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

Character Trait: Egocentric

Character Trait Egocentric

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. Egocentric is a character trait that describes someone who is excessively focused on themselves, their own needs, wants, and desires, often at the expense of others. Egocentric characters tend to be self-centered, arrogant, and insensitive to the feelings of others. They may have difficulty empathizing with others and may be quick to dismiss the opinions and perspectives of those around them. This trait can create interesting and complex characters, but it can also make them difficult to relate to and root for.

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

Possible causes of being egocentric

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

  • A lack of empathy or understanding of other people's perspectives
  • Childhood experiences that reinforced the belief that they are the center of the universe
  • Traumatic experiences that caused them to become self-centered as a coping mechanism
  • Learned behavior from observing others with similar traits
  • Fear of vulnerability or rejection, leading to a need for control and dominance
  • Overindulgence or spoiled upbringing
  • Narcissistic tendencies or personality disorder
  • Cultural or societal values that prioritize individualism over community or empathy

Behaviors associated with being egocentric

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

  • Refusing to compromise or collaborate with others
  • Belittling or insulting others
  • Putting one's own needs and desires above others' needs and desires
  • Talking about oneself excessively
  • Taking credit for others' work or accomplishments
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges
  • Not taking responsibility for one's mistakes
  • Ignoring or dismissing others' perspectives

Attitudes associated with being egocentric

You may be able to show egocentric through their attitudes.

  • A need for constant attention and validation from others.
  • A tendency to prioritize personal gain over the well-being of others.
  • Difficulty empathizing with others and understanding their perspectives.
  • A tendency to interrupt or talk over others in conversation.
  • A lack of consideration for the feelings or needs of others.
  • A tendency to blame others for one's own mistakes or shortcomings.
  • A belief that one's own needs and desires are more important than those of others.
  • A belief that one is always right and others are wrong.

Thoughts and struggles associated with being egocentric

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

  • Believing their own opinions and ideas are always right
  • Believing they are superior to others
  • Minimizing the accomplishments of others
  • Being envious or jealous of others' successes or possessions
  • Constantly seeking attention and recognition
  • Feeling easily threatened by others' successes
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges
  • Overreacting to criticism or rejection
  • Difficulty empathizing with others
  • Refusing to take responsibility for their mistakes

Emotions associated with being egocentric

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

  • Vanity
  • Entitlement
  • Boastfulness
  • Arrogance
  • Self-centeredness
  • Selfishness
  • Conceit
  • Egotism
  • Narcissism

Facial expressions associated with being egocentric

Here are some facial expressions your egocentric character may exhibit.

  • A self-satisfied grin
  • Eye-rolling with a dismissive gesture
  • Raised eyebrows with a smirk
  • Pursed lips with a raised chin
  • A condescending smirk
  • A smug smile with a slight head tilt
  • Raised eyebrows with a look of disbelief
  • Squinted eyes with a tight-lipped smile

Body language associated with being egocentric

Here is some body language your egocentric character may exhibit.

  • Interrupting others and speaking over them
  • Displaying a lack of interest in others' lives or experiences
  • Dominating the conversation and not allowing others to contribute
  • Ignoring or dismissing other people's opinions or feelings
  • Standing with arms crossed and head held high
  • Displaying a lack of empathy or concern for others' needs or desires
  • Fidgeting or impatiently tapping fingers or feet when not in control

Behaviors associated with being egocentric

Here are some behaviors your egocentric character may exhibit.

  • Not taking responsibility for one's mistakes
  • Ignoring or dismissing others' perspectives
  • Belittling or insulting others
  • Putting one's own needs and desires above others' needs and desires
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges
  • Talking about oneself excessively
  • Refusing to compromise or collaborate with others
  • Taking credit for others' work or accomplishments

Growth and evolution of egocentric characters

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

  • Learning to value and appreciate the contributions and achievements of others.
  • Learning to accept criticism and feedback without becoming defensive or dismissive.
  • Recognizing their own flaws and limitations and striving to improve and grow as a person.
  • Realizing the impact of their actions on others and learning to consider others' feelings and perspectives.
  • Becoming more open-minded and flexible in their thinking and behavior.
  • Developing empathy and understanding of others' points of view.
  • Learning to collaborate and work effectively with others towards a common goal.

