Character Trait Entry: Affectionate

Definitiondisplaying fondness or tenderness through action and deed

Growing up in a close, nurturing family; feeling content and happy with life and wanting others to feel the same state of love and well-being; a desire to show appreciation to those who add to the richness of one's own life; a strong sense of empathy and connectedness with others; living in a family dynamic where physical touches and thoughtfulness are the norm; being in love

Characters in Literature:
 Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables); Mrs. Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory); Romeo and Juliet; Beth (Little Women)

Affectionate characters have a knack of making those around them feel special and valued. They raise the spirits of others, love unconditionally, and tend to focus on a person's positive attributes not their negative ones. Affectionates are open, giving, and put themselves whole-heartedly into situations involving family and friends. They are not stingy with praise or gratitude and their kind gestures and affectionate touches reinforce how much they care. Affectionates are quite loyal and protective of those closest to them.

Affectionates can sometimes make other people uncomfortable through their openness and readiness to offer attention. While a kiss on each cheek might be an acceptable way to greet for an Affectionate, it may lead to awkwardness when bestowed on someone not expecting something so intimate. Affectionates also sometimes blur the line between private and public, and displays of affection may be viewed as inappropriate to others. People who tend to be more reserved may find an Affectionates' behavior off-putting. Showing too much affection may also damage relationships if the feelings motivating such actions are not returned in kind.

Common Portrayals:
Kindly grandmothers, close sibling relationships, children with their parents; people and their pets; couples in love

Cliches to Avoid:
The fake Affectionate socialite, who acts one way in private but another in public,  bestowing air kisses and "Darling" platitudes for show only; the obsessive Affectionate who tries to win over the love of another, ignoring every rejection signal than comes his way; 'baby talk' between couples in the honeymoon stage of their relationship

Twists on the Traditional Affectionate:  
  •  Affectionates are energized and fulfilled through giving, loving and being open. Place a character with this trait in a high stake situation that requires the opposite: secretiveness, distance and reserved behavior. 
  • Affectionates tend to go out of their way to not hurt or harm. What if to serve the greater good, an Affectionate needed to reject another, and not be gentle about it?
  • Place an Affectionate into a situation where they must successfully work alongside someone who has directly hurt someone they deeply care about.
Conflicting Characteristics to make your Affectionate unique or more interesting: selfish, impulsive, witty, shy, honest, proper, disorganized


Michael Horvath said...

Do bad boys with kind hearts fall into this category? I would guess so.

Jemi Fraser said...

Reminds me of Beth of Little Women too :)

Angela Ackerman said...

I think any boy with a kind heart and willingness to show it falls into this, Michael :) And @Jemi, great one! I'll add that!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Definitely reminds me of Beth too. I love how you twist this. Great post.

Bonnee Crawford said...

It makes for such a sweet character :3

Traci Kenworth said...

I could see good things and bad thing about having this character. But I think the inclusion would be great to play off of someone who's the exact opposite.

Leslie Rose said...

Believe it or not, I'm reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. Loving it. I just met Diana. I was thinking about Jane Eyre's friend at the boarding school as someone oozing affection in an awful situation. Loss of brain cells prevents me from naming her.

Karen Lange said...

Good stuff as usual! I like thinking of Diana as an example. For one thing, I love the story, and for another, it gives me a good image to ponder. Thanks a bunch!

Christina Farley said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables! Great ideas here.

Becca Puglisi said...

Love Anne of Green Gables. Diana was a great choice!

Gwynneth White said...
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