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

Character Trait: Embarrassing

Character Trait Embarrassing

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait Embarrassing refers to a person who is prone to causing themselves or others discomfort or shame in social situations. This type of character may have a tendency to say or do things that are inappropriate, awkward, or cringe-worthy, often without realizing the effect of their actions. They may feel embarrassed themselves or cause others to feel embarrassed on their behalf. This trait can add depth to a character and create opportunities for comedic or dramatic moments in a story.

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

Possible causes of being embarrassing

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

  • Cultural or societal norms that prioritize conformity or perfectionism
  • Low self-esteem or confidence
  • Personality traits such as shyness or introversion
  • Fear of rejection or criticism
  • Pressure to uphold a certain image or reputation
  • Lack of social skills or self-awareness
  • Past experiences of humiliation or shame
  • Trauma or abuse that affects one's sense of self-worth
  • Mental health conditions such as social anxiety or depression

Behaviors associated with being embarrassing

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

  • Making self-deprecating comments
  • Stuttering or stumbling over words
  • Trying to change the subject or deflect attention away from themselves
  • Overcompensating by being overly confident or boastful
  • Apologizing excessively or unnecessarily
  • Blushing or turning red in the face
  • Laughing nervously or inappropriately
  • Fidgeting or nervously playing with objects
  • Avoiding eye contact or looking down

Attitudes associated with being embarrassing

You may be able to show embarrassing through their attitudes.

  • Guilt
  • Insecurity
  • Regret
  • Shame
  • Unease
  • Self-consciousness
  • Humiliation
  • Discomfort
  • Awkwardness

Thoughts and struggles associated with being embarrassing

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

  • Tries to hide their mistakes or flaws
  • Feels shame and humiliation easily
  • Struggles with low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Overthinks every decision or action they take
  • Often apologizes excessively for minor things
  • May have difficulty asserting themselves or standing up for themselves
  • May have a fear of failure or making mistakes
  • Constantly worries about what others think of them
  • Avoids social situations or activities that could lead to embarrassment
  • May try to be a people-pleaser in order to avoid embarrassment

Emotions associated with being embarrassing

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

  • Insecurity
  • Regret
  • Self-consciousness
  • Shame
  • Anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Awkwardness
  • Guilt
  • Discomfort

Facial expressions associated with being embarrassing

Here are some facial expressions your embarrassing character may exhibit.

  • Blushing
  • Smiling nervously
  • Covering the face with hands
  • Sweating or appearing flushed
  • Looking down or away from others
  • Tugging at clothing or accessories
  • Stammering or stumbling over words
  • Fidgeting or shifting uncomfortably
  • Biting the lip or fingernails
  • Avoiding eye contact

Body language associated with being embarrassing

Here is some body language your embarrassing character may exhibit.

  • Nervous laughter or stammering
  • Blushing or reddening of the face
  • Sweating or perspiring excessively
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Covering the face or mouth with hands
  • Biting the lip or nails
  • Fidgeting or playing with objects
  • Looking down or hunching the shoulders
  • Shifting weight or standing awkwardly

Behaviors associated with being embarrassing

Here are some behaviors your embarrassing character may exhibit.

  • Laughing nervously or inappropriately
  • Stuttering or stumbling over words
  • Trying to change the subject or deflect attention away from themselves
  • Blushing or turning red in the face
  • Fidgeting or nervously playing with objects
  • Making self-deprecating comments
  • Overcompensating by being overly confident or boastful
  • Avoiding eye contact or looking down
  • Apologizing excessively or unnecessarily

Growth and evolution of embarrassing characters

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

  • Seeking help: The character may seek help from others, such as a therapist or a friend, to work through their embarrassing behavior.
  • Learning from mistakes: The character may learn from their embarrassing mistakes and take steps to avoid repeating them in the future.
  • Building self-confidence: The character may work on building their self-confidence so that they feel less embarrassed in social situations.
  • Taking action to change: The character may actively work to change their embarrassing behavior, either through therapy, self-help books, or other methods.
  • Acknowledging their embarrassing behavior: The character may come to terms with their embarrassing behavior and acknowledge that it's not helping them in any way.

Stereotypes of embarrassing characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical embarrassing character like these examples.

  • The character who is overly self-conscious and can't handle any criticism or embarrassment
  • The character who excessively sweats or has uncontrollable bodily functions in public
  • The character who always trips or falls in every situation
  • The character who is clueless or naive about social norms and etiquette
  • The character who constantly says or does inappropriate things without any awareness
  • The character who has a constant nervous laugh or giggle
  • The character who is always trying to fit in and impress others, even to their own detriment

Negatives of being embarrassing

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

  • Damaging one's own reputation or credibility
  • Losing the respect of others
  • Being the center of unwanted attention
  • Feeling ashamed or humiliated
  • Hindering personal and professional relationships
  • Making others uncomfortable or uneasy
  • Missing out on opportunities due to fear of embarrassment

Positives of being embarrassing

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

  • Being embarrassing can make a character more relatable and human.
  • It can add humor to a story, making it more entertaining for readers.
  • It can create opportunities for other characters to support or help the embarrassing character.
  • Embarrassing experiences can lead to character growth and development.
  • It can show a character's vulnerability, making them more sympathetic to readers.
  • Embarrassing moments can create tension and conflict in the plot.

Verbal expressions of embarrassing characters

Here are some potential expressions used by embarrassing characters.

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Blushing
  • Stuttering or stumbling over words
  • Laughing nervously
  • Over-explaining or justifying oneself
  • Making self-deprecating jokes
  • Trying to change the subject
  • Apologizing excessively
  • Going silent or becoming withdrawn

Relationships of embarrassing characters

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

  • They may be defensive or quick to take offense if they feel like someone is mocking or belittling them.
  • They may be more sensitive to criticism or negative feedback, taking it personally and dwelling on it longer than others might.
  • They may be overly self-conscious and worry about what others think of them, making it difficult to form close relationships.
  • They may try to avoid social situations where they might be embarrassed, leading to isolation or loneliness.
  • They may be hesitant to take risks or try new things for fear of looking foolish.
  • They may be quick to apologize or try to make amends if they feel like they've made a mistake or embarrassed themselves.
  • They may seek out friends or romantic partners who are more confident or outgoing, hoping to learn from their example or gain confidence by association.

Examples from books of characters who are embarrassing

  • Harold Fry from "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce
  • Ignatius P. O' Shaughnessy from "The Ignatius Papers" by George A. Birmingham
  • Bridget Jones from "Bridget Jones's Diary" by Helen Fielding
  • Adrian Mole from "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾" by Sue Townsend
  • Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
  • Mr. Bean from "Mr. Bean's Diary" by Robin Driscoll
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Christopher Boone from "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon
  • Ignatius Gallaher from "A Little Cloud" by James Joyce

Writing exercises for writing embarrassing characters

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

  • Write a scene where a character does something embarrassing in front of a group of people. Try to capture their feelings of shame and embarrassment through their inner thoughts and physical reactions.
  • Write a scene where a character has to confront someone who has embarrassed them in the past. This can be a chance for the character to grow and overcome their fear of embarrassment.
  • Play with the idea of embarrassment as a source of humor. Write a comedic scene where a character's embarrassing moment is played for laughs.
  • Start by brainstorming embarrassing moments from your own life or observing others. Make a list of these moments and try to identify what made them embarrassing.
  • Create a character who has a fear of embarrassment. Write a scene where they are put in a situation that challenges this fear and watch how they react.
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