Facing Your Own Character Flaws in Recovery

If you’re starting to notice that you have some character flaws, then perhaps recovery is working for you! One of the advantages of recovery is becoming a better human being. And the only way to do that is to recognize what needs improvement. Furthermore, it’s one thing to get sober and it’s another to actually change your life for the better. Facing your own character flaws, although uncomfortable, can be an opportunity for change.

It’s common for recovering addicts to have flaws in their personality and character. During an addiction, for example, a person can have a number of faulty traits that can interfere with healthy relationships and personal well being. For instance, some character flaws that are common among addicts and those in recovery include:

  • Selfishness
  • Defensiveness
  • Immaturity
  • Excessively critical
  • Taking life too seriously
  • Jealousy
  • Arrogance
  • Being judgmental
  • Callousness
  • Pride
  • Dishonesty
  • Stubbornness
  • Laziness
  • Conceit
  • Pessimism
  • Pride
  • Cynicism
  • Argumentativeness
  • Rebelliousness
  • Laziness


There are many character traits that a person has that can get in the way of repairing relationships, healing one’s addiction, and changing one’s life. For this reason, one of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is to explore one’s “defects”. Step Six states the recovering addict is:

…entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character

This doesn’t mean that the character flaws that one has will vanish, but that a person is willing and ready to let them go. And as you can imagine, getting to this point tends to come later in one’s recovery. At first, a person is focused on getting sober. Then, they may be focused on creating a new sober life for themselves. And it’s not until many months, years, or even decades that a person realizes their own flaws.

As mentioned earlier, noticing your own flaws isn’t reason to become depressed or guilty or shameful. It is simply an opportunity to change yourself. In fact, it’s an entirely positive experience. The fact that you can finally see it in yourself can be a blessing both to yourself and to others.

And if for some reason you are feeling guilty about the way you’ve acted towards others, it’s important to remember that recovery is a process of progress. It is a process of becoming a better and better person. It is not about being perfect. Noticing your flaws is an opportunity for progress and growth.

In fact, if you do recognize in yourself certain character flaws, it can be an incredibly positive experience to finally accept this in yourself. In fact, you might have always pushed this part of yourself away, and you might have even done this through substance use. Sobriety can help create clarity and self-awareness, which facilitates healing and transformation.

If you’d like to further your recovery by becoming more self-aware, support groups, therapy, and 12 step meetings can help.


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