Causes: natural predisposition, having an overly sentimental parent, wanting the attention that comes when excess emotion is expressed, an inability to move beyond highly emotional events in one's past, being deeply in tune with one's own emotions and wanting to experience them frequently
Characters in Literature: Anne Shirley, Mrs. Weasley, Cecily (Wither)
Positives: Sentimentals are in touch with their feelings. They don't see the need to hide their emotions, and so are usually transparent and honest in their expressions. Because their emotions are often wrapped up in the people around them, Sentimentals tend to be people-oriented. They are often unselfish and focused on others.
Negatives: Because of the Sentimental's tendency toward emotionality, they often clash with people who are more practical, and are misunderstood as weak, melodramatic, and unrealistic. Their demonstrative nature may make others uncomfortable. Sentimentals can often get so caught up in the past that they neglect the present or the future. Their sentimentality can sometimes lead them to see events how they want to see them instead of how they actually are.
Common Portrayals: women, teenage girls, children
Clichés to Avoid: the nostalgic mother crying over her child's latest milestone; those in declining years constantly reminiscing about the good old days; the hugely pregnant, hormone driven mother-to-be
Twists on the Traditional Sentimental:
- Again, in literature, this trait is largely represented by the female gender. What about a sentimental man who's driven more by emotion than logic?
- Sentimentality and practicality don't usually go together. Try throwing a sentimental into a traditionally practical career field: the sentimental accountant, mathematician, IT professional, mechanic
Conflicting Characteristics to Make your Sentimental Unique or More Interesting: precise, negative, cruel, rude, miserable, easygoing, serious