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

Character Trait: Gutless

Character Trait Gutless

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait Gutless refers to a person who lacks courage or determination in difficult or challenging situations. Such a person may be easily intimidated, hesitant to take risks, and prone to giving up when faced with obstacles. They may also be indecisive, passive, and overly reliant on others to make decisions for them. Overall, a Gutless character is one who struggles to take action and make choices, often leading to missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential.

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

Possible causes of being gutless

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

  • Feeling overwhelmed or anxious about making decisions or taking action
  • Having a low self-esteem or self-worth
  • Experiencing a traumatic event that left them feeling powerless or helpless
  • A history of being heavily criticized or punished for making mistakes or taking risks
  • Growing up in an environment where expressing emotions or opinions was discouraged
  • Being overly dependent on others for validation or decision-making
  • Avoiding conflict or confrontation at all costs

Behaviors associated with being gutless

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

  • Giving up easily or lacking perseverance
  • Lacking a sense of conviction or personal values
  • Failing to take responsibility for one's actions
  • Being easily swayed by others' opinions or pressure
  • Making excuses or blaming others for one's failures
  • Being indecisive or wishy-washy
  • Inability to make decisions or take risks
  • Avoiding confrontations or difficult situations
  • Being easily intimidated or fearful

Attitudes associated with being gutless

You may be able to show gutless through their attitudes.

  • Dependence on others
  • Passivity
  • Self-doubt
  • Timidity
  • Indecisiveness
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Tendency to give up easily
  • Avoidance of confrontation
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of assertiveness
  • Fearfulness
  • Pessimism
  • Insecurity
  • Cowardice

Thoughts and struggles associated with being gutless

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

  • Dependence on others: Without confidence in themselves, a gutless character may rely heavily on others for support or decision-making. This can make them vulnerable to manipulation and can limit their independence.
  • Avoidance of conflict: Conflict is uncomfortable for everyone, but a gutless character may go to great lengths to avoid it altogether. This can lead to them being taken advantage of or not standing up for themselves or others.
  • Difficulty making decisions: Because they are afraid of making the wrong choice, a gutless character may struggle to make decisions, even small ones like what to eat for dinner.
  • Self-doubt: A gutless character may constantly second-guess themselves, worrying that they are not good enough or that they will fail. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a sense of hopelessness.
  • Lack of confidence: They may doubt their own abilities and feel inadequate compared to others, which can hold them back from speaking up or asserting themselves.
  • Fear of failure: A gutless character may be terrified of making mistakes or taking risks that could lead to failure. This fear may keep them from pursuing their goals or taking action.

Emotions associated with being gutless

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

  • Helplessness
  • Timidity
  • Unease
  • Indecisiveness
  • Fear
  • Insecurity
  • Anxiety
  • Apprehension
  • Vulnerability
  • Cowardice
  • Powerlessness

Facial expressions associated with being gutless

Here are some facial expressions your gutless character may exhibit.

  • Averted or closed-off body language
  • A furrowed brow or frown
  • Looking down or away
  • A blank or expressionless face
  • A trembling or quivering lip
  • A nervous or forced smile
  • Avoiding eye contact

Body language associated with being gutless

Here is some body language your gutless character may exhibit.

  • Speaking softly or hesitantly
  • Avoiding eye contact or looking down
  • Not taking a stand or expressing opinions
  • Smiling nervously or forcing a smile
  • Slumping or hunching shoulders
  • Agreeing with others to avoid conflict
  • Keeping a distance from others
  • Appearing tense or nervous, such as biting nails or tapping feet
  • Fidgeting or playing with hands

Behaviors associated with being gutless

Here are some behaviors your gutless character may exhibit.

  • Lacking a sense of conviction or personal values
  • Giving up easily or lacking perseverance
  • Being indecisive or wishy-washy
  • Failing to take responsibility for one's actions
  • Being easily intimidated or fearful
  • Being easily swayed by others' opinions or pressure
  • Making excuses or blaming others for one's failures
  • Inability to make decisions or take risks
  • Avoiding confrontations or difficult situations

Growth and evolution of gutless characters

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

  • Discover their inner strength and resilience, even in the face of adversity
  • Take on leadership roles and responsibilities, proving to themselves and others that they are capable
  • Develop a support system of friends and allies who encourage and challenge them
  • Face their past traumas or experiences that may have contributed to their gutlessness
  • Learn from their mistakes and failures to make better decisions in the future
  • Acknowledge their fear and find ways to face it
  • Build self-confidence by taking small risks and succeeding
  • Embrace their vulnerability and use it as a strength, rather than a weakness
  • Develop a sense of purpose or mission that motivates them to overcome their fears

Stereotypes of gutless characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical gutless character like these examples.

  • Avoid portraying Gutless characters as completely helpless and incapable of taking any action or making any decisions on their own.
  • Avoid making Gutless characters passive and unwilling to stand up for themselves or others.
  • Avoid making Gutless characters constantly afraid and anxious, without any moments of bravery or courage.
  • Avoid making Gutless characters constantly dependent on others for emotional and physical support.

Negatives of being gutless

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

  • Tendency to avoid conflicts and confrontations
  • Lack of courage to face challenges
  • Perceived as weak or indecisive by others
  • Dependence on others for guidance and support
  • Missed opportunities due to fear and hesitation
  • Inability to stand up for oneself or others
  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Being taken advantage of or manipulated easily
  • Difficulty making decisions

Positives of being gutless

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

  • They tend to be good listeners, as they are often hesitant to speak up or assert their own opinions.
  • They are often very patient, as they may be hesitant to take action without careful consideration and planning.
  • Gutless people are often very empathetic and compassionate, as they are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
  • Gutless individuals are often very cautious, which can help them avoid risky or dangerous situations.

Verbal expressions of gutless characters

Here are some potential expressions used by gutless characters.

  • Giving in to pressure or manipulation from others
  • Failing to take responsibility for one's actions
  • Lacking courage or bravery
  • Not standing up for oneself or others
  • Being easily intimidated or scared
  • Refusing to take risks or make bold decisions
  • Avoiding confrontations or difficult conversations
  • Being indecisive or wishy-washy
  • Being passive or submissive

Relationships of gutless characters

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

  • They may also struggle with intimacy and vulnerability, leading to shallow or superficial relationships.
  • They may struggle to set boundaries and often find themselves in toxic relationships.
  • Gutless people may avoid conflict at all costs and may have difficulty asserting themselves, leading to passive-aggressive behavior.
  • Gutless people may have codependent relationships where they rely heavily on others for decision-making and validation.

Examples from books of characters who are gutless

  • Harry Potter from the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Gregor Samsa from "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka
  • Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
  • Bilbo Baggins from "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Bella Swan from "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer
  • Winston Smith from "1984" by George Orwell
  • Charlie Brown from the "Peanuts" comics by Charles M. Schulz
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Arthur Dent from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

Writing exercises for writing gutless characters

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

  • Write a scene in which your character must confront their fears head-on. How do they prepare themselves? Do they seek out help or support from others? How do they feel before, during, and after the confrontation?
  • Explore the physical reactions your character experiences when they feel afraid or overwhelmed. Do they freeze up? Sweat profusely? Shake uncontrollably? Use these physical reactions to build tension in your scenes.
  • Write a character who is constantly seeking approval from others and afraid to take risks or make decisions without input from others. How does this affect their relationships and sense of self?
  • Think about a time when you or someone you know avoided conflict or made a decision that they regretted because they were too afraid to stand up for themselves. Write a scene in which your character faces a similar situation and explore how they react.
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