POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS

CONFIDENT



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HELPFUL TIP:

Characters with this positive attribute will be extra sensitive to certain emotions, so think about how events might specifically trigger feelings in a way that elevates or lowers their moods or causes moral dilemmas to form—whichever best fits your story goals. Try giving a supporting character a negative trait that acts as an opposite of this attribute, causing frustration, disillusionment, or even emotional volatility that leads to poor decisions and mistakes.
DEFINITION:
Being fully assured of oneself

SIMILAR ATTRIBUTES:
Secure, self-assured, proud

POSSIBLE CAUSES:
Being talented or gifted in some way
Growing up in a loving, affirming environment
Not being overly concerned with what others think; being happy with oneself
Having faith in one’s abilities to achieve one’s goals
Having experienced many successes in the past

ASSOCIATED BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES:
Standing tall with the shoulders back
Looking people in the eye
Walking with purpose
Meeting challenges head-on
Not compromising when challenged or opposed
Trying new things
Good-natured flirting; friendliness
Facing change without fear or doubt
Being able to laugh at oneself: "Wow, I did a great job spilling the wine, didn’t I?"
Learning from failure
Being assertive
Having a strong work ethic
Congratulating others on their success
Initiating conversation with ease
Not being intimidated by someone’s power, stature, or wealth
Striking out on one’s own, if necessary
Knowing what one believes and standing firm on those values
Not being swayed by others
Not taking oneself too seriously
Curiosity
Asking for help when one needs it
Complimenting others; lifting them up instead of tearing them down
Seeing others as partners and mentors instead of competitors
Being socially adept
Accepting criticism with dignity
Focusing on the positive rather than the negative
Being open-minded
Finding solutions to problems instead of being stymied by them
Educating oneself so as to become more competent in a given area
Admitting when one has made a mistake
Acknowledging weaknesses while playing to one’s strengths
Focusing on what is within one’s control to change
Smiling
Taking compliments well
Not always knowing one’s limitations

ASSOCIATED THOUGHTS:
I studied like crazy. Time to ace this test.
This is what I was born to do.
Someone’s got to manage this office. Why not me?
Even Bill Gates started at the bottom. I’m not afraid of hard work.
Wow, she’s beautiful. I’m going over and saying hello.

ASSOCIATED EMOTIONS:

POSITIVE ASPECTS:
Confident characters know who they are and what they’re capable of. Because of their self-assurance, they don’t fall into the trap of worrying about what others think. They aren’t often threatened by people or difficult situations, instead seeing them as opportunities to grow and improve. Because confidence is such an enviable quality, others will naturally be drawn to the these characters.

NEGATIVE ASPECTS:
Confident characters can be threatening to those suffering from insecurity, who may see them as cocky or conceited. Their confidence can indeed lead these characters to think too highly of themselves, causing them to look down on others and have difficulty connecting with them. Their self-assuredness can also compel them to overestimate their abilities, setting them up for failures that wash their confidence in self-doubt.

EXAMPLE FROM FILM:
In The Hunt for Red October, Jack Ryan knows his stuff. He’s an expert on naval intelligence and, specifically, Soviet Captain Marko Ramius. In his quest to prove Ramius’ good intentions, he takes on the president’s National Security Advisor, twice defies his fear of flying, and confronts Ramius himself, never doubting what he knows despite opposition by people in power. Other Examples from Film: John McClane (Die Hard), Jimmy Markum (Mystic River), Deloris Wilson (Sister Act)

CHALLENGING SCENARIOS FOR CHARACTERS WITH THIS TRAIT:
Being in a scenario that reveals and magnifies one’s Achilles’ heel
Experiencing a failure or tragedy that shakes one’s confidence
Encountering a problem that one is incapable of mastering
Discovering that a personal achievement is a false victory due to another’s meddling
Encountering repeated failures that erode one’s confidence

TRAITS IN SUPPORTING CHARACTERS THAT MAY CAUSE CONFLICT: