Get 25% OFF new yearly plans in our Spring Sale

Buy now
Inspiration Decks Character Traits 2023-12-06 00:00

Character Trait: Discreet

Character Trait Discreet

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait Discreet refers to the ability to maintain confidentiality and avoid drawing attention to oneself. Someone who is discreet is careful not to share sensitive information or behave in a way that could be seen as inappropriate or attention-seeking. They are often able to keep their thoughts and emotions to themselves, and can be trusted to handle private matters with tact and sensitivity. Overall, a discreet character is someone who values privacy and is skilled at navigating social situations with grace and subtlety.

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

Possible causes of being discreet

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

  • Personal values and beliefs: Some people may choose to be discreet as a matter of principle or preference. They may view it as a sign of maturity, respect, or humility. They may also believe that some things are better left unsaid or unshared.
  • Professional or social roles: Depending on their job or social circle, some people may need to be discreet to protect their reputation, privacy, or confidentiality. For instance, doctors, lawyers, spies, or celebrities may have to guard their words and actions carefully.
  • Environment and upbringing: Growing up in a family or culture that values privacy, modesty, and discretion may shape someone's personality and behavior. On the other hand, experiencing trauma, abuse, or criticism may make someone retreat and hide their true self.
  • Genetics and temperament: Some people may be naturally more introverted, reserved, and cautious. They may prefer to listen rather than speak, observe rather than act, and keep their thoughts and feelings private.

Behaviors associated with being discreet

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

  • Keeping confidential information private and not sharing it with others
  • Showing respect for others' opinions and perspectives, even when they differ from one's own
  • Avoiding drawing attention to oneself in public or social situations
  • Balancing the need for privacy with the need for social interaction and communication
  • Being tactful and diplomatic in difficult or sensitive situations
  • Being selective with words and actions, and avoiding unnecessary risks or exposure
  • Listening carefully to others and observing their behavior to gain insight and understanding
  • Using discretion when making decisions or taking actions, considering potential consequences and impact on others
  • Speaking in a low tone of voice or whispering in private conversations

Attitudes associated with being discreet

You may be able to show discreet through their attitudes.

  • Cautious
  • Trustworthy
  • Reserved
  • Protective
  • Diplomatic
  • Observant
  • Analytical
  • Meticulous
  • Thoughtful

Thoughts and struggles associated with being discreet

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

  • They may feel a sense of isolation or loneliness because they keep so much to themselves.
  • They may have a fear of being judged or misunderstood by others if they reveal too much about themselves.
  • A discreet character may be constantly evaluating their words and actions to ensure they don't reveal too much about themselves or their intentions.
  • They may struggle with making decisions because they consider all possible outcomes and how they could impact themselves and others.
  • They may feel a sense of guilt or shame if they feel they've revealed too much about themselves or others.
  • They may have a heightened awareness of their surroundings, always scanning for potential threats or risks to their safety.
  • They may struggle with finding a balance between being open and honest with others while also protecting their own privacy.
  • They may have difficulty forming close relationships because they struggle to open up and trust others.

Emotions associated with being discreet

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

  • Reserved
  • Circumspect
  • Judicious
  • Tactful
  • Diplomatic
  • Cautious
  • Meticulous
  • Prudent
  • Guarded

Facial expressions associated with being discreet

Here are some facial expressions your discreet character may exhibit.

  • A subtle shrug or raising of the shoulders
  • Avoiding direct eye contact
  • A subtle nod or tilt of the head
  • Raised eyebrows with a slight furrow on the forehead
  • A quick glance or darting eyes
  • A soft sigh or exhale
  • A slight tilt of the head with a hand covering the mouth
  • A faint smile with pursed lips
  • Eyes slightly narrowed or squinted

Body language associated with being discreet

Here is some body language your discreet character may exhibit.

  • Being mindful of personal space and respecting the boundaries of others
  • Avoiding eye contact or looking away when discussing sensitive topics
  • Keeping a low profile and avoiding drawing unnecessary attention to oneself
  • Speaking in a soft or hushed tone of voice
  • Moving slowly and deliberately to avoid sudden movements that might attract attention
  • Avoiding fidgeting or nervous gestures that might indicate discomfort or unease
  • Using closed body language such as crossed arms or legs to create a barrier

Behaviors associated with being discreet

Here are some behaviors your discreet character may exhibit.

