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

Character Trait: Dismissive

Character Trait Dismissive

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The dismissive character trait refers to a tendency to disregard or minimize the importance of something or someone. It can manifest as a lack of interest, attention, or respect, and may involve ignoring, interrupting, or belittling others. Dismissive individuals may come across as aloof, impatient, or arrogant, and may have a hard time connecting with others on a deeper level.

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

Possible causes of being dismissive

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

  • Growing up in a family or community where emotions were discouraged or seen as weakness
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of insecurity
  • Difficulty in trusting others and forming deep connections
  • A belief that emotions are irrational and should be suppressed
  • Experiencing multiple instances of disappointment or betrayal in relationships
  • Trauma or abuse experienced in the past
  • A need to maintain control and independence in relationships
  • Childhood experiences of being neglected or rejected by primary caregivers
  • Struggles with vulnerability and expressing emotions

Behaviors associated with being dismissive

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

  • Rolling eyes or making other dismissive gestures
  • Disregarding the feelings or needs of others
  • Walking away or ending a conversation abruptly
  • Ignoring or disregarding others' opinions or ideas
  • Refusing to engage in conversation or debate
  • Refusing to take others seriously or consider their viewpoints
  • Belittling or mocking others' perspectives or experiences
  • Interrupting others while they're speaking

Attitudes associated with being dismissive

You may be able to show dismissive through their attitudes.

  • Condescension
  • Refusal to acknowledge others' accomplishments or contributions
  • Ignoring or belittling others' opinions or feelings
  • Self-centeredness
  • Narrow-mindedness
  • Arrogance
  • Disregard for others' needs or desires
  • Impatience
  • Lack of empathy

Thoughts and struggles associated with being dismissive

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

  • They may struggle with feeling misunderstood or unseen by others, but may not feel comfortable expressing these feelings.
  • They may have difficulty trusting others and may be skeptical of people's motives or intentions.
  • They may be highly critical of themselves and others, and may have a tendency to focus on flaws or shortcomings rather than strengths and accomplishments.
  • A dismissive character might struggle with maintaining close relationships with others due to a fear of vulnerability and intimacy.
  • They may have a tendency to belittle or minimize the feelings and opinions of others, even those they care about.
  • They may struggle with recognizing and expressing their own emotions, and may have a tendency to intellectualize or rationalize their feelings rather than experiencing them fully.
  • They may have a deep-seated fear of being rejected or abandoned, and may push people away as a defense mechanism.
  • They may have a strong need for control and may struggle with feeling powerless or out of control in certain situations.

Emotions associated with being dismissive

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

  • Judgmental
  • Disrespectful
  • Superior
  • Arrogant
  • Overbearing
  • Condescending
  • Impatient
  • Nonchalant
  • Skeptical

Facial expressions associated with being dismissive

Here are some facial expressions your dismissive character may exhibit.

  • Sighing or heavy exhaling
  • Narrowed or squinted eyes
  • Eye rolling
  • Shrugging shoulders
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Smirking or smirking smile
  • Tilted head
  • Looking away or avoiding eye contact

Body language associated with being dismissive

Here is some body language your dismissive character may exhibit.

  • Sighing or huffing
  • Interrupting or talking over the person
  • Crossing arms
  • Fidgeting or tapping fingers
  • Rolling eyes
  • Turning away from the person
  • Speaking in a condescending tone
  • Smirking or sneering
  • Making minimal eye contact

Behaviors associated with being dismissive

Here are some behaviors your dismissive character may exhibit.

  • Refusing to engage in conversation or debate
  • Belittling or mocking others' perspectives or experiences
  • Ignoring or disregarding others' opinions or ideas
  • Interrupting others while they're speaking
  • Rolling eyes or making other dismissive gestures
  • Refusing to take others seriously or consider their viewpoints
  • Disregarding the feelings or needs of others
  • Walking away or ending a conversation abruptly

Growth and evolution of dismissive characters

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

  • Learn to value others' opinions and perspectives.
  • Learn to communicate effectively and respectfully with others.
  • Develop a sense of humility and openness to feedback.
  • Build healthier relationships with others, both personally and professionally.
  • Develop empathy and understanding towards others.
  • Learn to appreciate the strengths and contributions of others.
  • Recognize and address their own insecurities and vulnerabilities.
  • Overcome their dismissive behavior and become more collaborative and cooperative.

Stereotypes of dismissive characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical dismissive character like these examples.

  • Treating others as inferior or unworthy of attention or respect
  • Focusing only on their own goals and needs, without regard for others
  • Being quick to judge and criticize others without fully understanding their situations or motivations
  • Belittling the achievements or accomplishments of others
  • Being constantly condescending to others
  • Being dismissive of emotions and feelings, often resorting to cold logic
  • Ignoring or dismissing the opinions and feelings of others
  • Refusing to listen or consider alternative perspectives
  • Using sarcasm and humor to belittle or mock others

Negatives of being dismissive

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

  • Lack of empathy for others' perspectives
  • Difficulty building strong relationships with others
  • Arrogance and superiority complex
  • Inability to take criticism or feedback
  • Closed-mindedness and resistance to new ideas
  • Tendency to belittle or minimize the opinions and feelings of others

Positives of being dismissive

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

  • Confidence: Dismissive people tend to be confident in their abilities and decisions.
  • Efficiency: Dismissive people are often able to make quick and efficient decisions.
  • Focus: They are able to prioritize what is important and not get bogged down by insignificant details.
  • Assertiveness: Dismissive people are not afraid to speak their minds and stand up for themselves.
  • Independence: They are comfortable with making decisions on their own and don't rely on others for validation.
  • Productivity: They are able to get things done without being distracted by unnecessary tasks or people.

Verbal expressions of dismissive characters

Here are some potential expressions used by dismissive characters.

  • "I don't have time for this."
  • "That's ridiculous."
  • "I've heard it all before."
  • "Whatever."
  • "I don't care."
  • "It's not a big deal."
  • "You're overreacting."
  • "I already know that."
  • "That's not important."

Relationships of dismissive characters

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

  • They may have a hard time showing empathy towards others, as they often see others as inferior or weak.
  • They may have a tendency to blame others for their own mistakes or shortcomings, rather than taking responsibility for their actions.
  • They may be dismissive of the achievements or successes of others, either by downplaying them or by taking credit for them.
  • They may belittle or dismiss the opinions and feelings of others, making them feel insignificant or unimportant.
  • They may be critical of others, often pointing out flaws or mistakes, without offering constructive feedback or support.
  • Dismissive people tend to have a condescending and superior attitude towards others.

Examples from books of characters who are dismissive

  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • Regina George from "Mean Girls" by Rosalind Wiseman
  • Cersei Lannister from "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin
  • Daisy Buchanan from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger
  • Amy Dunne from "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
  • Dolores Umbridge from "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling

Writing exercises for writing dismissive characters

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

  • Write a scene where the character's dismissiveness causes a conflict with someone they care about, highlighting the negative consequences of this trait.
  • Write a scene where the character ignores someone's request or opinion, showing their disregard for others.
  • Write a scene where the character dismisses someone or something important to them.
  • Create a scenario where the character is confronted with a situation that challenges their dismissive behavior, and explore how they react.
  • Write a scene where the character dismisses their own feelings or experiences, showing their tendency to downplay their own emotions.
  • Create a dialogue where the character cuts off another person mid-sentence, showing their dismissive behavior.
  • Explore the character's background and history to determine what may have caused them to develop this trait.
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