Definition: Characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear
Causes: raised by parents who worried about every little thing, having experienced many bad things in life, control issues, an over-active imagination, watching too much news, a pessimistic outlook
Characters in Literature: Piglet, Mrs. Weasley, Bard of Dale (The Hobbit)
Positives: Worriers see trouble coming so they are not often surprised by it. They are often able to plan for problems that others wouldn't foresee, thereby averting trouble. Their worry is sometimes wrapped up in the people around them, showing compassion and loyalty.
Negatives: Worriers not only see trouble that's coming, but also the trouble that never comes. They expend precious energy worrying about things that may or may not come to pass, and about things over which they have no control. Worrying is often the result of a trust issue--not trusting the person in charge, not trusting anyone else to take care of things in a satisfactory manner. Excessive worry leads to negativity, which is easily spread to others. It's draining to be around a worry wart for long periods of time.
Common Portrayals: overprotective maternal figures, hypochondriacs, conspiracy theorists, chaperones and nurses (historical fiction)
Cliches to Avoid: the doting, stifling nanny or mother; sniffling, hand-wringing worriers
Twists on the Traditional Worry Wart:
- Worriers are so often weak and timid. The worrying warrior or leader could make for an interesting character.
- Because worrying is a negative character trait, it's usually assigned to background or support characters. A worry-wart hero would be one with a lot to overcome.
- Turn worry into a positive by creating a character who worries excessively about others, but is utterly unconcerned with him or herself.
Conflicting Characteristics to make your Worrier unique or more interesting: brave, ambitious, arrogant, charismatic, mean, curious, easygoing