Causes: growing up with two or more siblings; being responsible for people who's views, attitudes and needs differ; working in management; obtaining a position of power and wanting to keep it; trustworthiness; a strong sense of teamwork and community; a desire to support or advise someone in power
Characters in Literature: Astrophil, Petra's tin spider (Cabinet of Wonders); Alfred Pennyworth (Batman); Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)
Positives: Diplomatics are often wise, far-seeing and intelligent. They can remove themselves emotionally from the situation and are skilled at providing insight and details that will help others make decisions that will best serve the greater good, or the good of all. Natural peacemakers, this character type tends to not let passion rule them. Diplomatics are careful with their words and will seek out information, investigate, gather intelligence and obtain feedback before weighing in or offering potential solutions. Diplomatics are supportive, loyal and trustworthy and make good confidantes.
Negatives: Diplomatics can sometimes be viewed as cold or emotionless, because of their ability to take a situation with real human costs and whittle it down to a set of choices or possible outcomes. Diplomatics are not usually sole decision makers, and often look to others to bear the final responsibility that comes with making choices. Friends will bring their disputes, beefs and arguments to this character type, expecting to be heard and counseled. This can lead to high stress and unhappiness, as well as a sense of frustration born from knowing that whatever is decided, someone will always be dissatisfied with the outcome, because fairness often means no winners or losers.
Common Portrayals: Government diplomats, parents, teachers and principals, professional advisers, counselors and psychiatrists; business consultants; a best friend; butlers, secretaries and loyal support staff
Cliches to Avoid: The diplomat who is power hungry and completely undiplomatic; the 'third wheel' friend who becomes a trusted confidant to his or her bestie's romantic partner, all the while harboring a secret crush for them
Twists on the Traditional Diplomatic:
- Diplomacy is easier if one does not have personal stakes in the possible outcome. Show us a character who is invested in what happens, and the moral tug-o-war that goes with attempting to not influence decisions based on one's own emotions.
- Diplomacy is often trying to satisfy all involved parties with a decision that provides a best case scenario outcome across the board. What happens when there is no best case...all options are equally painful or terrible to fathom?
- Put the fate of a Diplomatic character in the hands of a rash, emotional opposite. How do they cope without that sense of fairness and careful consideration? How do they find a way to influence, reason with or work around this type of opposite?