire to be there for other people, and being willing to help and support those in need, is considered by most an admirable quality.

'Compassion' is a better word to use than 'empathy' to define these qualities. 'Empathy' is a term which has gotten confused with 'sympathy' in the social media age, and doesn't carry the weight it once did.

True empathy cannot be felt unless you have undergone the exact same experience, and to the same degree, as the person in need of support. Otherwise you're just pretending to be empathetic, which can be an act of sympathy, pity, or compassion. A good man chooses compassion.

Inner Strength

A man should be self-disciplined and resilient. This means having the ability to stay focused on long-term goals, to work hard, and to overcome setbacks and challenges with a positive attitude.


A man should be open-minded and adaptable. This means being willing to learn from others, to embrace change, and to approach new situations with a flexible and curious mindset.

Character Flaws

Virtuous Acts

Presenting oneself as the paragon of virtue and morality is the goal of many people, however this should not be confused with actually being virtuous and moral. This is a big topic. I've written an extended article:



To be servile means to possess an extreme willingness to serve and please others in the hope of being accepted or loved. Think of the late-blooming youth at school always trying to please the jocks who ridicule him, on in modern culture, the 'simp' type male who constantly dotes upon an overbearing female that despises him.

Servility afflicts men with very low self-esteem and usually goes hand-in-hand with constant self-deprecation. Servility is totally detrimental, and the only possibly emotional response from onlookers is pity. If you feel that you possess this flaw and can't lift yourself up, please seek professional help from a psychologist. They can definitely help you.









Overall, people generally regard a man who possesses these traits as a strong and admirable individual. This can have a positive impact on the people around him.

Again though, remember that the above list of character traits are stereotypes. It's pure theory. We'll start examining them via the topics below.