Hi! I love your post of Keith things soo much. I was just wondering if you can expand on him being self-conscious about his temper and which episodes he shows this?
[/EDIT: I rewrote and restructred this answer a little, just so that it makes more sense & flows better. I also added another example, but the general message is the same.]
Hey there :D Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!! And sure thing, he doesn’t really show it often, but I’ll explain why I think he feels self-conscious about his temper.
Before I start with the 3 scenes I want to talk about, let’s establish something first - that he knows he has a temper and knows that he needs to work on it. He shows awareness of that quite often, so I’ll just mention s1e1, the first time it becomes apparent. It’s on his mission to find Red. “Patience yields focus” makes an appearance, which something that he carries with himself all the way to season 2. He wouldn’t have done that if it didn’t mean anything to him. He definitely knows that it is something he has to work on.
Next - the self-conscious part. Let me make another thing clear:
Being self-conscious about something does not mean being insecure about it. That’s very important in regards to Keith’s character, who is absolutely self-confident in himself. What I have to prove is not that he is insecure about his temper but that he can be uncomfortably aware of it.
Moving on to the actual meta part. Surprisingly, the moments where Keith seems to feel guilty and/or self-conscious about his temper usually aren’t around Shiro. Maybe that’s because they know each other so well. Maybe it’s because Shiro has called him out on it often enough that he has gotten used to it. Maybe it’s because Shiro is pretty nice about calling him out, he usually just tells him to “work on it”.
No, the moments where he shows being self-conscious the most are around Lance. There is that scene in the Balmera in s1e7 (I zoomed in on his expressions here):
“We can’t just go in and blow things up like a psycho!”
Oops. That’s what his face is saying after being presented with a simple and better plan. Keith definitely feels guilty and self-conscious here for not thinking things through. There is not much explanation needed, it’s all in the facial expressions.
Something like that happens again in s2e8. There are 2 scenes in this episode that I want to talk about. Firstly, Hunk and Allura voicing the though that the Blade of Marmora base could be just a trap, followed by Hunk saying “maybe we shouldn’t go in there at all.” Keith absolutely blows up at him - and then there comes Lance:
“Okay, geez, calm down!”
And Keith’s reaction?
Turning away. He actually calms down and turns away. He didn’t apologize, but the silence is heavy. He was definitely uncomfortably aware that he had just yelled at Hunk for next to no reason.
The next scene comes when Shiro picks Keith to accompany him into the base and Lance does not agree with this decision. “But Keith’s a hothead! He’s probably gonna shoot first and ask questions later and they’re not gonna be able to answer his questions because they’re gonna be dead!”
Keith’s reaction to that statement is what initially convinced me that he is self-conscious about his temper:
He looks away. His eyebrows raise. He feels like Lance is right about what he is saying and he definitely feels bad about it. It’s the definition of a “guilty as charged” face. And since we know that Keith shows pretty much every emotion he feels on his face, I think it’s safe to say that he feels self-conscious here.
Unfortunately, there is not much other material to go of. Shiro is kind of Keith’s safe spot (explained earlier) and none of the other paladins have ever confronted Keith about his temper. But Lance isn’t afraid of calling him out in the “hey, you are wrong about that way” - Shiro just tells him to be more patient and “work on it”. With Lance, there is no sugarcoating it. His reactions get especially powerful if you compare it to their usual behavior: Keith is not the type to get hyper aware of himself just because Lance said something unflattering about him. They are fighting far too often for that. And we know that his usual reaction is to just fight back or grimace heavily and stay quiet. Not this.
So, to summarize - Keith isn’t overly self-conscious about his temper, it’s mostly just a part of himself that he isn’t proud of. He usually just kind of deals with it, but when someone bluntly puts it in the spotlight and really makes him aware of what he is doing, his self-consciousness shines through. That does not make him any less self-confident.