Definition: Marked by a lack of proper caution; careless of consequences
Causes: a naturally fearless nature, conceit, rebellion, a desire to get someone's attention, a need to prove something to others, a need to be accepted or liked, addiction to the adrenaline rush (adrenaline junkies), perceived invulnerability, an utter lack of care or concern for oneself, impulsivity/not thinking things through, immaturity (lack of ability or desire to make careful decisions)
Characters in Literature: Alaska Young (Looking for Alaska), Mr. Toad (The Wind in the Willows)
Positives: Recklesses are the people who do things that no one else will. Because their activities are beyond the norm, they can be entrepreneurial in nature, thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas that others would never dream of. They are often determined, decisive, and sometimes brave. Though dangerous, they provide fun and excitement for the people around them.
Negatives: Reckless people are a danger to themselves and others. They're self-involved, often knowing that their behavior is dangerous but being compelled to pursue whatever it is they seek. Because people can confuse recklessness with free-spiritedness or adventurousness, Recklesses are often admired by others and can lead weaker-minded people astray.
Common Characteristics: boldness, fearlessness (whether real or perceived), impulsivity, lacking common sense, needing constant stimulation, exhibiting multiple self-destructive behaviors (drugs, alcohol, driving dangerously, unsafe sex, etc), lack of respect for authority, shooting off at the mouth, stubbornness
Cliches to Avoid:
- the tortured Reckless with a death wish
- the Reckless bully, always coercing and manipulating others to join in his behavior
Twists on the Traditional Reckless:
- Because Recklesses often have a negative past event that defines their behavior, how about making a character reckless for a different reason? The Reckless whose parents were crocodile wrestlers and raised her to be adventurous and fearless. Or a nerdy Reckless who wants to be like his treasure-hunting hero in his favorite comic.
- Mentors are wise and usually do right by their proteges. A reckless mentor would be a hoot, in my opinion.
Conflicting Characteristics that will make your Reckless unique or interesting: timid, anxious, accident-prone, brainy, obedient, proper, conscientous