Stereotypes of egocentric characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical egocentric character like these examples.

  • Stereotyping them as wealthy, powerful, or arrogant without exploring the root of their behavior
  • Portraying them as completely unaware of their own flaws and shortcomings
  • Making them one-dimensional and purely villainous
  • Using their egocentrism as a plot device without exploring the deeper psychological reasons behind it.
  • Making them the sole focus of the story, neglecting other characters and their development
  • Failing to give them any redeeming qualities or moments of vulnerability
  • Failing to show how their egocentric behavior affects those around them, including loved ones and acquaintances
  • Making them overly narcissistic to the point of being comical or unrealistic

Remember, Egocentric characters can be complex, multidimensional, and even relatable if written with care and nuance.

Negatives of being egocentric

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

  • Disregard for social norms or rules if they conflict with personal desires
  • Arrogance and overconfidence in one's own abilities or opinions
  • Inability to learn from mistakes or accept constructive criticism
  • Difficulty in building and maintaining meaningful relationships
  • Tendency to blame others for problems or failures instead of taking responsibility
  • Lack of concern for the impact of one's actions on others
  • Difficulty in understanding or empathizing with others
  • Inability to see other perspectives or consider alternative viewpoints
  • Tendency to prioritize self-interest over the needs of others

Positives of being egocentric

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

  • Leadership: Egocentric individuals can make effective leaders, as they are often charismatic and able to inspire others to follow their vision.
  • Assertiveness: They tend to be assertive and know what they want, which can help them pursue their goals and get what they want in life.
  • Confidence: Egocentric individuals often have high levels of self-confidence, which can help them believe in their abilities and take risks.
  • Independence: Egocentric people often have a strong sense of independence, which can help them take charge of their lives and not rely on others for their happiness.
  • Creativity: They can be highly creative, as they tend to think outside the box and not be limited by societal norms or expectations.

Verbal expressions of egocentric characters

Here are some potential expressions used by egocentric characters.

  • Belittling or dismissing the opinions of others
  • Disregarding the needs or feelings of others
  • Interrupting others while they are speaking
  • Expecting special treatment or privileges
  • Taking credit for others' work
  • Talking about oneself excessively
  • Constantly seeking attention or validation
  • Refusing to admit mistakes or faults

Relationships of egocentric characters

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

  • They may struggle with forming deep, meaningful relationships as they may not be willing to compromise or make sacrifices for others.
  • Egocentric individuals may be quick to criticize or judge others and may struggle with accepting criticism themselves.
  • Egocentric people often prioritize their own needs and desires over those of others, leading to selfish behavior and a lack of consideration for others.
  • Egocentric people tend to dominate conversations, often interrupting and not allowing others to speak.
  • They may have difficulty empathizing with others and understanding their perspectives.
  • They may also struggle with boundaries, often expecting others to cater to their needs without reciprocating.

Examples from books of characters who are egocentric

  • Tyrion Lannister from "A Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R. Martin
  • Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis
  • Sherlock Holmes from the series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
  • Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
  • Emma Woodhouse from "Emma" by Jane Austen
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

Writing exercises for writing egocentric characters

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

  • Write a scene where your character expects special treatment or privileges because they believe they are superior to others.
  • Write a scene where your character manipulates or exploits others for their own benefit without remorse.
  • Write a scene where your character refuses to apologize or admit fault, even when they are clearly in the wrong.
  • Write a scene where your character takes credit for someone else's work.
  • Write a monologue where your character talks about how they are always right and everyone else is wrong.
  • Write a scene where your character interrupts someone else's conversation to talk about themselves.
  • Write a scene where your character belittles or insults someone else to make themselves look better.
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