The Ten Most Significant Human Weaknesses

Many of our weaknesses as human beings are related to how we manage mental resources. It's about how people look at the past, how they place themselves in the present, and how they project themselves into the future.
The Ten Most Significant Human Weaknesses

Last update: 26 May, 2021

The main human strengths and weaknesses are related to how the mind works. Our brains have allowed us, both individually and as a species, to face adversity and accomplish impressive feats.

Just as some feelings and attitudes are strengthening, the weaknesses in human beings are often obstacles to achieving one’s goals, regardless of culture, social class, or ethnicity. These weaknesses can inhabit performance to a greater or lesser extent.

The weaknesses of human beings are limiting feelings and attitudes. They slow down progress because they lead to wearisome and unprofitable perspectives from a psychological standpoint.

Below, we’ll explain ten of them.

1. Cowardice

It’s when you allow fear to prevail in tough and risky situations. It leads to the absence of courage but also of determination and will.

Facing danger isn’t only for the brave but also for the prudent. You’re a coward when you don’t take reasonable risks or when you give up on what you want out of fear.

A woman looking out the window.

2. Selfishness

This trait can be cataloged as one of the weaknesses of human beings and not so much as a defect. This is because it’s characteristic of those who feel deprived. They fear giving their very best because they wrongly believe it’ll leave them dry. Either that or they’re convinced they deserve more than others because they need it. Selfishness implies an inability to break self boundaries.

3. Antipathy

This trait is expressed as a feeling of rejection, disapproval, or contempt towards others. Etymologically it comes from the Greek antipathos, which means “strong negative feelings towards someone”.

Such animosity implies an inability to understand and respect others. It also implies feelings of superiority, inspired by ignorance of the value of others.

4. Lack of concentration

One could say this is currently one of the great weaknesses of human beings. It isn’t only an intellectual problem or one that affects cognitive activities exclusively.

Lack of concentration keeps you from focusing on your feelings, ideas, and goals. Therefore, it’s usually followed by a trivial and scattered life.

5. Distrust, one of the great weaknesses of human beings

Generalized mistrust is another of the fruits of fear. Distrusting everything and everyone is rooted in insecurity.

You may fear the world because you feel unable to overcome its difficulties and vicissitudes. More than distrusting others, you distrust your own power.

6. Impatience

This is another human weakness that’s typical of modern times. This incapacity to wait, to let be and flow, is characteristic of this era.

Slowness or lack of progress causes restlessness and nervousness, fed in turn by a fearful look into the future.

7. Envy

It’s related to the distress caused by other people’s virtues or achievements. People don’t really envy someone’s virtues or successes but the feeling of satisfaction it brings to those who have or obtain them.

Thus, envy is bottomless. It’s a weakness because it implies a focus directed more to the life of others than to one’s own. The happiness of others makes one’s own unhappiness more evident.

8. Resentment

This is the incapacity to elaborate on sustained damage. As the word itself indicates, the same feeling is experienced over and over again, which in this case is one of resentment.

It’s a weakness because it’s related to the stagnation of emotions. To the extent that they aren’t addressed and processed, they continue to harm.

A seemingly concerned man.

9. Dependency

Although everyone’s dependent to some extent, dependency is the hallmark of the relationships some people establish not only with others but also with the world in general.

Dependence limits you to the extent that you place a good part of your needs, desires, and responsibilities on another person. Thus, you lose a good part of the control you have over what happens to you and this facilitates feelings such as helplessness.

10. Stubbornness is one of the biggest human weaknesses

Determination and tenacity are one thing and stubbornness is quite another. In the latter, a childish desire to impose one’s will or to achieve something desired prevails. It’s harmful because it causes unnecessary pain.

These weaknesses are realities that could happen to anyone. Most people have incurred in one or more of them at some point. This is why it’s important to know how to manage them when they appear on your horizon.

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  • Aspinwall, L. G., & Staudinger, U. M. (2007). Psicología del potencial humano: cuestiones fundamentales y normas para una psicología positiva. (No. 159.922). Gedisa.