Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Tenderness

Emotion Tenderness

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

Tenderness is a feeling of warmth, gentle affection, and kindness towards someone or something. It is a deep and genuine emotion that involves a sense of caring, empathy, and love. Tenderness can be expressed in many ways, such as through soft touches, kind words, and compassionate actions. It is often associated with feelings of vulnerability, intimacy, and emotional connection. In writing, creating characters that show tenderness can add depth and authenticity to their personalities and relationships.

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

Different Types of Tenderness

Here are some different types of tenderness:

  • Protective tenderness: a feeling of love and care for someone who needs protection or guidance, like a child, a pet, or a vulnerable friend.
  • Romantic tenderness: a feeling of affection and closeness towards a partner or a lover, expressed through small gestures of love and intimacy.
  • Familial tenderness: a feeling of warmth and attachment towards family members, often expressed through physical contact, shared memories, and support.
  • Nostalgic tenderness: a feeling of longing and affection for a past time or a person who is no longer present, often accompanied by a sense of sadness or bittersweetness.

Situations Associated with Tenderness

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

  • Witnessing a newborn baby or a small animal
  • Caring for a loved one who is sick or injured
  • Sharing a vulnerable moment with someone else
  • Reminiscing about a happy memory with a loved one
  • Seeing someone achieve a personal goal or dream
  • Reflecting on the beauty of nature or art
  • Feeling a deep connection with someone else
  • Helping someone in need or performing a selfless act
  • Being forgiven or forgiving someone else

Physical Reactions to Tenderness

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

  • Soft and gentle tone of voice
  • Sincere and warm smile
  • Softening of facial features (e.g. relaxed eyebrows)
  • Gently touching or stroking someone or something
  • Leaning in towards the person or object of tenderness
  • Slight and slow movements
  • A sense of calmness and peacefulness
  • Eyes that are soft and relaxed, possibly with a hint of tears
  • A desire to protect and care for the person or object of tenderness
  • A willingness to listen and show empathy
  • An overall aura of warmth and kindness.

It's important to note that everyone expresses tenderness differently, and some people may show it more subtly than others.

Thoughts Associated with Tenderness

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing tenderness might have:

  • Feeling a warm and gentle sensation in the chest or heart area.
  • A desire to protect and nurture the person or object of their tenderness.
  • A willingness to sacrifice their own comfort or desires for the sake of the other.
  • Seeing beauty and goodness in the object of their tenderness.
  • A feeling of vulnerability and openness to being hurt.
  • Wanting to express their tenderness through physical touch, such as hugging or holding hands.
  • A heightened awareness of the other's needs and feelings.
  • Feeling a sense of contentment and calmness when in the presence of the other.
  • A feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the other.

Atmosphere of Tenderness

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

  • Choose a soft and gentle setting, like a cozy bedroom or a peaceful garden.
  • Use warm and soothing colors, such as pastels or muted tones, to create a calming atmosphere.
  • Incorporate soft textures, like plush blankets or silky fabrics, to add a tactile element that evokes comfort.
  • Include gentle sounds, like birds chirping or a soft breeze rustling through trees, to create a sense of tranquility.
  • Use soft lighting, such as candles or dimmed lamps, to create a warm and intimate setting.
  • Show characters engaging in tender actions, like gentle caresses or loving embraces, to convey the emotion of tenderness.
  • Use gentle and caring dialogue, with a focus on expressing love and affection, to reinforce the emotion of tenderness.

Verbs Associated with Tenderness

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

  • Embrace
  • Caress
  • Cherish
  • Comfort
  • Cradle
  • Cuddle
  • Devote
  • Emote
  • Envelop
  • Fondle
  • Hug
  • Nurture
  • Protect
  • Snuggle
  • Soothe
  • Support
  • Treasure

Emotions Before Tenderness

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

  • Affection
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Sympathy
  • Warmth
  • Fondness
  • Caring
  • Love
  • Nurturing
  • Sensitivity
  • Softness
  • Gentleness
  • Kindness
  • Understanding

Emotions After Tenderness

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

  • Love
  • Affection
  • Warmth
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Fondness
  • Caring
  • Gentleness
  • Sensitivity

Telling Tenderness Examples to Avoid

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

  • He felt a tender love for his wife as she slept soundly beside him.
  • She spoke to the child in a tender voice, soothing him from his tears.
  • The old man looked at the photograph with a tender smile, remembering the good times.
  • The mother's eyes filled with tender pride as she watched her son receive his diploma.
  • He reached out with a tender touch, running his fingers through her hair.
  • The couple shared a tender moment as they danced together in the moonlight.
  • She wrote a tender letter to her estranged sister, hoping to heal their relationship.
  • He spoke of his memories with a tender nostalgia, missing the good old days.
  • The nurse treated the patient with tender care, ensuring his comfort and well-being.

Practical Examples of Showing Tenderness

Here are some examples of showing tenderness in a sentence:

  • She brushed her fingers over the soft fabric of the baby blanket, imagining how it would feel against her newborn's delicate skin.
  • As she watched her partner sleep, a wave of tenderness washed over her, filling her heart with warmth and love.
  • The old man's eyes filled with tears as he tenderly stroked his wife's hair, remembering all the years they had spent together.
  • She gingerly lifted the injured bird from the ground, cradling it in her hands and whispering soothing words to it.

Exercises for Showing Tenderness

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing tenderness:

  • Think of a person or an animal that your character deeply cares about. Write a scene where they express their tenderness towards them.
  • Write a letter from your character to someone they love, showing their affection and tenderness towards them.
  • Write a scene where your character sees someone vulnerable and takes care of them with tenderness.
  • Write a scene where your character reminisces about a tender moment from their past. Show how it has impacted them and how they carry that tenderness with them in their present.
  • Write a scene where your character is feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and someone close to them shows them tenderness and care to help them feel better.
  • Write a scene where your character is in a public place and witnesses an act of tenderness between strangers. Show how it affects them and how it changes their perspective on the world.
  • Write a scene where your character is taking care of a sick or injured person or animal. Show their tenderness and compassion towards them.
  • Write a scene where your character is reflecting on the beauty of nature, and how it inspires feelings of tenderness and awe in them.

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

Be confident about grammar

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