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

Character Trait: Ethical

Character Trait Ethical

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait Ethical refers to a person's ability to act in accordance with moral principles and values. An ethical person is someone who has a strong sense of right and wrong and is committed to doing what is morally right, even when it may be difficult or unpopular. They are honest, fair, and trustworthy in their dealings with others, and they strive to make decisions that are in the best interests of everyone involved. In essence, being ethical means doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

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

Possible causes of being ethical

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

  • Education and exposure to ethical concepts
  • Religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Upbringing and parental guidance
  • Personal accountability and responsibility
  • Cultural and societal values
  • Life experiences and moral dilemmas
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Professional ethics and codes of conduct
  • Personal beliefs and principles

Behaviors associated with being ethical

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

  • Showing empathy and compassion towards others
  • Maintaining confidentiality when appropriate
  • Treating others with honesty and fairness
  • Adhering to laws and regulations
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Being transparent and open in communication
  • Striving to do what is right, even in difficult situations
  • Respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals
  • Taking responsibility for one's actions and decisions

Attitudes associated with being ethical

You may be able to show ethical through their attitudes.

  • Compassion and empathy
  • Courage and standing up for what is right
  • Responsibility and accountability
  • Fairness and impartiality
  • Respect for others and their rights
  • Transparency and openness
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Self-discipline and self-control
  • Humility and willingness to admit mistakes

Thoughts and struggles associated with being ethical

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

  • Considers the consequences of their actions on others
  • May experience a sense of moral obligation to speak out or take action against injustice
  • Feels guilt or shame when they act against their moral code
  • May struggle with the temptation to take shortcuts or cut corners
  • May feel frustrated or disillusioned when others do not act ethically
  • Seeks to understand and empathize with those who hold different ethical views
  • Strives to do what is right and just
  • Faces difficult ethical dilemmas and wrestles with conflicting values
  • Tries to balance their personal interests with the greater good

Emotions associated with being ethical

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

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Self-discipline
  • Integrity
  • Patience
  • Trustworthiness
  • Accountability
  • Respectfulness
  • Responsibility
  • Courage
  • Empathy
  • Fairness
  • Civility
  • Compassion

Facial expressions associated with being ethical

Here are some facial expressions your ethical character may exhibit.

  • A serious or determined expression, suggesting a person who takes their ethical responsibilities seriously and is committed to doing the right thing.
  • A thoughtful or contemplative look, suggesting a person who takes the time to consider their actions and the impact they have on others.
  • A calm and serene expression, indicating a clear conscience and sense of inner peace.
  • A gentle or kind smile, indicating a person who values empathy and compassion for others.
  • An expression of honesty and openness, with clear eye contact and a lack of guile or deceit.

Body language associated with being ethical

Here is some body language your ethical character may exhibit.

  • Speaking clearly and confidently, without hesitation or stuttering
  • Standing up straight with shoulders back
  • Avoiding defensive or aggressive body language, such as crossed arms or fists clenched at sides
  • Being physically attentive and present in conversations, rather than distracted or disinterested
  • Nodding in agreement or understanding
  • Maintaining eye contact when speaking to others
  • Avoiding fidgeting or nervous habits, such as tapping fingers or bouncing legs
  • Using open and welcoming gestures, such as open palms or uncrossed arms

Behaviors associated with being ethical

Here are some behaviors your ethical character may exhibit.

  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Maintaining confidentiality when appropriate
  • Striving to do what is right, even in difficult situations
  • Adhering to laws and regulations
  • Treating others with honesty and fairness
  • Respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals
  • Showing empathy and compassion towards others
  • Taking responsibility for one's actions and decisions
  • Being transparent and open in communication

Growth and evolution of ethical characters

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

  • Understanding the importance of fairness and justice and working towards those ideals.
  • Challenging their own beliefs and biases to become more open-minded and empathetic.
  • Developing a stronger moral compass and acting in accordance with their values, even in difficult situations.
  • Standing up for what is right, even if it is unpopular or goes against the norm.
  • Building stronger relationships based on trust and honesty.
  • Recognizing the impact of their actions on others and taking responsibility for their mistakes.
  • Showing compassion and forgiveness towards others, even those who have wronged them.
  • Becoming a role model for others and inspiring them to act ethically as well.
  • Learning from the consequences of their actions and making changes to their behavior.

