Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Indifference

Emotion Indifference

When you want to write the emotion indifference, 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 show; don't tell and immerse your readers in your story.

Indifference is a lack of interest, concern, or sympathy towards someone or something. It is a state of neutrality or detachment, where a person does not have a strong positive or negative reaction to a situation or person. Indifference can be perceived as apathy or disinterest and can have a negative impact on relationships and interactions with others.

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

Different Types of Indifference

Here are some different types of indifference:

  • Apathy: lack of interest or concern.
  • Detachment: emotional distance or disengagement.
  • Passivity: lack of action or initiative.
  • Numbness: feeling emotionally numb or disconnected.
  • Stoicism: suppressing or hiding emotions and appearing indifferent.
  • Disinterest: lack of attention or curiosity.
  • Unresponsiveness: failure to react or respond to stimuli.
  • Neutrality: absence of bias or preference.

Situations Associated with Indifference

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

  • Lack of interest or investment in a particular situation or event
  • Feeling emotionally numb or disconnected
  • Having a jaded or cynical outlook on life
  • Being overwhelmed or burnt out
  • Experiencing a traumatic event that leads to emotional detachment
  • Feeling powerless or helpless in a particular situation
  • Being in a state of boredom or apathy
  • Feeling a sense of disillusionment or disappointment with life

Physical Reactions to Indifference

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

  • Lack of eye contact or avoiding eye contact
  • Little to no facial expression or a blank expression
  • Sluggish or slow movements
  • Lack of interest in surroundings or people
  • Speaking in a monotone or flat voice
  • Minimal response to questions or comments
  • Lack of enthusiasm or energy
  • Minimal effort in tasks or responsibilities
  • Seeming detached or aloof
  • Minimal emotional response to events or situations.

Remember, these are just generalizations and may vary depending on the individual. It's important to also consider the character's personality, background, and situation when writing their emotional response.

Thoughts Associated with Indifference

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing indifference might have:

  • I don't care what happens.
  • It doesn't matter to me one way or the other.
  • I'm not interested in getting involved.
  • Why bother? It's not worth the effort.
  • It's all the same to me.
  • I can take it or leave it.
  • I don't feel strongly about anything right now.
  • Nothing excites me anymore.
  • I've lost my passion for life.

Atmosphere of Indifference

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

  • Use a bland or monotonous setting with little to no descriptive language to convey a sense of indifference.
  • Have characters move through the scene with little interest or enthusiasm, with no sense of urgency or purpose.
  • Use a muted color palette or dull lighting to create a sense of apathy and detachment.
  • Incorporate mundane or routine actions into the scene, such as characters going through the motions of their daily routine without any passion or engagement.
  • Use simple, straightforward language in the narrative and dialogue to convey a sense of indifference.
  • Have characters speak in a monotone or flat voice, without inflection or emotion.

Verbs Associated with Indifference

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

  • Ignore
  • Disregard
  • Neglect
  • Brush off
  • Dismiss
  • Shrugs
  • Cold shoulder
  • Detach
  • Unconcerned
  • Apathetic
  • Unimpressed
  • Uninterested
  • Nonchalant
  • Passive

Emotions Before Indifference

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

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Shock
  • Surprise
  • Anticipation
  • Joy
  • Trust
  • Love
  • Gratitude
  • Contentment
  • Satisfaction
  • Excitement

Emotions After Indifference

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

  • Apathy
  • Boredom
  • Disdain
  • Contempt
  • Resentment
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Envy
  • Jealousy
  • Insecurity
  • Sadness
  • Melancholy
  • Numbness
  • Hopelessness

Telling Indifference Examples to Avoid

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

  • She didn't care what he thought.
  • He shrugged and went back to his book.
  • She watched the sunset without feeling anything.
  • He gave a half-hearted wave goodbye.
  • She listened to him speak, but her mind was elsewhere.
  • He looked at her with no expression.
  • She nodded politely, but didn't really engage in the conversation.
  • He didn't bother to argue.
  • She didn't react when he insulted her.

Practical Examples of Showing Indifference

Here are some examples of showing indifference in a sentence:

  • She shrugged her shoulders, her face blank and uninterested.
  • He glanced at the painting for a mere second before turning away, without any comment.
  • She absentmindedly stirred her coffee, her eyes wandering around the room without focus.
  • He didn't bother to reply to the message, letting it sit in his inbox unread.

Exercises for Showing Indifference

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing indifference:

  • First, think about a time when you felt indifferent towards something or someone. What were the circumstances? How did you behave? What was your body language like?
  • Create a character who is indifferent towards a situation or another character. What is the reason for their indifference? What are the consequences of their indifference?
  • Write a scene where your character is confronted with a situation that they should care about but are indifferent towards. How do they react? What do they say and do?
  • Try writing a scene from the perspective of a character who is affected by your indifferent character's actions. How does the affected character feel about the indifference? How do they react?
  • Experiment with different writing styles to convey indifference. For example, using short, simple sentences or distancing language (e.g. "he didn't care" instead of "he didn't care at all").

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

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.