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

Character Trait: Altruistic

Character Trait Altruistic

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. Altruistic is a character trait that describes an individual who is selfless, compassionate, and motivated by a desire to help others without expecting anything in return. An altruistic character is typically generous, empathetic, and willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others. This trait is often associated with kindness, empathy, and a strong sense of social responsibility.

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

Possible causes of being altruistic

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

  • Personal values and beliefs that prioritize the well-being of others
  • Early childhood experiences that emphasized helping others or being empathetic
  • Genetic or biological factors that influence personality and temperament
  • Societal and cultural norms that emphasize community and collective welfare
  • Positive role models who demonstrated altruistic behavior

For detailed feedback on altruistic characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's writing feedback tool.

Behaviors associated with being altruistic

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

  • Being selfless and humble in one's actions
  • Showing empathy and understanding towards others' struggles
  • Making sacrifices for the benefit of others
  • Being a good listener and offering support and guidance when needed
  • Helping others without expecting anything in return
  • Being kind and compassionate towards others
  • Encouraging others to be their best selves
  • Volunteering time and resources to help those in need
  • Putting others' needs before one's own

Attitudes associated with being altruistic

You may be able to show altruistic through their attitudes.

  • Belief in the importance of social justice and equality
  • Desire to make a positive impact on the world and the lives of others
  • Generosity with time, resources, and talents
  • Respect for the dignity and worth of all individuals
  • Selflessness and putting the needs of others before oneself
  • Empathy and concern for the well-being of others
  • Willingness to help others without expecting anything in return
  • Open-mindedness and willingness to understand different perspectives

Thoughts and struggles associated with being altruistic

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

  • Wondering if their altruism is motivated by a genuine desire to help or a need for validation and recognition
  • Feeling guilty or selfish when they prioritize their own needs
  • Struggling with setting boundaries and saying "no" to requests for help
  • Feeling a sense of responsibility to help those in need
  • Struggling with balancing their own well-being with their desire to help others
  • Wrestling with the question of whether they are truly making a difference or if their efforts are futile
  • Feeling frustrated with those who take advantage of their kindness
  • Putting the needs of others before their own

Emotions associated with being altruistic

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

  • Gratitude
  • Selflessness
  • Satisfaction
  • Pride
  • Fulfillment
  • Humility
  • Optimism
  • Kindness
  • Trust
  • Generosity
  • Joy
  • Empathy
  • Hopefulness
  • Compassion

Facial expressions associated with being altruistic

Here are some facial expressions your altruistic character may exhibit.

  • A willingness to make eye contact and maintain it
  • A slight tilt of the head indicating active listening
  • A tendency to lean forward in conversation, showing interest and engagement
  • A gentle nod or affirmative gesture
  • A tendency to give others the benefit of the doubt and assume positive intentions
  • A relaxed and open posture
  • A readiness to offer comforting touches or hugs as appropriate
  • A warm and genuine smile
  • Soft and empathetic eyes

Body language associated with being altruistic

Here is some body language your altruistic character may exhibit.

  • A warm smile and eye contact
  • Leaning in towards the person they are talking to
  • Avoiding aggressive or confrontational body language, such as crossing arms or standing too close
  • Open and relaxed posture
  • Gesturing with open palms
  • Showing empathy through facial expressions, such as furrowed brows or a concerned expression
  • Offering a handshake or a hug
  • Nodding and actively listening

For detailed feedback on altruistic characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's writing feedback tool.

Behaviors associated with being altruistic

Here are some behaviors your altruistic character may exhibit.

