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

Character Trait: Courteous

Character Trait Courteous

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait of being courteous refers to displaying politeness, respect, and good manners towards others. A courteous person is considerate and mindful of the feelings and needs of others, and they are always willing to go out of their way to show kindness and thoughtfulness. Courteous individuals are attentive listeners, show gratitude, and take the time to acknowledge others' contributions. They make a conscious effort to create a positive and respectful environment for everyone around them.

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

Possible causes of being courteous

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

  • A belief in treating others the way you would like to be treated
  • A natural inclination towards empathy and understanding
  • A sense of professionalism or duty that prioritizes good manners in social and work situations
  • A desire to make others feel comfortable and valued
  • Being taught by a mentor or role model who exemplified courteous behavior
  • Personal experiences with rudeness or incivility that inspired a commitment to kindness and respect
  • Growing up in a household where manners and politeness were emphasized

For detailed feedback on courteous characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fictional story assessment.

Behaviors associated with being courteous

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

  • Saying "please" and "thank you"
  • Waiting your turn to speak
  • Listening actively and attentively
  • Avoiding interrupting others
  • Showing appreciation and gratitude
  • Respecting personal space and boundaries
  • Offering help or assistance when needed
  • Using polite language and tone of voice
  • Holding the door open for others

Attitudes associated with being courteous

You may be able to show courteous through their attitudes.

  • Thoughtful: Considering the needs and feelings of others before acting or speaking.
  • Respectful: Treating others with kindness and consideration.
  • Polite: Using good manners and appropriate social behavior.
  • Gracious: Expressing appreciation and gratitude for others' efforts or help.
  • Tactful: Choosing words carefully to avoid offending or hurting others.
  • Patient: Willing to wait and not rush others, even in stressful situations.
  • Empathetic: Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
  • Humble: Being modest and not arrogant or boastful.
  • Generous: Sharing time, resources, or skills with others in a helpful way.

Thoughts and struggles associated with being courteous

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

  • They may fear coming across as rude or offending others.
  • They may feel frustrated when others don’t reciprocate their courtesy.
  • They may feel guilty when they have to say no or set boundaries.
  • They may also struggle with the balance between being courteous and being assertive.
  • A courteous character is constantly thinking about how their actions will affect others.
  • They may have a strong sense of empathy and want to help others in any way they can.
  • They may have a tendency to put others’ needs and feelings before their own.
  • They may have a hard time dealing with confrontation and may avoid it altogether.
  • They may struggle with being too polite and not speaking up for themselves.

Emotions associated with being courteous

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

  • Attentive
  • Gracious
  • Polite
  • Chivalrous
  • Gentlemanly
  • Kind
  • Diplomatic
  • Respectful
  • Ladylike
  • Thoughtful
  • Considerate
  • Well-mannered
  • Civil
  • Tactful

Facial expressions associated with being courteous

Here are some facial expressions your courteous character may exhibit.

  • Nodding affirmatively
  • Showing interest and attentiveness
  • Using appropriate gestures
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Being patient and understanding
  • Raised eyebrows
  • An open and relaxed facial expression
  • Avoiding harsh or critical expressions
  • A genuine smile
  • Softening the tone of voice
  • Tilting the head slightly
  • Speaking clearly and politely

Body language associated with being courteous

Here is some body language your courteous character may exhibit.

  • Smiling or nodding in acknowledgement
  • Offering a handshake or a friendly hug
  • Standing up or leaning forward to show interest
  • Making eye contact
  • Using a calm and measured tone of voice
  • Holding doors or offering assistance
  • Avoiding interrupting or talking over others
  • Giving personal space and not being overly intrusive
  • Using polite and respectful language

For detailed feedback on courteous characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fictional story assessment.

Behaviors associated with being courteous

Here are some behaviors your courteous character may exhibit.

