A Brief Theory of Bad Character
Vices, or irrational needs, are dispositions to make particular false value-judgments which, in turn, motivate particular acts of wrong doing. Through repetition these acts of wrong doing reinforce the vices and become bad habits.
All of the vices are rooted in pride. As DeYoung (pg. 183) says of the seven capital vices, each of the vices represents a prideful quest to provide happiness for ourselves through whatever god-substitute we choose—pleasure, approval, wealth, power, status, etc.
For Stoics, only the Sage is virtuous; everyone else is vicious. The idealized self-image of the vicious individual is chiefly a glorification of the vices, or irrational needs, that have formed in his character. (A need is irrational if it is a requirement for something not in our power and involves a judgment of good or bad).
The vicious individual takes pride in the imagined attributes of his idealized image.
On the basis of that pride, the individual makes claims, or demands, upon others, and upon life. (Claims are irrational needs that have become demands on others and on life.)
The individual also makes demands of himself, what Karen Horney called "shoulds" (cf. Albert Ellis), which compel him to try to live up to his idealized image. (Shoulds are irrational needs that have become demands of oneself).
But if others do not honor his claims, or if he fails to live up to his idealized image, he hates himself. In reaction to this self-hate he redoubles his efforts and resumes his search for glory. But in seeking after perfection and the absolute in externals, he only ends up sending himself to hell, the inner hell of self-contempt, and fails to attain the happiness that is in our power.