NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS

MANIPULATIVE



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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:
Attempting to influence the behavior of others for one’s own benefit

SIMILAR FLAWS:
Finagling, maneuvering

POSSIBLE CAUSES:
An inflated ego
Exposure to conditional love (especially growing up)
Selfishness
A lack of self-esteem; insecurity
A need for power and control
The fear that one can’t get what one wants through acceptable means

ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES:
Telling people what they want to hear
Passive-aggressiveness
Using subversive methods
Denying any accusations of manipulation
Putting the blame on others
Laying guilt-trips on people
Feigning hurt feelings
Using other people’s secrets and weaknesses against them
Asking questions when one already knows the answers
Lying
Choosing which truths to share to encourage certain conclusions to form
Giving people the silent treatment to make them feel guilty
Buttering someone up before requesting something of them
Exhibiting highly emotional responses (anger, rage, vengeance) when one’s bluff is called
Expecting immediate compliance
Preying on the weak or vulnerable
Repeatedly making the same requests until one’s desires are met
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ASSOCIATED THOUGHTS:
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ASSOCIATED EMOTIONS:
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POSITIVE ASPECTS:
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NEGATIVE ASPECTS:
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EXAMPLES FROM LITERATURE:
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OVERCOMING THIS TRAIT AS A MAJOR FLAW:
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TRAITS IN SUPPORTING CHARACTERS THAT MAY CAUSE CONFLICT:
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