Thursday, June 30, 2011

Character Trait Thursday--Self Consciousness

A self-conscious person usually obsesses over some aspect about themselves.  Whether it's a physical condition or something more hidden, self-consciousness can create great internal conflict.  Young adult characters are filled with angsty self-consciousness.  I still remember when I was in high school chemistry class, Phil Howard (name changed to protect the unfortunate) sat next to me one day.  He was a great guy--funny and smart--but one particular day, he was less talkative than usual.  I was trying to be my normal, joking self, but things weren't as easy-going.  Finally, the reason became apparent when Phil made the comment, "Well, all you probably see when you look at me is this giant pimple on my forehead."  Truth--I was too self-conscious of my own perceived flaws to even notice a giant pimple on him, and I told him such.

So what actions and thoughts would a self-conscious character have?  Here's a list:

Quiet
Tense
Frowning
Thinking everybody's looking at their perceived flaw
Covering up
Less social
Not meeting others' eyes
Avoiding activities
Avoiding people
Spending money and time on products to fix perceived flaw
Associating with other self-conscious individuals  (can be a bad crowd)
Doing things to call attention to selves for other things (can be good or bad)to compensate for a perceived flaw
Self-hatred
An outwardly prickly personality to reject others before they have the opportunity to reject the self-                  conscious person
Can possibly turn to plastic surgery

There are probably many other characteristics of a self-conscious person.  If you think of one, leave it in the comments section.  I'll add to this list as more comes to mind.

Happy Writing!

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