NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS

CYNICAL



Never struggle with Show-and-Tell again. Sign up and activate your free trial, Sign in as a subscriber to view the Negative Trait Thesaurus in its entirety, or visit the Table of Contents to explore unlocked entries.

START MY 2-WEEK FREE TRIAL

HELPFUL TIP:

Characters with this flaw will be extra sensitive to certain emotions, so think about how events in your story might specifically trigger these feelings to generate compelling tension and conflict. Another idea is to give a supporting character a positive attribute that is an opposite of this flaw, which will get under the skin of both characters and cause friction in their relationship.
DEFINITION:
Having a disdainful mistrust of others and their motives

SIMILAR FLAWS:
Jaded

POSSIBLE CAUSES:
A past betrayal
A history of being shot down despite putting forth one’s best efforts
Being surrounded by negative, suspicious people
Growing up in an environment of cynicism and defeat
Being raised by parents or caregivers who frequently broke their promises
Disillusionment
Trust issues
A fear of being hurt or disappointed

ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES:
Distrusting others
Pessimism; expecting a negative outcome
Hesitating to try anything new; not being spontaneous
Voicing doubts or suspicion
Employing sarcasm
Finding it difficult to support or show enthusiasm when others begin a new endeavor
Experiencing genuine surprise when things work out nicely
A reluctance to join groups or institutions
Complaining or grousing
Disdaining anyone gullible enough to be duped
Assuming that most people and organizations are looking to take advantage of others
Seeking out evidence to prove one’s position
Making arguments that don’t always make sense or can be backed up by proof
Looking for someone to blame when something goes wrong
Apathy
...

ASSOCIATED THOUGHTS:
...

ASSOCIATED EMOTIONS:
...

POSITIVE ASPECTS:
...

NEGATIVE ASPECTS:
...

EXAMPLE FROM FILM:
...

OVERCOMING THIS TRAIT AS A MAJOR FLAW:
...

TRAITS IN SUPPORTING CHARACTERS THAT MAY CAUSE CONFLICT:
...