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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Disdain

Emotion Disdain

When you want to write the emotion disdain, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid showing emotions and immerse your readers in your story.

Disdain is a feeling of contempt or disgust towards someone or something that is perceived as unworthy or inferior. It often involves a sense of superiority or arrogance on the part of the person experiencing the emotion. Disdain can manifest in various ways, such as through sneering, eye-rolling, or dismissive behavior. It can be directed towards individuals, groups, or even ideas and concepts. In literature, characters that display disdain may be perceived as haughty, aloof, or judgmental.

  1. Different Types of Disdain
  2. Situations Associated with Disdain
  3. Physical Reactions to Disdain
  4. Thoughts Associated with Disdain
  5. Atmosphere of Disdain
  6. Verbs Associated with Disdain
  7. Emotions Before Disdain
  8. Emotions After Disdain
  9. Telling Disdain Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Disdain
  11. Exercises for Showing Disdain

Different Types of Disdain

Here are some different types of disdain:

  • Arrogance
  • Contempt
  • Dislike
  • Disrespect
  • Haughtiness
  • Scorn
  • Sneering
  • Superiority
  • Disapproval

Situations Associated with Disdain

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of disdain:

  • Being mistreated or disrespected by someone in a position of authority
  • Seeing someone behave in a hypocritical or fake manner
  • Being forced to interact with someone who has a history of negative behavior
  • Witnessing someone belittle or bully another person
  • Feeling unappreciated or undervalued by others
  • Being let down by someone they trusted
  • Seeing someone act in a way that goes against their values or beliefs
  • Feeling frustrated or annoyed with someone who is constantly making mistakes

Physical Reactions to Disdain

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing disdain might have:

  • Narrowed eyes or squinting
  • Curling of the upper lip or sneering
  • Crossing arms or placing hands on hips
  • Turning away or physically distancing oneself from the object of disdain
  • A condescending or dismissive tone of voice
  • Heavy sighing or exaggerated eye-rolling
  • Frowning or scowling
  • Refusal to make eye contact
  • Dismissive gestures, such as waving a hand or turning away abruptly

Thoughts Associated with Disdain

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing disdain might have:

  • Why bother with these people?
  • They are not worth my time.
  • I can't stand their incompetence.
  • I am better than them.
  • Their behavior is beneath me.
  • I don't care what they think.
  • They are so predictable and boring.
  • I am disgusted by their actions.
  • I don't want to associate with them.

Atmosphere of Disdain

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of disdain in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Use a setting that is run-down, neglected, or in disrepair to reflect the character's attitude of contempt.
  • Choose a location that the character finds beneath them, such as a dive bar or a low-income neighborhood.
  • Use physical descriptions to convey the character's feeling of superiority, such as referring to others as "beneath" or "inferior."
  • Incorporate details that suggest the character is disgusted or repulsed, such as the smell of garbage or the sight of vermin.
  • Use the weather to reflect the character's mood, such as a dark and stormy night to convey a sense of brooding contempt.
  • Create a contrast between the character's surroundings and their own appearance or demeanor, such as a well-dressed character in a seedy location.

Verbs Associated with Disdain

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of disdain:

  • Scorn
  • Despise
  • Disparage
  • Belittle
  • Contempt
  • Sneer
  • Ridicule
  • Disregard
  • Patronize
  • Reject
  • Mock
  • Demean
  • Condescend
  • Dismiss

Emotions Before Disdain

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences disdain:

  • Contempt
  • Disapproval
  • Displeasure
  • Resentment
  • Irritation
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Disappointment

Emotions After Disdain

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences disdain:

  • Contempt
  • Disgust
  • Hatred
  • Loathing
  • Skepticism
  • Suspicion
  • Distrust
  • Disbelief
  • Irritation

Telling Disdain Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion disdain in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • He looked at her with disdain.
  • She spoke with disdain in her voice.
  • The way he carried himself showed his disdain for everyone around him.
  • She rolled her eyes, displaying her disdain.
  • He scoffed, clearly feeling disdainful.
  • She didn't bother hiding her disdain for the situation.
  • He made no effort to hide his disdain for the other guests.
  • She held her head high, exuding disdain for those around her.
  • He wrinkled his nose in disdain at the sight before him.
  • She couldn't help but feel disdainful toward the ignorant comment.

Remember, it's usually more effective to show emotions rather than tell them in your writing.

Practical Examples of Showing Disdain

Here are some examples of showing disdain in a sentence:

  • She wrinkled her nose at the sight of the dirty dishes in the sink.
  • He scoffed at the idea of taking the bus instead of driving his car.
  • She rolled her eyes at the thought of spending time with her annoying coworker.
  • He sneered at the poorly-written article in the newspaper.

Exercises for Showing Disdain

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing disdain:

  • Think of a time when you felt disdain towards someone or something. Write down the details of the situation and try to recall the emotions you experienced.
  • Create a character who holds a strong sense of superiority and contempt towards others. Write a scene where they interact with someone they disdain and try to convey their emotions through their body language and dialogue.
  • Write a monologue from the perspective of a character who feels disdain towards a particular group or individual. Explore the reasons behind their feelings and try to make their emotions clear through their thoughts and words.
  • Write a scene where a character witnesses an action or behavior that they disdain. Show their reaction through their thoughts and actions, as well as their interactions with other characters.
  • Create a character who is the target of another character's disdain. Write a scene where they confront the other character and try to convey their emotions through their words and actions.
  • Write a character profile for a character who is defined by their disdain towards others. Explore how this emotion shapes their personality, relationships, and actions throughout the story.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full emotions thesaurus.

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