Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Indifference

When it comes to emotion, sometimes we need a brainstorming nudge. After all, each character will express their feelings differently depending on their personality, emotional range, and comfort zone. We hope this short, sample list of expressions will help you better imagine how your character might show this emotion!

If you need to go deeper, we have detailed lists of body language, visceral sensations, dialogue cues, and mental responses for 130 emotions in the 2019 expanded second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.


  • A half-hearted shrug
  • A limp lift of the hand, palm up in a So? gesture
  • Loss of eye contact
  • Shoving one’s hands in one’s pockets
  • Looking down or away
  • A blank expression
  • Changing the topic instead of answering
  • Making a lame excuse to leave
  • Using a monotone voice
  • Non-expressive body language (inanimate, loose, lacking energy)
  • Yawning
  • “Bored” actions (slumping in a seat during class, tapping a pencil against a desk, examining one’s nails)
  • “Sleepy” eyes, half-lidded…

Win your readers’ hearts by tailoring your character’s emotional responses so they’re compelling, credible, and realistic.

If you struggle with writing emotions, you aren’t alone. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression has helped writers all over the globe, and it can help you. To find out more about this bestselling book, please visit our bookstore.

Prefer the flexibility of instant online access and greater searchability?

The Emotion Thesaurus is also at our sister site, One Stop for Writers. Visit the Emotion Thesaurus Page to view our complete list of entries.

TIP: While you’re there, check out our hyper-intelligent Character Builder that helps you create deep, memorable characters in half the time!



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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8 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Indifference

  1. Pingback: Resources For Describing Emotion

  2. Pingback: Emotion Thesaurus Entry Collection (Samples) | Writers Helping Writers

  3. Jaliya says:

    Indifference = meticulous contempt.

    Your site is a gem! Whee — what fun for word nerds!

    Thank you!


  4. Marian says:

    I’d post more ideas, but I feel sort of indifferent. 🙂

    Seriously, though, another way I’d show I was indifferent to something would be to parrot back whatever the other person said, adding nothing of my own to the conversation.

    “I was really upset when you didn’t show up yesterday.”
    “So you were really upset?”
    “Yes, because you said you’d meet me.”
    “Yes, I said I’d meet you.”

  5. Kelly says:

    I think I’ll have more ideas for you when my kids turn into teens
    :0). Actually, I think I’ve seen some of this behavior already!
    Great entry!

  6. Angela says:

    This one was tough. If anyone can think of more, feel free to post them in the comments. 🙂

  7. C.R. Evers says:

    ohhh good one! I’ll be using this one for sure!

    You guys are the greatest!


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