Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Personality Quirks: O is for Obsequious

One might think of sycophant when regarding an obsequious character. But that might not be the case. A sycophant acts subserviently to gain advantage from influential people. All sycophants are obsequious, but not all obsequious characters are sycophants.

An obsequious person is characterized by an excessive obedient or servile demeanor. Heesh is attempting to win sympathy but does it in an unhealthy way, lacking sincerity and spontaneity. It is opportunism run amok. Often, too, once the person has gained the objective of the obsequiousness, the character may no longer fake politeness or frlendliness. Or get fed up with the role played, and tell off those previously courted.

Etymologically, obsequious come from Latin obsequiosus meaning ‘compliance’.

Your obsequious character might be a sister-in-law who drives everyone crazy because she is always apologizing, even when an apology is unnecessary. She is always doing things for others, even when they don’t ask for, need, or even want her help. You might have a big confrontation when the relatives show her tape made of her pathetic obsequious behavior and point out why she annoys them acting like she does. How does she take that? What does she do and say?

At work, you might show an obsequious character who is always taken advantage of by others. A lovable loser kind of person who wants so desperately to be liked that heesh will tolerate absurdities and demeaning behaviors imposed by others. Does this character finally realize heesh has had enough? How far will heesh go in attempting to reclaim shis feelings of self-worth? Maybe tell off the boss and co-workers before resigning? Or is heesh pushed to the edge, and one day brings a gun to work to settle grievances?

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Here are some ideas for #writers on creating obsequious #characters from @RomanceRighter http://bit.ly/2omPBie

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