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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 2023-12-02 00:00

Character Trait: Abrasive

Character Trait Abrasive

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait Abrasive refers to someone who is harsh and rough in their mannerisms, speech, or behavior. An Abrasive person often comes across as insensitive, critical, and confrontational. They may lack tact and diplomacy in their interactions with others, and their abrasive nature can sometimes alienate them from others. However, Abrasive individuals can also be direct, honest, and passionate, which can make them effective leaders or advocates.

Contents:
  1. Possible causes of being abrasive
  2. Behaviors associated with being abrasive
  3. Attitudes associated with being abrasive
  4. Thoughts and struggles associated with being abrasive
  5. Emotions associated with being abrasive
  6. Facial expressions associated with being abrasive
  7. Body language associated with being abrasive
  8. Behaviors associated with being abrasive
  9. Growth and evolution of abrasive characters
  10. Stereotypes of abrasive characters to avoid
  11. Negatives of being abrasive
  12. Positives of being abrasive
  13. Verbal expressions of abrasive characters
  14. Relationships of abrasive characters
  15. Examples from books of characters who are abrasive
  16. Writing exercises for writing abrasive characters

Possible causes of being abrasive

You might want to weave these into your character's back story to build a more believable character.

  • Trauma: Experiencing traumatic events can cause a person to develop an abrasive personality as a defense mechanism or coping mechanism.
  • Mental health conditions: Certain mental health conditions like personality disorders or mood disorders can cause a person to act abrasively.
  • Childhood experiences: Growing up in an environment where aggression and abrasive behavior was normalized or modeled can shape a person's personality.
  • Stress or pressure: High levels of stress or pressure at work or in personal life can cause a person to become easily agitated and act abrasively towards others.
  • Lack of emotional intelligence: Some people may struggle with managing their emotions or understanding how their behavior affects others, leading them to act abrasively without realizing it.

For detailed feedback on abrasive characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's character development checker.

Behaviors associated with being abrasive

You may be able to show your character's trait of abrasive by using these.

  • Being quick to anger or get defensive
  • Being insensitive to others' feelings or needs
  • Refusing to listen to others' opinions or ideas
  • Being confrontational or argumentative
  • Interrupting others while they are speaking
  • Being impatient or demanding
  • Using sarcasm or passive-aggressive behavior
  • Criticizing or belittling others
  • Using a harsh or insulting tone

Attitudes associated with being abrasive

You may be able to show abrasive through their attitudes.

  • A preference for directness and honesty over tact or diplomacy
  • A tendency to be confrontational or argumentative
  • A willingness to criticize or speak bluntly, even if it might be perceived as rude or disrespectful
  • A focus on achieving goals or objectives, even if it means sacrificing relationships or social niceties
  • A lack of empathy or consideration for others' feelings
  • A belief that others should be able to handle criticism or feedback without getting upset or defensive

Thoughts and struggles associated with being abrasive

Here are some ideas for things your abrasive character may think or struggle with.

  • A fear of being hurt or rejected
  • A desire for control and power
  • A sense of loneliness or isolation
  • Difficulty expressing vulnerability or emotions
  • A lack of trust in others
  • A history of being mistreated or undervalued
  • A tendency to push people away
  • A belief that being tough or aggressive is necessary for success
  • A feeling of superiority over others

Emotions associated with being abrasive

Here are some ideas for emotions your abrasive character may experience.

  • Argumentative
  • Insensitive
  • Confrontational
  • Rude
  • Critical
  • Hostile
  • Aggressive
  • Harsh
  • Intimidating

Facial expressions associated with being abrasive

Here are some facial expressions your abrasive character may exhibit.

  • Squinted eyes
  • Sneering or snarling lips
  • Clenched teeth
  • Tightened jaw
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Furrowed brow
  • Wrinkled nose
  • Flared nostrils

Body language associated with being abrasive

Here is some body language your abrasive character may exhibit.

  • Standing too close to others
  • Interrupting others frequently
  • Using a loud or harsh tone of voice
  • Rolling eyes or sneering
  • Crossing arms over the chest
  • Clenching jaw or fists
  • Ignoring social cues or boundaries
  • Pointing finger aggressively
  • Invading others' personal space

For detailed feedback on abrasive characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's character development checker.

Behaviors associated with being abrasive

Here are some behaviors your abrasive character may exhibit.

