List of True Selves
The Arrogant is someone who is unafraid to flaunt their own knowledge or achievements, whether by boasting, by insisting they always know best...or by putting down anyone who threatens their sense of self-importance. However, their high personal standards also mean that they value self-improvement, and know that one’s actions are worthy of recognition. Taking a stand requires confidence, and that’s one thing the Arrogant surely doesn’t lack.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Contentment, Manners
The Betrayer understands that sometimes a situation changes, and needs to be re-evaluated for a new reality. They are not always a liar; rather, they are someone who violates trust that others have placed in them. Putting yourself first is not a fast track to keeping friends, but someone has got to look out for Number One. The Betrayer is, ultimately, eminently practical: others may be too soft to acknowledge that it’s a dog-eat-dog world, but the Betrayer will do what they must to get by.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Respectability, Tradition, Charity
The Child has not yet taken their place in the world, relying on others for support. Whether or not they are a literal child, their innocent outlook and trusting tendency to assume the best of those around them can be a bright spot in hard times. However, this is paired with a refusal (or inability) to shoulder responsibility. Naivety often necessitates leaning on others, regardless of their ability to hold the Child up—or their interest in doing so.
Opposed Norms: Hard Work, Stoicism, possibly Respectability
The Clown wants to help people see the absurdity and levity in any situation. They don’t hesitate to point out the contradictions that others might prefer to ignore. While they may view themselves as the insightful court jester, many people will just see them as rude. Jokes have their place, and making them at the wrong time can create enemies, or worse, undermine people truly in need of aid.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Manners, possibly Contentment
The world is a dangerous and unforgiving place, and none is more acutely aware of this than the Coward. It is sometimes said that it is in times of darkness that we find the truest measure of our souls, but the Coward is the one who instead remembers exactly what’s at risk by facing down trouble. Valuing personal security above all does not necessarily make the Coward selfish, though—fear can be an equally powerful motivator when it comes to keeping those around you safe, even if that safety is stifling.
Opposed Norms: Hard Work, Stoicism, Charity
Where others strive for some level of gentleness and empathy for those around them, for those who are truly Cruel, these concessions are at best exactly that—concessions, if they are not entirely a façade. The Cruel sees hurting others as both a means to their ends—a way to ensure that none stand between them and their goals—and, sometimes, an end in and of itself. While Cruelty makes few friends, it is sure to cow enemies, and isn’t it better to have someone who can do the things that the Cruel does on your side?
Opposed Norms: Manners, Charity, Tradition
The Cynic questions—traditions, authority, a hand extended in aid; nothing is above their doubt and scrutiny. They consistently take the least charitable view of the world and people around them. This is not, at its core, a bad impulse: ultimately, the Cynic recognizes that things always have the potential to be better than they are, and never accepts anything “just because.” However, this comes with the risk of self-isolation and inaction, when no person, or no choice, seems worthy of trust.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Contentment, Manners
The Deceiver is a liar and a con artist. There’s nothing personal about it, really—the Deceiver isn’t out to betray any particular person, and indeed may be a truly loyal friend and ally. Rather, for the Deceiver, dishonesty is a way of life. This is because they understand, perhaps better than anyone, that truth is the most valuable currency there is, and that there is no reason to spend it freely, especially not when lies are so versatile—and let the Deceiver be so much less vulnerable. Of course, should others discover the lies, the Deceiver is likely to be cast out, regardless of whether or not they acted with malice.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Respectability, Tradition
The Dreamer is an optimist, willing and able to imagine a better, kinder world. And, regardless of the doubts and slights of others, the Dreamer welcomes the changes it will take to make their vision a reality. Unfortunately, big ideas and a gentle soul do not necessarily translate to the practical know-how to actually improve the lives of those around them, and others may find the Dreamer to be woefully out of touch with reality.
