Character Flaws

No matter how much you want to write a pure and immaculate character, they’re never going to be as interesting as someone who has a flaw. The fact is, no one is perfect, the word in itself is up to interpretation and subjective opinion. Everyone is prone to mistakes, vices or faults, here are the most common:

The Silent Witness

They witness a transgression against another and say nothing. Perhaps they are afraid for themselves, they don’t have the courage to speak up, or they just don’t care. This gives you a great opportunity to write some internal struggle about why they come to the decision not to talk about the event.

The Silent Victim

You wouldn’t believe how many victims have been silent, especially young children who haven’t learned to think for themselves until it’s too late. These people include victims of rape, even female officers in the military. Sometimes they believe it would be a sign of weakness if they spoke up or against another. When it concerns the military, it can because of ‘pride & patriotism’, somehow they must think they would be disgracing the service or look weak in the eyes of their comrades.

The One Who Knows Better (than to do wrong or evil)

This is pretty general, but it’s understanding that someone with make a transgression against another for selfish personal reasons without any empathy. They know it’s wrong, but they don’t care because they have a “it’s my way or the highway”/”the universe evolves around me” kind of attitude.

The Manipulator

This is a person who lies about a person to others in order to get a desired result. For example, a guy and a girl like each other, but his classmate gets jealous and starts a rumour that this guy is a douche bag that just wants sex, which is not the case at all. Unfortunately the damage has been done, and not only does he not get the girl, but now he gets harassed and bullied by peers over this rumour. The psyche of a manipulator is unfortunately seriously disturbed, they were not raised with any empathy, which is essential as a young child. Rather they were taught and/or raised to take advantage and step on anyone to get what they wanted and climb up in the world. Their loss, because that means they’ll have very few to no friends because of their choices. If you want to use this flaw for one of your characters, don’t forget the parable: “Be careful who you step on as you go up, you may meet them on your way down.” Wouldn’t that make an interesting story, a manipulator having to come face to face with his choices and the people he hurt . . . something to think about.

The Controlling Dictator

This person often starts out being judgmental when someone states an opinion with which they don’t agree. This often goes hand-in-hand with someone who displays signs of being possessive over a topic, a place, an object, a person, etc.. Then it leads to them having a hypocritical viewpoint on nearly everything, one moment they say or do something and when someone else enter the conversation with their own opinion or knowledge, they are judged, accused and harassed. As if everyone needs to crumble under the pressure and what the ‘king of the hill’ says is law or something. These kinds of people are very confrontational and practically looking for a fight to see who will support them by joining their side into a mob with a bully-mentality that wants to see how power full they are.

The Gossip

Like an addict, they crave juicy news on celebrities, fellow co-workers, friends and/or family. In some instances this can borderline into spreading lies to see people’s reactions or to get attention and be the ‘main source of information’.

Narcissist

They are constantly negative about everything to some extreme. While some are subtle are merely think negatively and it affects their decisions and choices, others are more verbal and prone to hateful thoughts and rebellious actions. The latter lash out defensively because in their mind, their pessimistic attitude has now turned itself inward and they see everyone as an attacker in one way or another.

Lack of Self-Confidence

This person is similar to a Narcissist, as they view everyone to be judging them negatively, and again to different extremes. Some merely doubt the sincerity of a compliment while others are defensive, sometimes with a simple look or reactive expression or by verbal retaliation.

When we think of a character we’re often imagine more obvious descriptors: occupation, gender, ethnicity, age, personality, speech type, etc. We never look deeper to an underlying current that runs through the veins of many more human beings who are connected despite their differences. We constantly trying to show how much different we are from another and we forget how much we have in common. After all, we are human.

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