Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Disgust

Emotion Disgust

When you want to write the emotion disgust, 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 emotional tells and immerse your readers in your story.

Disgust is a strong feeling of revulsion, aversion or repugnance towards something considered offensive, unpleasant or morally objectionable. It is an instinctive emotional response that serves as a protective mechanism against potentially harmful or toxic stimuli. In terms of character development, disgust can be expressed through physical reactions such as nausea, facial expressions such as a wrinkled nose or clenched jaw, or verbal expressions such as a snarl or a hiss.

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

Different Types of Disgust

Here are some different types of disgust:

  • Mild disgust: A slight aversion to something that is unpleasant or unappetizing.
  • Moral disgust: Feeling repulsion towards an act or behavior that goes against one's moral values.
  • Physical disgust: The feeling of revulsion caused by something that is dirty, slimy, or foul-smelling.
  • Sexual disgust: Averse reaction towards sexual behavior or attitudes that are deemed inappropriate or immoral.
  • Social disgust: A feeling of repugnance towards a group or individual that is considered socially unacceptable or undesirable.

Situations Associated with Disgust

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

  • Witnessing or experiencing something morally repugnant, such as a heinous crime or an act of cruelty
  • Being exposed to something physically repulsive, such as a foul odor, a disgusting food, or a decaying animal
  • Discovering a betrayal or deception by someone they trusted or cared for deeply
  • Feeling trapped in a situation they find revolting or intolerable, such as a job they hate or a relationship that has turned sour
  • Confronting their own flaws or weaknesses and feeling ashamed or embarrassed about them
  • Being treated unfairly or disrespectfully by others, especially if it violates their values or beliefs

Physical Reactions to Disgust

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

  • Narrowed eyes, wrinkled nose, curled upper lip
  • Turning away or recoiling from the source of disgust
  • Covering nose or mouth with a hand or tissue
  • Gagging or retching
  • Avoiding physical contact with the source of disgust
  • Increased heart rate and breathing
  • Sweating or feeling hot
  • Loss of appetite or feeling nauseated

Thoughts Associated with Disgust

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing disgust might have:

  • I can't stand the sight of this.
  • Why would anyone do such a thing?
  • I feel like throwing up.
  • This is beyond repulsive.
  • I need to get away from this as soon as possible.
  • I can't believe I'm even considering this.
  • I don't want to be associated with this.
  • I feel dirty just being near it.
  • This is completely unacceptable.

Atmosphere of Disgust

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

  • Use vivid and descriptive language to depict the physical environment in a negative light
  • Include details that trigger the character's senses, such as foul smells, sticky textures, or unappealing tastes
  • Create a contrasting element in the scene that emphasizes the character's disgust, such as a pristine object in a dirty room or a beautiful landscape marred by a grotesque image
  • Use metaphors or similes that compare the setting to something repulsive or revolting, such as a sewer or a garbage dump
  • Use the character's actions and reactions to convey their disgust, such as covering their nose, recoiling, or avoiding contact with certain objects or people

Verbs Associated with Disgust

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

  • Recoil
  • Abhor
  • Revolt
  • Shun
  • Reject
  • Detest
  • Loathe
  • Disdain
  • Repulse
  • Despise
  • Nauseate
  • Offend
  • Scorn
  • Dislike

Emotions Before Disgust

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

  • Happiness
  • Excitement
  • Surprise
  • Anticipation
  • Trust
  • Admiration
  • Interest
  • Enthusiasm
  • Hope

Emotions After Disgust

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

  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Contempt
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Apathy
  • Resentment

Telling Disgust Examples to Avoid

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

  • Sally was disgusted by the sight of the moldy bread.
  • John felt disgusted when he saw the cockroach crawl across the counter.
  • The smell of the dumpster made Sarah feel disgusted.
  • Harry was disgusted by the taste of the spoiled milk.

Practical Examples of Showing Disgust

Here are some examples of showing disgust in a sentence:

  • She recoiled in horror as she caught a whiff of the rotting garbage.
  • He made a face of disgust when he saw the moldy bread on the kitchen counter.
  • She picked up the slimy, cold fish with two fingers, holding it as far away from her as possible.
  • His stomach churned as he watched the cockroach scuttle across the dirty kitchen floor.

Exercises for Showing Disgust

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing disgust:

  • Write a scene where your character is forced to eat something they find disgusting.
  • Describe a location that your character finds repulsive.
  • Write a conversation where your character confronts someone who has done something morally repugnant.
  • Imagine a scenario where your character witnesses an act of cruelty towards an animal.
  • Write a scene where your character is trying to clean up a disgusting mess.
  • Describe a character's physical reaction to something they find disgusting, such as gagging or retching.
  • Write a scene where your character must work closely with someone they find repulsive.
  • Imagine a scenario where your character must enter a place that is dirty or unsanitary.
  • Write a conversation where your character expresses their disgust towards a particular behavior or belief.

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

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