EMOTIONAL WOUND THESAURUS

FAILING TO DO THE RIGHT THING



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

START MY 2-WEEK FREE TRIAL

HELPFUL TIP:

Emotional wounds will steer a character's behavior, corrupt his worldview, and cause negative traits to form. To understand exactly how this occurs, please read our tutorial for the Wound Thesaurus.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect.
NOTES:
The result of a character failing to do the right thing is often small, such as fleeting guilt or a temporary rift with a friend. But sometimes the natural consequence of a failure can be monumental, resulting in permanent loss, shame, insecurity, and self-loathing. Events like these can be wounding ones that greatly impact our characters over time, such as…

EXAMPLES:
Not standing up for someone who is being bullied, belittled, or victimized
Looking the other way as a crime is committed
Not stepping in when help could have been given (to a vagrant, a child, etc.)
Giving in to peer pressure
Knowing that a relationship is falling apart but not taking steps to fix it
Making choices that cause others to stumble, such as exposing children or siblings to drugs
Taking a bribe
Giving advice that benefits oneself rather than the recipient
Not blowing the whistle on an influential organization or person who is acting unethically
Confirming someone else’s lie (that people always ditch when life gets hard, that no one is reliable, that friendship is conditional, etc.)
Not confronting a friend who is endangering herself (with an eating disorder, addictions, unsafe sexual practices, suicidal tendencies, by driving while intoxicated, etc.)
Selfishly neglecting those in one’s charge
Telling a secret or private information one promised to keep
Deliberately attempting to hide or twist the truth
Being suspicious of someone but not acting on one’s instincts
Exploiting someone who is vulnerable or in need of help
Giving in to destructive temptations, like having an affair or being financially irresponsible

WOUND CATEGORY:
Failures and Mistakes

BASIC NEEDS OFTEN COMPROMISED BY THIS WOUND:
love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

LIES THAT MAY DEVELOP FOR CHARACTERS WITH THIS WOUND:
They can’t protect their loved ones
They're weak and ineffective
It should have been them instead
They're responsible for this death
They must take on the victim's responsibilities and burdens
People are inherently evil
It’s better to avoid love than to love and lose it
You can’t rely on the system for justice

THE CHARACTER MAY FEAR:
...

POSSIBLE RESPONSES AND RESULTS:
...

POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES THAT MAY RESULT:
...

NEGATIVE TRAITS THAT MAY RESULT:
...

TRIGGERS THAT MIGHT AGGRAVATE THIS WOUND:
...

STEPS TOWARD HEALING:
...

OPPORTUNITIES TO FACE OR OVERCOME THIS WOUND:
...