  • Waiting your turn to speak
  • Avoiding interrupting others
  • Offering help or assistance when needed
  • Showing appreciation and gratitude
  • Using polite language and tone of voice
  • Holding the door open for others
  • Listening actively and attentively
  • Respecting personal space and boundaries
  • Saying "please" and "thank you"

Growth and evolution of courteous characters

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

  • Understand that being courteous doesn't always mean being agreeable or compromising their values
  • Develop a sense of assertiveness without losing their courteous demeanor
  • Recognize the difference between being polite and being a pushover
  • Overcome their fear of confrontation and express their opinions respectfully
  • Learn to listen actively and empathetically to others
  • Realize the importance of setting boundaries and communicating them clearly
  • Learn to stand up for themselves without being rude or aggressive
  • Learn to apologize sincerely and take responsibility for their mistakes
  • Develop the ability to navigate tense situations with grace and tact

Stereotypes of courteous characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical courteous character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the courteous character a pushover or someone who lacks confidence and assertiveness.
  • Avoid making the courteous character overly polite to the point of being insincere or fake.
  • Avoid making the courteous character a people-pleaser who always puts others' needs before their own.
  • Avoid making the courteous character judgmental or condescending towards those who are not as polite or courteous as they are.

Negatives of being courteous

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

  • Courteous individuals may struggle with asserting themselves or standing up for their beliefs.
  • People may take advantage of a courteous person's kindness and generosity, leading to feelings of being used or unappreciated.
  • Being too courteous can sometimes come across as insincere or fake.
  • Being overly courteous may lead to difficulty in setting boundaries or saying no, which can lead to being overwhelmed or overcommitted.

Positives of being courteous

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

  • Courteous people tend to be more approachable and open to new experiences and ideas.
  • Courteous individuals are good listeners and show empathy towards others, which creates a welcoming and supportive environment.
  • Courteous individuals are often viewed as trustworthy and reliable, which can lead to increased opportunities and success in personal and professional relationships.
  • Courteous people are respectful and kind to others, which helps to build positive relationships.
  • Courteous behavior promotes a sense of community and encourages others to act in a similar manner.
  • Courteous behavior can diffuse tense or uncomfortable situations and lead to more productive communication and problem-solving.

Verbal expressions of courteous characters

Here are some potential expressions used by courteous characters.

  • "After you"
  • "Would you mind?"
  • "I appreciate your help"
  • "My apologies"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Excuse me"
  • "Please"
  • "Pardon me"
  • "May I?"

Relationships of courteous characters

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

  • Courteous people are likely to be good listeners and communicators, as they make an effort to understand others' perspectives and communicate their own thoughts clearly and kindly.
  • Courteous people tend to have respectful and polite relationships with others.
  • Courteous people may struggle in relationships with those who are more abrasive or aggressive, as they may find it difficult to navigate conflict or confrontation.
  • They often prioritize the feelings and needs of others, and strive to make them feel comfortable and valued.
  • They may also be prone to putting others' needs before their own, which can lead to unbalanced or unhealthy relationships if not managed carefully.
  • They may have close relationships with others who value their thoughtful and considerate nature.

Examples from books of characters who are courteous

  • Aslan from "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis
  • Bilbo Baggins from "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Hermione Granger from "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
  • Wilbur from "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White
  • Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
  • Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Mary Poppins from "Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers

Writing exercises for writing courteous characters

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

  • Write a scene where the character holds the door open for someone else, even if they're in a hurry.
  • Have the character listen actively to others, showing that they value their opinions and ideas.
  • Write a scene where the character gives a compliment to someone else, making their day a little brighter.
  • Have the character use polite language when speaking to others, such as "please" and "thank you."
  • Have the character show respect towards authority figures, such as their boss or a police officer.
  • Have the character apologize sincerely when they make a mistake or hurt someone's feelings.
  • Write a scene where the character shows empathy towards someone who is struggling, such as offering words of encouragement or a helping hand.
  • Write a scene where the character gives up their seat to someone who needs it more, such as an elderly person or a pregnant woman.
  • Write a scene where the character offers to help someone with a task, even if it's not their responsibility.
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