Opposed Norms: Tradition, Manners, Stoicism
Whether or not they have a house to live in, the Drifter is never truly at home. The Drifter is a vagabond; even when they aren’t traveling, part of them still yearns for the horizon and the unknown. Never putting down roots makes for a lonely sort of life, though, and refusing the help and stability of society often makes the Drifter less “questing romantic” and more “dirty bum.” Harder still is the fact that, although the Drifter may see themselves as free, the people they leave behind rarely forget what is owed them so easily.
Opposed Norms: Tradition, Contentment, possibly Charity
“Jezebel.” “Harlot.” “Womanizer.” People have many words for the Easy, and few of them are kind. Most of them, too, are tied up with the Easy’s (perceived) gender. In a society that is often stiflingly conservative, the Easy is willingly, eagerly sexual. Others don’t hesitate to judge and shame them for this fact, but they are often disproportionately entranced by the Easy, too. The Easy knows that sexual desire, properly wielded, can be a subtle and potent form of power. And, even if it means being scapegoated as a sinner, that’s a trade-off the Easy is willing to make.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Manners
The Fussy is a perfectionist, obsessed with living up to a set of perhaps impossibly high standards. The rigid control that the Fussy attempts to exert over their life (and often, by extent, those around them) may cause others to roll their eyes and dismiss the Fussy as picky, high-strung, or simply impossible to please. In truth, though, the Fussy’s standards are not something they pursue for others, but for themselves—aspiring to a sense of perfection and achievement that is finally sufficient to overcome their usually quite low self-esteem. True perfection, however, is a terribly high bar to attain, and the Fussy is inevitably their own harshest critic.
Opposed Norms: Contentment, Stoicism, Manners
Everyone knows who the Gossip is: that one friend or neighbor who always seems to know the latest news, the latest rumors...and the latest dirty little secrets of others. It’s no trivial task to uncover the information the Gossip hoards, and the Gossip prides themselves on staying in the know. And besides, it’s far easier to feel good about your own life when you’re aware of just how much anyone else’s is going wrong. However, what the Gossip gains in personal pride they lose in the trust of others, who know their own secrets could easily be next.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Stoicism, possibly Respectability
In a town defined by ideals of conservative restraint, the Hedonist stands out as the one who indulges. They may see themselves as a kind of free spirit, uniquely unconstrained by society’s restrictions on what they cannot have, taste, or feel—something no one else in this godforsaken place seems to understand. But, regardless of the Hedonist’s belief that they’re above it all (or, maybe, gleefully below it), the disapproval of others isn’t without justification: while the Hedonist escapes into self-indulgence, their responsibilities remain just as real.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Hard Work
Whatever their age, the Hoodlum is here to shake things up—usually by making as much noise as possible. Others likely see them as little more than a common troublemaker—dissolute youth at best; some kind of dangerous thug at worst. More than that, though, the Hoodlum is a rebel, full of bottled up anger at the world. And, with or without a cause, they are ready and willing to call the status quo out on its bull. The real trouble is what to do with all that anger the rest of the time.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Contentment, Manners
The Layabout is the person who sees the desperate scraping by of others, and has decided that it just isn’t for them. Maybe it wasn’t always this way; maybe something forced them out of work when they wanted to stay—but now, they’ve accepted it. Let others work themselves to the bone; the Layabout will find that little bit of peace and relaxation left in the world. When times of plenty inevitably end, though, who is the Layabout expecting to take care of them? And is that person willing to do it?
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Hard Work, possibly Charity
The Martyr suffers. Unfortunately, in a society that values self-reliance and stoicism, people who find out tend to frown on the Martyr for being so visibly in need of help. Even their pity is often mixed with scorn: the idea that if the Martyr just tried a little bit harder, they wouldn’t be in their situation. Whatever others may think, the Martyr has no choice but to maintain a core of inner strength in the face of adversity—but they are also willing to let themselves be eaten up by sacrifice, giving of themselves until there is nothing left. And that’s the real problem: will the Martyr finally ask for help before they’re destroyed?
