Reasons Your RP Characters Might Be Creepy
(In A Bad Way)

This list looks at common reasons people's roleplaying characters end up making others feel unnerved and uncomfortable. So read on to find out what you should avoid having your characters do if you don't want them to creep out others.

Your characters spill out their tragic backstories and personal problems to people they've just met. Especially if they weren't even asked; or if they were asked, go on and on about things that are only tangentially related to the actual question. (And not only does this kind of thing turn things awkward very fast, but it also makes characters who do it look extremely self-absorbed.)

Your characters pile on too many compliments. A well-placed compliment to someone you're interested in can be good, but a steady stream of them (especially if they're sexual in nature, focus on the physical aspects of the recipient, or come off as worshipful) is just creepy. There is a definite difference between "really admires and appreciates" and "is way too obsessed with."

Your characters talk about sex or sex-related topics to people they've just met. Unless the characters are in a context where this sort of thing is expected, this kind of thing tends to get creepy in a real hurry. (This also includes talking about how often they score with others, who they've scored with, or who all thinks they're hot.)

Your characters get too physical too fast. Trying to get handsy a few minutes after first meet (again, unless the context calls for it) probably isn't going to go over well. Be patient. Let your characters actually get to know others before trying to jump into physical action. And when physical action is initiated, don't jump into it all at once - take it one move at a time and see if the other reciprocates before moving to the next one.

Your characters start talking about things that involve or imply big commitments way too soon. EG, talking about getting married and having children on their first dates, or talking about how they love someone "forever" or how someone is the only one for them before they're in a committed relationship.

Your characters act like other relationships don't matter, or like they're disposable. Whether it's relationships of their own, or the relationships of those they're talking to. Well-adjusted people typically have (or are open to) meaningful relationships with many people, and expect and accept the same from others.

Your characters' love interests/intended love interests are the only thing that matters to them. It's nice to know that you mean a lot to someone, but when someone cares about or lives for nothing but you, then it crosses right over into creepy obsession territory.

Your characters had lots of failed relationships, and take no responsibility for any of the failure. When someone's had a lot of relationships and none of them ever worked out - well, there's only one common factor in all of them, and that common factor is most likely to be the real source of the problem. So if someone had a lot of failed relationships and takes no responsibility for the failure of any of them, it indicates someone who is A: horrible relationship material, and B: is too obtuse to figure out why or too vain to accept responsibility. Either way, you've got a creepy kind of person that most people aren't going to want to stick around with.

Your characters complain about how nobody likes them. Again - there's only one common factor here, and that common factor is most likely the source of the problem. The savvy will avoid people like this accordingly. (Plus, complaining like this also makes your characters look like whiners who always blame others for their problems instead of taking responsibility for them - not very appealing!)

Your characters are way too interested in the personal lives of people they don't know. For example, one of your characters made an effort to learn a lot of intimate and sensitive about another character - this is indicative of a stalker type. Or your character knows a lot of these details for no apparent or likely reason. Or you have your character probe new acquaintances for intimate and sensitive details, particularly when they don't really want to talk about them. (Remember: unless a character is a detective or something, nobody owes that character this kind of information, no matter what the character's intentions are.)

Your characters make it their personal jobs to "fix" others - no matter what. It often happens that people take a notion that some character or other (usually one perceived as a woobie or broken bird) needs some TLC to be fixed back up to shape... and goes trying to dole it out regardless of what the other character wants and/or regardless of how invasive or controlling it is. Offering this kind of help and giving it when asked is one thing, but unless someone's judgment has been severely impaired, trying to force it on someone who hasn't agreed to it is not okay. (If it has been impaired, then the only goals should be to save that person's life and/or get that person back into a better mental state.)

Your characters try (or act as if they'll try) to take over other people's lives and do everything for them. It's one thing to offer to be helpful, but there is definitely such a thing as taking it too far. Most people don't actually want someone who will do everything for them or try to protect them from every bad thing ever. Rather, what most want is closer to emotional and physical comfort when they're tired and worn from their battles, or assistance when they're too exhausted to keep at it alone or just want a break for awhile. (And what people need help with the most is often very mundane and unglamorous - EG, running small errands, seeing about food, etc. If in doubt, have your characters ask if there's anything they could help with or if there's anything they can do to help.)