Stereotypes of ethical characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical ethical character like these examples.

  • Being too predictable or conformist
  • Having no flaws or weaknesses
  • Having a black-and-white moral compass with no gray areas
  • Being too focused on rules and regulations rather than empathy and compassion
  • Being overly preachy or judgmental
  • Being a doormat or overly passive
  • Being one-dimensional or lacking complexity
  • Being too perfect or flawless
  • Being self-righteous or sanctimonious

Negatives of being ethical

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

  • Ethical behavior can sometimes come at a personal cost, such as sacrificing profits or career advancement.
  • Making ethical decisions can sometimes be difficult and require a lot of thought and consideration.
  • Being ethical can sometimes put you at odds with others who have different values or beliefs.
  • Ethical behavior may not always be rewarded or recognized, leading to feelings of frustration or disillusionment.
  • Ethical behavior can sometimes be seen as inconvenient or time-consuming.

Positives of being ethical

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

  • Building trust and credibility with others
  • Fostering a sense of personal pride and self-esteem
  • Contributing to a more just and fair society
  • Reducing the likelihood of negative consequences or repercussions
  • Creating a positive reputation and image for oneself
  • Improving relationships with others, both personally and professionally
  • Increasing the likelihood of being respected and admired by others

Verbal expressions of ethical characters

Here are some potential expressions used by ethical characters.

  • Treating others fairly and with respect
  • Admitting mistakes and taking responsibility for one's actions
  • Respecting others' privacy and confidentiality
  • Refraining from making false promises or commitments
  • Refusing to engage in discriminatory or prejudiced language
  • Speaking truthfully and honestly
  • Being transparent and open in communication
  • Practicing active listening and empathy
  • Avoiding gossip or spreading rumors

Relationships of ethical characters

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

  • Collaboration and cooperation towards common goals
  • Openness to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Willingness to apologize and make amends when necessary
  • Willingness to compromise and find win-win solutions
  • Respect for boundaries and personal autonomy
  • Respectful and empathetic listening
  • Non-judgmental attitude towards others' beliefs and values
  • Mutual trust and reliability
  • Honesty and transparency in communication

Examples from books of characters who are ethical

  • Dumbledore from "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Hester Prynne from "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
  • Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
  • Jean Valjean from "Les Misérables" by Victor Hugo
  • Sydney Carton from "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
  • Samwise Gamgee from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Jane Eyre from "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

Writing exercises for writing ethical characters

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

  • Create a backstory: Develop a backstory that explains why your character has a strong ethical code. Maybe they had a mentor who taught them the importance of doing the right thing, or they experienced a traumatic event that made them realize the value of integrity.
  • Explore moral dilemmas: Create situations in which your character must make a tough decision that tests their ethical code. For example, they may witness a crime and must decide whether to report it or not, even if it means putting themselves in danger.
  • Show actions: Actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate your character's ethical behavior through their actions, such as helping someone in need, standing up for what's right, or making sacrifices for the greater good.
  • Use symbolism: Symbolism can be a powerful tool to convey ethical traits. For example, your character may wear a piece of jewelry that symbolizes their commitment to honesty, or they may have a pet that represents their compassion.
  • Use dialogue: Show your character's ethical code through their words. Have them engage in conversations where they discuss their beliefs and values, or where they offer advice or guidance to other characters.
  • Explore consequences: Show the consequences of your character's ethical decisions. Sometimes doing the right thing can have negative consequences, but your character must stay true to their values regardless.
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