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

Character Trait: Dominating

Character Trait Dominating

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. Dominating is a character trait that describes someone who tends to control or influence others in a forceful or authoritarian manner. These individuals have a strong desire to be in charge and may use manipulation or intimidation tactics to get their way. They may also be highly competitive and strive to be the center of attention. Dominating characters can be both positive and negative depending on the context and the writer's intention.

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

Possible causes of being dominating

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

  • Childhood experiences of being neglected or abused, leading to a desire for control and power.
  • Social or cultural factors, such as growing up in a competitive environment that values dominance and aggression.
  • An inherent personality trait, such as a high need for control or a natural assertiveness.
  • Past successes and accomplishments that have reinforced the belief that dominance leads to success.
  • A need for validation and recognition, which manifests as a desire to dominate others.
  • Insecurity or low self-esteem, which can be masked through a dominant personality.
  • Fear of vulnerability or weakness, leading to a need to maintain a dominant persona at all times.

Behaviors associated with being dominating

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

  • Ignoring or dismissing opposing viewpoints
  • Using strong and assertive language
  • Interrupting others while they are speaking
  • Showing little patience for indecisiveness or hesitation
  • Making decisions without consulting others
  • Being physically imposing or standing close to others
  • Seeking control in situations or conversations
  • Taking charge of situations or delegating tasks to others
  • Being confident and self-assured

Attitudes associated with being dominating

You may be able to show dominating through their attitudes.

  • A tendency to be competitive and goal-oriented
  • A belief in one's own superiority or right to lead
  • A willingness to take charge and make decisions
  • A confidence in one's abilities and strengths
  • A tendency to be assertive and forceful in communication
  • A desire for control and power over others
  • A tendency to be direct and straightforward in communication
  • A willingness to confront and challenge others when necessary

Thoughts and struggles associated with being dominating

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

  • Need for recognition and admiration from others
  • A belief that their way is the only right way and a reluctance to consider alternative perspectives
  • Insecurity and self-doubt masked by a façade of confidence
  • Tendency to manipulate or coerce others to get what they want
  • Fear of vulnerability and loss of control
  • Intense competitiveness and desire to always be the best
  • A tendency to become angry or aggressive when challenged or threatened
  • Desire for control and power over others
  • Difficulty trusting others and forming meaningful relationships

Emotions associated with being dominating

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

  • Control
  • Arrogance
  • Stubbornness
  • Ambition
  • Competitiveness
  • Confidence
  • Authoritativeness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Assertiveness

Facial expressions associated with being dominating

Here are some facial expressions your dominating character may exhibit.

  • Tightening or clenching the jaw to convey determination or control
  • Squinting or narrowing the eyes to show intensity or scrutiny
  • Using a piercing or commanding gaze to establish dominance
  • Smirking or sneering to show contempt or superiority
  • Raising one eyebrow in a challenging or questioning manner
  • Standing tall with a straight posture to convey confidence and power
  • Speaking in a forceful or assertive tone to assert authority

Body language associated with being dominating

Here is some body language your dominating character may exhibit.

  • Speaking in a loud and forceful tone
  • Using large, expansive gestures
  • Using physical touch to assert dominance (e.g. patting someone on the back in a condescending manner)
  • Interrupting or talking over others
  • Invading personal space
  • Pointing or gesturing with authority
  • Standing tall and upright with shoulders back and chest out
  • Making direct and prolonged eye contact

Behaviors associated with being dominating

Here are some behaviors your dominating character may exhibit.

  • Being physically imposing or standing close to others
  • Making decisions without consulting others
  • Being confident and self-assured
  • Interrupting others while they are speaking
  • Taking charge of situations or delegating tasks to others
  • Ignoring or dismissing opposing viewpoints
  • Using strong and assertive language
  • Showing little patience for indecisiveness or hesitation
  • Seeking control in situations or conversations

Growth and evolution of dominating characters

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

  • Developing empathy and compassion towards others
  • Becoming more collaborative and willing to compromise
  • Learning to trust others and delegate tasks
  • Learning to control their emotions and reactions in difficult situations
  • Learning to listen and consider other perspectives before making decisions
  • Acknowledging their own flaws and weaknesses
  • Understanding the importance of teamwork and building positive relationships
  • Recognizing the negative effects of their dominating behavior on others
  • Recognizing the value of diversity and different opinions

Stereotypes of dominating characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical dominating character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the Dominating character lack empathy or any redeeming qualities.
  • Avoid making the Dominating character cruel or abusive towards others without reason.
  • Avoid making the Dominating character solely driven by their own desires and goals, without considering others' perspectives or needs.
  • Avoid making the Dominating character one-dimensional or solely focused on control and power.

Negatives of being dominating

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

  • They may struggle with delegating tasks or trusting others to take charge.
  • They may struggle with empathy and understanding other people's perspectives.
  • Dominating behavior can lead to strained relationships and social isolation.
  • They may have difficulty working collaboratively and compromise can be a challenge.
  • Dominating individuals often prioritize their own goals and desires over those of others.
  • Dominating people can be seen as aggressive and intimidating to others.

Positives of being dominating

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

  • Charismatic
  • Assertive
  • Persuasive
  • Goal-oriented
  • Confident
  • Leadership skills
  • Decisive
  • Self-motivated
  • Proactive

Verbal expressions of dominating characters

Here are some potential expressions used by dominating characters.

  • Belittling or talking down to others
  • Talking over others to assert control in a conversation
  • Using aggressive language to intimidate others
  • Giving orders instead of asking questions
  • Making demands instead of requests
  • Speaking in a loud and forceful tone
  • Using sarcasm to undermine others' confidence
  • Interrupting others while they speak

Relationships of dominating characters

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

  • They may be highly competitive and seek to assert their dominance over others.
  • They may struggle to empathize with others or see situations from another person's perspective.
  • Dominating people may exhibit a need for control in their relationships.
  • They may be prone to anger or aggression when they feel their dominance is being challenged.
  • Dominating people may struggle to compromise or collaborate with others, preferring to exert their will and make decisions unilaterally.
  • Dominating individuals may enjoy being in positions of power or authority and may seek to maintain control over others through intimidation or manipulation.
  • They may have a tendency to be dismissive of others' opinions or feelings.
  • Dominating individuals may have difficulty forming close, trusting relationships due to their need for control.

Examples from books of characters who are dominating

  • Dolores Umbridge from "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Nurse Annie Wilkes from "Misery" by Stephen King
  • Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey
  • Professor Moriarty from "Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Sauron from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Iago from "Othello" by William Shakespeare
  • Count Dracula from "Dracula" by Bram Stoker
  • Big Brother from "1984" by George Orwell
  • Cersei Lannister from "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin

Writing exercises for writing dominating characters

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

  • Experiment with different writing styles to convey your character's dominating personality. For example, you could use short, assertive sentences to show their confidence, or long, rambling paragraphs to show their need for control.
  • Consider your character's relationships. How do they interact with others? Are they able to maintain healthy relationships or do they drive people away with their dominating behavior?
  • Create a scene where your character is challenged by someone who is not easily intimidated. How do they respond to this challenge? Do they become aggressive or do they back down?
  • Explore the source of your character's dominating behavior. What motivates them to assert their dominance over others? Is it a defense mechanism? A need for control? A desire for power?
  • Write a scene where your character is in a position of authority. How do they handle the situation? Do they use their power for good or for selfish reasons?
  • Start by creating a character profile: give your character a name, age, occupation, and background. Think about their values, beliefs, and goals.
  • Write a scene where your character is forced to confront the consequences of their dominating behavior. Do they recognize the harm they've caused and try to make amends, or do they continue to justify their actions?
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