Your characters act as if they are owed appreciation or reciprocation for unsolicited favors. It's always up to the other party to decide how to feel about an unsolicited favor, and whether or not to return it in some way. No one owes anyone anything for an unsolicited favor.

Your characters act as if other people's feelings are of little to no importance. Perhaps instead of trying to understand other people's feelings and try to appreciate why they feel that way and where they're coming from, they try to argue against their feelings and explain why they're wrong for feeling that way. Or perhaps they just brush off what people say they're feeling in order to tell them

Your characters act as if others are responsible for their happiness. Your characters rarely, if ever make any effort to do anything to make themselves feel happy or accomplished, but instead expect and wait on others to do things that make them happy. They might also up the creep factor by acting as if people are actively wronging them by failing to do this.

Your characters expect others to make big commitments out of pity. Commitments such as becoming a character's lover or close friend because that character is obviously suffering so much from loneliness, or letting a character move in because that character had such as miserable life. Once again, extra creep points if they act like others are wronging them for not doing this.

Your characters threaten or make implied threats to others at the drop of a hat. Nobody feels comfortable hanging around someone they feel is likely to try to hurt them. And remember, if the other person's character has just met yours, there is no way that character can know that yours is "just joking."

Your characters act hostile in other ways. Things like scowling, sneering, or staring at others tends to up the creep factor. Acting cold, condescending, or contemptuous can also potentially come off as creepy, particularly if it's from someone who has shown or expressed interest in the other before.

Your characters act controlling in other ways. EG, by trying to get others to do what they want through guilt, shame, passive-aggressive behavior; or through withholding affection, important information, personal belongings, or necessities. Or, by trying to isolate characters by making it somehow difficult for them to contact, talk to, or interact with others.

Your characters lie or contradict themselves. If your characters say one thing but turn around and say something else that contradicts it, or if they claim they think, feel, or know something that doesn't actually line up with the behavior they've displayed, or if their claims and stories start falling apart under the most basic of scrutiny, it's only going to up their creep factor.

Your characters persist in doing things that others don't respond to positively. Doing something over and over isn't going to make someone start liking it - in fact, the more the action is repeated, the creepier the one doing it is going to look. Also bear in mind: if people don't react to someone's advances at all, it's often because they want that person to stop. So always be mindful of this. (And if you're not sure whether what your character did was bothersome or not, you might have your character ask something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, did I bother you?")

Your characters make it worse. For example, by acting as if they have been treated unfairly when other characters want to avoid or get away from them after they've done any of the creepy things above. Or by trying to explain how what they've done isn't really creepy, or by trying to excuse themselves by saying that they just can't help it or that it "just slipped out." Or by throwing big theatrics over how life is empty and meaningless without their intended love interests, or how they just meant well, or how their intended love interests are the only things keeping them going, or by going on and on about what terrible people they (the creepers, not the love interests) are and how they always mess everything up. If one of your characters does something that another finds creepy? Have your character stop, back off, offer a short but meaningful apology, and stop doing the thing that creeped the other one out. Then try another interaction that is not the creepy one.

Your characters act insecure. Many insecure behaviors can come off as very creepy. See Reasons Your RP Characters Might Look Insecure for more information.

Other pages you should look at:

Basic Tips To Make Better & More Appealing Roleplaying Characters
Reasons Your RP Characters Might Be Bad Friends Or Love Interests
Reasons Your RP Characters Might Look Insecure

On Writing Misfits, Loners, & Malcontents
So You Want To Have An Attractive Character?
Tips To Avoid Killing Your RP Character's Conversations
The RP Character Playability Test
"Is This My Character's Fault?" - A Flowchart

Tips To Write Better Roleplay Prompts
Tips To Help You Write Better Roleplay Posts
Reasons Your Roleplay Might Not Be Working
Tips To Be A More Thoughtful & Considerate Roleplayer

Back to Roleplaying Tips & Guides
Go to a random page!