Causes: growing up in an environment rife with conflict; growing up in an environment where peace and cooperation were valued; wanting to appease, wanting everyone to be happy; having seen the results of conflict and desiring to avoid it at all costs; a natural tendency toward diplomacy
Characters in Literature & Pop Culture: Mole (The Wind in the Willows), Susan (The Chronicles of Narnia), Bilbo (at the beginning of The Hobbit)
Positives: Peacemakers, by definition, keep the peace. They don't rock the boat and go out of their way to avoid conflict. Since they value the happiness of others, they're usually people-oriented and sacrificial, deferring to others in order to maintain good relations.
Negatives: As much as we hate conflict, it's often necessary to elicit good change. Peacemakers will often attempt to deflect even necessary conflict in order to achieve peace. It's also nearly impossible to placate everyone, so while peacemakers have good intentions, their methods tend to complicate simple matters and frustrate the people involved. When taken to extremes, peacemakers value peace above all else and will vacillate in their convictions to maintain it. In the eyes of others, they're wishy-washy and pliable and are incapable of taking a stand on important issues because of their fear of alienating anyone.
Common Portrayals: religious figures, children, abuse victims, women
Clichés to Avoid: the meek, quiet, peacemaker; the wife/mother who runs interference between her husband and children
Twists on the Traditional Peacemaker:
- Because peacemakers want to placate others, they're often soft-spoken and proper. What about a peacemaker who is loud and clumsy?
- Peacemakers are usually characters who are taken seriously: mothers, grandmothers, etc. To twist the cliché, give your peacemaker a humorous quirk, like extreme superstition. Or flatulence.
- Since they tend to avoid conflict, peacemakers are usually cast in the supporting role. It would be an interesting challenge to see a peacemaker as a hero who must embrace conflict to achieve a worthy goal
Conflicting Characteristics to Make your Peacemaker Unique or More Interesting: foul, sneaky, fierce, opinionated, disobedient, stubborn