  • Criticizing or belittling others
  • Refusing to listen to others' opinions or ideas
  • Interrupting others while they are speaking
  • Being insensitive to others' feelings or needs
  • Being confrontational or argumentative
  • Being impatient or demanding
  • Being quick to anger or get defensive
  • Using sarcasm or passive-aggressive behavior
  • Using a harsh or insulting tone

Growth and evolution of abrasive characters

Here are some ways that your abrasive character may grow and evolve over time.

  • Develop empathy: The character may start to understand the perspectives and feelings of others, making them more aware of the impact their behavior has on others.
  • Acknowledge their faults: The character may become more self-aware and recognize their own flaws and shortcomings, leading to a willingness to work on self-improvement.
  • Form deeper relationships: The character may start to form meaningful connections with others, leading to more fulfilling and meaningful relationships.
  • Learn to forgive: The character may start to let go of grudges and past hurt, leading to a more positive and peaceful outlook on life.
  • Let go of control: The character may start to accept that they cannot always control everything or everyone, leading to a more relaxed and open-minded attitude.
  • Learn to communicate effectively: The character may begin to express themselves in a more constructive and respectful way, rather than being aggressive or dismissive.
  • Discover vulnerability: The character may start to embrace vulnerability and openness, allowing them to connect with others on a deeper level and experience more emotional growth.

Stereotypes of abrasive characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical abrasive character like these examples.

  • Abrasive characters who lack any redeeming qualities or positive traits.
  • Characters who are abusive or violent towards others, without any justification or context.
  • Characters who are only abrasive for the sake of being edgy or provocative.
  • Characters who are only abrasive because they are jealous, envious or bitter.
  • Characters who are abrasive without any growth or change throughout the story.
  • One-dimensional characters who are always rude or mean without any reason.
  • Characters who are abrasive without any consequences or negative reactions from others.
  • Characters who are only abrasive because of their gender, race or cultural background.
  • Characters who are abrasive to everyone they meet, without any exceptions.

Negatives of being abrasive

Here are some potential negatives of being abrasive. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as positives depending on the context.

  • Can lead to being disliked or alienated by others
  • May cause emotional harm to others
  • Can result in missed opportunities due to negative reputation
  • May hinder career advancement or success in social situations
  • Creates conflict and tension in relationships

Positives of being abrasive

Here are some potential positives of being abrasive. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as negatives depending on the context.

  • They tend to be very independent and self-reliant.
  • Abrasive people can often be very effective in leadership roles, as they are not afraid to make difficult decisions and take charge.
  • They are usually very assertive and confident in their opinions and actions.
  • They are often very passionate and dedicated to their work or cause.
  • Abrasive individuals are usually very straightforward and don't play games or beat around the bush.
  • Abrasive people tend to be very direct and honest in their communication.
  • They are often very driven and goal-oriented.
  • Abrasive individuals often have a strong sense of self and are not easily swayed by others.

Verbal expressions of abrasive characters

Here are some potential expressions used by abrasive characters.

  • Using sarcasm or snarky comments
  • Criticizing or nitpicking others' work or ideas
  • Interrupting or talking over others
  • Ignoring social cues or boundaries in communication
  • Making personal attacks or insults
  • Dismissing or belittling others' opinions or feelings
  • Using profanity or harsh language
  • Being argumentative or confrontational
  • Speaking in a blunt or direct manner

Relationships of abrasive characters

Here are some ways that being abrasive could affect your character's relationships.

  • Abrasive people tend to have confrontational relationships with others.
  • They may come across as controlling or domineering, which can be off-putting to others.
  • They may be critical and judgmental of others, causing tension in their relationships.
  • They may also be defensive and easily offended, leading to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
  • Abrasive people may struggle with empathy, making it difficult for them to understand and connect with others.

Examples from books of characters who are abrasive

  • Sherlock Holmes from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Dr. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Gregory House from House, MD by Andrew Holtz and David Shore
  • Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Writing exercises for writing abrasive characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write abrasive characters.

  • Write a scene where your character speaks their mind without thinking about the consequences.
  • Write a conversation where your character insults someone without realizing it.
  • Describe your character's body language when they're feeling frustrated or annoyed.
  • Write a scene where your character argues with someone over a trivial matter.
  • Imagine a scenario where your character has to work with someone they dislike and describe how they react to the situation.
  • Have your character interrupt someone while they're talking, and then justify why they did it.
  • Have your character give someone constructive criticism, but in a harsh and blunt manner.
  • Write a scene where your character uses sarcasm to communicate their thoughts.
  • Write a conversation where your character is trying to convince someone of something, but their abrasive nature ends up pushing the person away.
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