  • Being selfless and humble in one's actions
  • Encouraging others to be their best selves
  • Showing empathy and understanding towards others' struggles
  • Being a good listener and offering support and guidance when needed
  • Putting others' needs before one's own
  • Volunteering time and resources to help those in need
  • Helping others without expecting anything in return
  • Being kind and compassionate towards others
  • Making sacrifices for the benefit of others

Growth and evolution of altruistic characters

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

  • Learning to balance their desire to help others with the need to maintain their own mental and emotional well-being
  • Recognizing the value of collaboration and seeking out opportunities to work with others towards a common goal
  • Developing a greater sense of empathy and understanding towards those they seek to help, even if they don't always agree with them
  • Learning to set healthy boundaries and prioritize their own needs without sacrificing their desire to help others
  • Understanding that sometimes helping others means letting go of their own ego and accepting help themselves
  • Becoming more self-aware and reflective about their actions and motivations
  • Confronting their own biases and prejudices and actively working to overcome them

Stereotypes of altruistic characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical altruistic character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the character overly selfless to the point of being a doormat or pushover.
  • Avoid making the character a martyr, sacrificing everything for the greater good without any regard for their own well-being.
  • Avoid making the character preachy or condescending in their altruism, as this can turn readers off.
  • Avoid making the character too perfect or flawless, as this can come across as unrealistic and unrelatable.

Negatives of being altruistic

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

  • They may struggle with setting boundaries and saying "no" when necessary.
  • They may become over-involved in the problems and issues of others, leading to emotional exhaustion and burnout.
  • Altruistic people may be taken advantage of or manipulated by others who do not share their values.
  • Altruistic people may neglect their own needs and well-being.

Positives of being altruistic

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

  • Altruism can inspire others to be kind and generous, creating a ripple effect of positivity.
  • It can lead to a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for the good things in life.
  • They are less likely to be judgmental or critical of others, which can lead to more harmonious relationships.
  • Altruistic individuals are empathetic and compassionate towards others, which can lead to stronger relationships and a sense of community.
  • Altruistic individuals often have a strong moral compass and a sense of responsibility to make the world a better place.
  • They often prioritize the well-being of others over their own, which can lead to a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in life.

Verbal expressions of altruistic characters

Here are some potential expressions used by altruistic characters.

  • "It's my pleasure to help."
  • "Let me give you a hand."
  • "I don't need anything in return."
  • "I'll make sure you're taken care of."
  • "How can I help you?"
  • "I'm happy to assist."
  • "What do you need?"
  • "You come first."
  • "I'm here for you."

Relationships of altruistic characters

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

  • In some cases, their altruistic tendencies may be misunderstood or viewed as naive or idealistic by others who prioritize self-interest over the greater good.
  • They may form close bonds with others through their acts of kindness and generosity, which can create a sense of mutual appreciation and respect.
  • However, altruistic people may also struggle with setting boundaries and saying no to others, which can sometimes lead to them feeling taken advantage of or overwhelmed.
  • Altruistic people tend to have a strong desire to help others, which can lead to them being seen as dependable and trustworthy by those around them.

Examples from books of characters who are altruistic

  • Augustus Waters from "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
  • Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Ebenezer Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (after his transformation)
  • Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Arthur Weasley from the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Jean Valjean from "Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo
  • Sydney Carton from "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
  • Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • Samwise Gamgee from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien

Writing exercises for writing altruistic characters

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

  • Have your character take action to help someone in need, even if it means putting themselves in danger or making a personal sacrifice.
  • Write a backstory that explains why your character values helping others, and how they developed this trait.
  • Write a scene where your character is faced with a moral dilemma and chooses to do what is right, even if it is difficult or unpopular.
  • Write a backstory that shows how your character has been helped by someone else in the past, and how that experience influenced their own altruistic behavior.
  • Have your character volunteer at a local charity or organization that helps others in need.
  • Create a dialogue where your character explains their beliefs about the importance of helping others, and how they try to live by those beliefs.
  • Have your character express gratitude and appreciation for the kindness of others, and show how they want to pay it forward by helping others in need.
  • Write a scene where your character sacrifices their own needs or desires to help someone else.
  • Create a dialogue where your character encourages others to do good or make a positive change in the world.
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