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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Character Clinic: Taggert

Today, I've got 20-year-old Taggert on the couch, the brain child of author Angela. Taggert flirts with danger and can be reckless, something he enjoys and that makes him feel free. He used to be the personal messenger for Prince Zven, carrying orders all over the kingdom that he later learns sentenced many innocent people to death in villages while at the same time putting the blame on pirates. Taggert is helping Jocelyn, the prince's betrothed, run away, and he's developed feelings for her. 

Angela wants to know: How will Taggert react--given his personality--when he finds out that his thrill-seeking behavior has endangered everyone he cares about? What is a reasonable response and subsequent actions?

Taggert -

You like to skirt the wild side of things, that much is certain. It's an interesting conundrum, given that your greatest fear is that you'll hurt someone without meaning to. It's a little baffling to read that and then have you write that "danger is good for the soul."

I'd have to ask you whether each and every time you face a danger--get an adrenaline rush--are you going back to how you felt when you dove off that cliff when your mother was chasing you? Do you relive that? Or are you simply focused on the rush of endorphins in your body, how it makes you feel physically to buck convention and rules?

The answer to that question will actually tell you a lot about yourself and what your mental state might be if when you get someone else hurt because of your recklessness. The big difference between how you'll feel at that moment and how you felt when you realized that the letters you were delivering were putting people to death will be the personal involvement factor.

You yourself didn't put those people to death, and there is a mental way of removing yourself from the outcome due to that fact. But if you chose a reckless behavior that ends up harming someone else--even if you yourself got harmed in the process, as well, you'll be racked with guilt.

Guilt affects everyone differently, but you'll probably react one or two ways: 1) you'll forsake your reckless behavior and try to make restitution with those you've harmed or 2) you'll figure yourself beyond forgiveness and engage in ever reckless behavior, ultimately to your own destruction, emotionally or physically. Sounds pretty dramatic, but that about sums it up. Your author will know which will be more likely to be your response.

Hope you've enjoyed your time on the couch today. If you want to go deeper, you know where to find me.


Angela Cothran said...

Jeannie - This is fantastic :) Thanks so much. I love that you pointed out the contradiction between his biggest fear and his actions. I'm no psychologist but it seems to me that people act in a way that often makes them confront their biggest fear. I've got Taggert reacting to his own mistakes with a desperate push to make restitution. So I'm glad I'm not too off. Thanks again for your expertise--it really is great :)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

Glad this was helpful Angie! Thanks for writing in!

Anonymous said...

I hope Taggert is able to do the right thing. He sounds like he's a decent guy deep down - he just has a little trouble focusing on what is actually happening around him.

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.