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

Character Trait: Conceited

Character Trait Conceited

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "conceited" refers to a person who has an excessively high opinion of themselves and their abilities. Conceited individuals often believe that they are better or more important than others, and they may display arrogance or boastfulness. They may also be preoccupied with their appearance and reputation, and may seek validation and admiration from others. This trait can be both positive and negative, depending on the context and the way it is expressed.

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

Possible causes of being conceited

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

  • Cultural or societal norms that prioritize individualism and self-promotion
  • Upbringing with excessive praise or entitlement
  • Narcissistic tendencies or personality disorder
  • Success or achievement in a particular area leading to a sense of superiority
  • Overcompensation for feelings of insecurity or inadequacy
  • Lack of exposure to diverse perspectives or experiences
  • Fear of vulnerability or rejection leading to a defensive attitude

For detailed feedback on conceited characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fiction manuscript feedback.

Behaviors associated with being conceited

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

  • Boasting or exaggerating abilities or possessions
  • Showing off or flaunting wealth or status
  • Interrupting or dominating conversations
  • Being easily offended or defensive when criticized
  • Constantly talking about oneself and achievements
  • Belittling or dismissing others' accomplishments
  • Refusing to apologize or admit fault
  • Ignoring or dismissing feedback
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges

Attitudes associated with being conceited

You may be able to show conceited through their attitudes.

  • Belief in superiority over others
  • Entitlement and expectation of special treatment
  • Inability to accept criticism or failure
  • Overconfidence in one's abilities or appearance
  • Dismissal of others' opinions or feelings
  • Lack of empathy towards others
  • Arrogance and boastfulness
  • Need for constant admiration and attention

Thoughts and struggles associated with being conceited

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

  • Constantly thinking about themselves and their own achievements
  • Becoming defensive or aggressive when criticized or corrected
  • Struggling with jealousy towards others who they perceive as more successful or talented
  • Feeling threatened by anyone who challenges their ego or sense of superiority
  • Believing they are always right and dismissing other people's opinions
  • Alienating others with their arrogance and lack of empathy
  • Seeking validation and attention from others to bolster their self-esteem
  • Struggling with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy despite their outward confidence
  • Finding it difficult to admit their own mistakes or shortcomings

Emotions associated with being conceited

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

  • Arrogance
  • Vanity
  • Haughtiness
  • Self-importance
  • Contemptuousness
  • Egotism
  • Superiority complex
  • Snobbery
  • Narcissism

Facial expressions associated with being conceited

Here are some facial expressions your conceited character may exhibit.

  • Squinting or looking down at others
  • Pursed lips
  • Smirking or smug smile
  • Eye-rolling
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Chin raised or tilted up

Body language associated with being conceited

Here is some body language your conceited character may exhibit.

  • Strutting or walking with exaggerated swagger
  • Raised eyebrows as if surprised by others' lack of admiration
  • Standing with the chest puffed out
  • Ignoring or dismissing the opinions of others
  • Tilting the chin up while looking down at others
  • Smirking or smug facial expressions
  • Gesturing with an open palm as if dismissing others' input
  • Talking over others or interrupting them
  • Touching or playing with one's hair or clothing in a self-absorbed manner

For detailed feedback on conceited characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fiction manuscript feedback.

Behaviors associated with being conceited

Here are some behaviors your conceited character may exhibit.

  • Boasting or exaggerating abilities or possessions
  • Constantly talking about oneself and achievements
  • Interrupting or dominating conversations
  • Showing off or flaunting wealth or status
  • Refusing to apologize or admit fault
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges
  • Ignoring or dismissing feedback
  • Belittling or dismissing others' accomplishments
  • Being easily offended or defensive when criticized

Growth and evolution of conceited characters

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

  • Recognizing and accepting their flaws and limitations
  • Learning to value and appreciate the skills and talents of others
  • Developing empathy and becoming more aware of how their actions affect others
  • Prioritizing the needs and well-being of others over their own ego
  • Acknowledging and apologizing for past mistakes or hurtful behavior
  • Learning to work collaboratively with others instead of always seeking to be the center of attention
  • Letting go of the need for constant validation and admiration from others
  • Becoming more humble and down-to-earth

Stereotypes of conceited characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical conceited character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the character one-dimensional or solely focused on their appearance or accomplishments
  • Avoid making the character completely unaware of their flaws or shortcomings
  • Avoid making the character overtly mean or cruel to others
  • Avoid making the character completely unlikable or unsympathetic to readers

Negatives of being conceited

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

  • Disregarding or belittling the opinions of others
  • Focusing on external validation rather than internal growth and improvement
  • Feeling entitled and superior to others
  • Creating a false image of oneself to impress others
  • Becoming defensive or hostile when criticized or challenged
  • Being self-absorbed and obsessed with one's appearance or achievements
  • Alienating others and damaging relationships
  • Being arrogant and boastful
  • Overestimating one's abilities and talents

Positives of being conceited

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

  • High self-confidence: A conceited person tends to have a high level of self-confidence and belief in their abilities and accomplishments.
  • Attention to appearance: A conceited person may pay close attention to their appearance, which can lead to good grooming and a polished appearance.
  • Ambition: They may have a strong drive to succeed and achieve their goals, which can lead to a productive and successful life.
  • Assertiveness: They are often assertive and self-assured in their interactions with others, which can be helpful in achieving their goals.

Verbal expressions of conceited characters

Here are some potential expressions used by conceited characters.

  • Ignoring or dismissing the opinions of others
  • Belittling or talking down to others
  • Refusing to listen to constructive criticism
  • Interrupting others to talk about oneself
  • Assuming that one is always right or has all the answers
  • Bragging about one's accomplishments or possessions
  • Making everything about oneself
  • Seeking constant attention or validation from others

Relationships of conceited characters

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

  • In romantic relationships, conceited people may be overly focused on their own needs and desires, neglecting those of their partner.
  • They may also have a tendency to use others for their own gain, seeing them as tools to further their own success or reputation.
  • Conceited people may have difficulty forming meaningful connections with others, as they may see others as beneath them or unworthy of their time.
  • In friendships, conceited people may struggle to maintain close connections with others, as they may feel that they are too good for their peers.
  • They may be dismissive of others' opinions and feelings, believing that their own are the only ones that matter.
  • They may also have a tendency to be controlling or manipulative in relationships, as they believe they know what is best for everyone involved.
  • A conceited person may have a tendency to talk down to others, acting as if they are superior.

Examples from books of characters who are conceited

  • Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Tom Buchanan from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • Humbert Humbert from "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Draco Malfoy from the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Amy Dunne from "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
  • Catherine Earnshaw from "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Emma Woodhouse from "Emma" by Jane Austen

Writing exercises for writing conceited characters

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

  • Start by defining what "conceited" means to you. What are the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes that make a character appear conceited?
  • Think of a moment in your character's past where they were humbled or embarrassed. How did they react? Did it change their behavior at all?
  • Think of a character you know or have met who displays conceited traits. What specific actions or words make them seem this way?
  • Write a scene in which your character's conceited behavior leads to negative consequences. How do they react to this setback?
  • Create a dialogue between your character and another character who confronts them about their conceited behavior. How does your character react?
  • Write a scene in which your character is in a situation where they are not the center of attention. How do they react?
  • Write a scene in which your character receives a compliment. How do they react? Do they accept it graciously or do they deflect it?
  • Write a scene in which your character talks about themselves excessively. They could be bragging about their accomplishments or belittling others.
  • Create a character profile that includes their conceited traits. Use this to guide their actions and dialogue throughout your story.
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