Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Blending In

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 

 

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Courtesy: USAG-Humphreys at Creative Commons

BLENDING IN

Description: Being able to blend in to one’s surroundings, whether it be a socialite party, a corporate event, or a busy street. People with this skill are chameleons who can fit in easily with different groups and look the part even if it’s not really them.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: To succeed in this area, one must have the ability to accurately read people and situations. This skill involves manipulating others to believe that one belongs, so being able to easily lie or deceive is a must. A strong memory is necessary in order to remember what has been told to whom, and quick thinking is a beneficial quality when one must react believably to suspicion or difficult questions.

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: perceptive, observant, bold, alert, charming, discreet, private, hypocritical, manipulative 

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Spies, assassins, and government agents are often endowed with this skill, along with politicians and socialites who know how to work a room. Most often, this skill is embodied by those who wish to deceive—people with an agenda. But in real life, we often do this without guile simply as a way of fitting in.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • In one of the above career paths where blending in is part of the job description
  • when one needs to infiltrate different people groups in order to gain information
  • when someone is running for her life and needs to remain incognito
  • when it’s necessary to gain access to a person outside of one’s inner circle and win him over
  • in high school
  • when someone has moved to a new area and is trying to fit in and make friends
  • in a culture where one’s political or religious views are in opposition to those in charge and it is necessary to keep one’s beliefs private
  • in a situation where one wants to make a good impression

Resources for Further Information:

20 Tips on Blending in with the Locals

You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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9 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Blending In

  1. Pingback: Writing Links…10/8/14 | All Twangs Romance

  2. :Donna Marie says:

    Yep, “spies” were the first ones to pop into my head at the post title! Great stuff, as always, Becca. Thank you 🙂

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  4. Wonderful post! Your characters having special talents (interior or exterior) is a great way to define them.

  5. Pingback: Writing Links…8/15/14 | TraciKenworth's Blog

  6. Judt makes me think of the Bourne movies and his talent at blending in with inconspicuous crowds.

  7. This would be useful in some circumstances like you said.

  8. Julie Musil says:

    Like Jeffo said, I hadn’t thought of this as a skill, but now that you mention it, some people are really good at it.

  9. jeffo says:

    Interesting…this is one I’d never really think of as a ‘talent’ or ‘skill’, but then again, there are just some people who somehow do this no matter where they go.

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