  • Being tactful and diplomatic in difficult or sensitive situations
  • Speaking in a low tone of voice or whispering in private conversations
  • Keeping confidential information private and not sharing it with others
  • Using discretion when making decisions or taking actions, considering potential consequences and impact on others
  • Showing respect for others' opinions and perspectives, even when they differ from one's own
  • Balancing the need for privacy with the need for social interaction and communication
  • Being selective with words and actions, and avoiding unnecessary risks or exposure
  • Avoiding drawing attention to oneself in public or social situations
  • Listening carefully to others and observing their behavior to gain insight and understanding

Growth and evolution of discreet characters

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

  • Become more assertive in standing up for what they believe in
  • Become more observant and perceptive of others' behavior and motives
  • Open up emotionally and connect with others on a deeper level
  • Gain more courage to confront difficult situations or people
  • Learn to trust others and share their secrets
  • Develop a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-worth
  • Recognize the importance of being honest and truthful in relationships
  • Learn to take calculated risks and step out of their comfort zone
  • Learn to balance their desire for privacy with the need to communicate effectively

Stereotypes of discreet characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical discreet character like these examples.

  • Lack of social skills or ability to connect with others
  • Being portrayed as weak or fragile
  • Being a pushover or easily manipulated by others
  • Lack of assertiveness or confidence
  • Shyness or introversion being the only defining characteristic of the character
  • Inability to speak up for themselves or express their opinions
  • Being overly secretive or mysterious without any clear motivation
  • Overly passive behavior in all situations

Negatives of being discreet

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

  • It can be challenging for discreet individuals to build strong relationships and form deep connections with others.
  • Discreet individuals may have trouble expressing themselves openly, leading to feelings of frustration or isolation.
  • In certain situations, being too discreet can make it difficult for others to trust or connect with the individual.
  • Discreet individuals may struggle with asserting themselves and advocating for their own needs and desires.

Positives of being discreet

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

  • Discreet individuals often have a calm and composed demeanor, which can be reassuring to others
  • It can also create an aura of mystery and intrigue around a character
  • Being discreet can also help in avoiding conflicts and staying out of trouble
  • It allows for better judgment and decision-making in sensitive situations
  • They are less likely to engage in gossip or spread rumors
  • Discretion can help maintain confidentiality and privacy
  • Discreet individuals are often seen as trustworthy and reliable

Verbal expressions of discreet characters

Here are some potential expressions used by discreet characters.

  • Not drawing attention to oneself
  • Choosing words carefully
  • Being tactful in difficult situations
  • Using euphemisms or indirect language
  • Avoiding gossip or sensitive topics
  • Being observant and attentive to others' needs
  • Speaking in a low voice
  • Avoiding unnecessary comments or opinions
  • Keeping secrets and confidences

Relationships of discreet characters

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

  • Discreet people may have a tendency to keep to themselves and maintain a small circle of trusted individuals.
  • They may struggle with opening up to others, which can make forming close relationships challenging.
  • Discreet individuals may feel uncomfortable with public displays of affection or emotional vulnerability, which can create tension in romantic relationships.
  • Discreet people may be seen as mysterious or enigmatic to others, which can either attract or repel certain individuals.
  • They may be skilled at keeping secrets and may make excellent confidants for others.
  • They may be respected by others for their ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality, but this can also create feelings of isolation or loneliness.
  • Discreet individuals may be valued in professional settings for their ability to handle sensitive information with discretion and professionalism.

Examples from books of characters who are discreet

  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • Lisbeth Salander from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
  • Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
  • Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings" series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
  • Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Clarice Starling from "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris
  • Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writing exercises for writing discreet characters

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

  • Write a scene where your character has to confront a situation that goes against their values, but they choose to handle it in a subtle and indirect way.
  • Write a scene where your character is in a social setting but is intentionally avoiding drawing attention to themselves.
  • Develop a scene where your character has to give a speech or presentation, but they choose to speak quietly and calmly instead of raising their voice.
  • Create a backstory for your character that explains why they prefer to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves.
  • Write a scene where your character has to deal with a difficult person, but they choose to stay composed and polite instead of reacting emotionally.
  • Develop a scene where your character has to solve a problem, but they choose to do it behind the scenes instead of taking credit for it.
  • Write a scene where your character has to stand up for themselves or someone else, but they do it in a way that is not confrontational or aggressive.
Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.