Opposed Norms: Tradition, Contentment, possibly Hard Work
The Misanthrope knows that, in the end, all the world’s many problems come down to a singular source—and, as they say, Hell is other people. Perhaps the Misanthrope prefers animals to humans, or perhaps life has taught them harsh and bitter lessons. To the Misanthrope, “seeing the worst in others” is synonymous with acknowledging reality, and it isn’t the Misanthrope’s problem that no one else wants to admit it. While this attitude makes few friends, that tends to be exactly how the Misanthrope wants things.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Contentment, possibly Charity
The Monster’s reaction to the ugliness of the world has been to not just embrace it, but to make it the largest part of themselves. If life is uncaring, cruel, or brutal, the Monster will be that and worse—the Monster will bite back. After all, there’s nothing to be afraid of if you can make yourself the scariest thing out there. If they truly succeed in making themselves an object of fear and revulsion, though—if they truly chase everyone else away—the Monster may be left asking: what was it all really for?
Opposed Norms: Contentment, Manners, Charity, Respectability
Fundamentally self-centered, the Narcissist cares first and foremost (or perhaps exclusively) about their own best-interests. This has its advantages: faced with the slights and injustices of the world, the Narcissist maintains their sense of self-worth, and won’t be ground down, trod on, or forced to sacrifice unnecessarily. However, not only does Narcissism typically necessitate neglecting or outright ignoring the plights of others, it is also infamously fragile: such a perfect self-image is liable to crumble devastatingly should the Narcissist ever be faced with failure.
Opposed Norms: Charity, Stoicism, possibly Manners
The Obsessed is often blind and deaf to the concerns of those around them; instead, they are occupied by something greater—or at least that’s what the Obsessed would call it. They think of themselves as having a single-minded focus, whether it takes the form of a razor intellect that cuts away the inessential from the world, or of a font of devotion to a beloved. To everyone else, though, that kind of intensity can seem off-putting or even selfish. Ultimately, the Obsessed usually attains their desires…but they do so at the cost of connection with anyone or anything else.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Contentment, Respectability
The Scrooge is obsessed with the bottom line and material concerns. They don't see the need for things that don't directly improve that, like helping other people or casual friendship. Sure, they might open a door for you, but everyone knows that the Scrooge won’t offer anything of consequence. And even if they did, the Scrooge only helps someone else if it’s benefitting their own coffers along the way. In the end, they have a very stable, very secure life, but it might be devoid of the kinds of things that make life actually worth living.
Opposed Norms: Charity, Contentment, Tradition
The Tyrant rules with an iron fist, the master of their little kingdom. People may say that we’re all equal; that no one is so important that they have the right to demand that kind of control—but the Tyrant knows the truth. Sometimes it takes a strong hand to steer the ship, and the Tyrant’s hand is strong indeed. They delegate and organize, no matter the protestations of others. But the Tyrant goes too far in the minds of many, not appearing to pull their own weight, since they always find someone else to force into pulling it for them.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Charity, Hard Work
Everyone has a place in the world, but the Upstart has cut the line. They are rising above their allotted station, and they don’t see anything wrong with that. The Upstart has big plans and bigger ambitions, and isn’t that the American Dream? But onlookers will snicker at the Upstart’s presumption of self-importance, and people will resent them for their successes. What does that Upstart think makes them better than anyone else?
Opposed Norms: Tradition, Contentment, Respectability
Everyone knows violence has its time and place. The Violent would argue that its place is here, and its time is now. They lash out at the world around them, the first to raise their voice (or fists) in every conflict. The Violent just knows that’s how the world works: if you aren’t beating someone else down, then you are getting whooped yourself. And besides, there’s so much to fight in the world—might as well be the one to throw the first punch if it means protecting you and yours. Meanwhile, the Violent’s victims just see an aggressive bully.
Opposed Norms: Manners, Contentment, Tradition, possibly Respectability
The Weirdo is just that, a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. They may dress strangely, act oddly, have a collection of wigs, or some combination of all three. Society rejects the Weirdo, because they have no way to categorize them. The Weirdo would argue that their strangeness is their strength, that individuality and being true to yourself are what is important. But ultimately, they have placed themselves on an island where none dare to approach.
Opposed Norms: Respectability, Tradition, Manners