"Humans share one unique quality: They build communities. If the Narns or Centauri or any other race built a station like this, it would be used only by their own people. But everywhere humans go, they create communities out of diverse and sometimes hostile populations. It is a great gift, and a terrible responsibility—one that cannot be abandoned."
The polar opposite of Humans Are Warriors
, the idealistic reason
why Humans Are Special
and the reason why Humans Are Leaders
: Humans are diplomats when compared to other races. They make friends easily, and have a talent for negotiations. Humans tend to favor the diplomatic approach, especially when compared to the Proud Warrior Race
. Because humans have such a diplomatic talent, it's the reason they invariably are part of The Federation
if it exists. This preference for diplomacy over violence can also be one of the reasons why Humans Are Good
In video or Tabletop games this may overlap with Humans Are Average
- rather than getting powerful bonuses and penalty, humans are given small perks to diplomacy-related skills.
Of course Humans Are Diplomats
and Humans Are Warriors
, though opposite, need not exclude one another. After all Humans Are Special
and "Speak softly and carry a big stick
" was coined by humans.
You can play with it at
open/close all folders
Live Action TV
- Humans in Star Trek pretty much run The Federation, and the Federation has been shown to be by far the most diplomacy-inclined power in the Alpha Quadrant, especially when compared to the Proud Warrior Race Klingon or Mustache-Twirling Roman-wannabe Romulans or Fascist Cardassians. It's notable that the Federation is pretty much the only Alpha Quadrant power that is formed from a coalition.
- Taken to an extreme in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where the Klingons call upon the human captain of the Federation flagship, Jean-Luc Picard, to decide the next leader of the Klingon council. There are valid reasons for them not to trust their own people, of course, but even so...
- Star Trek: Enterprise shows that it was the humans who brought the first races forming the Federation together. Some of them had, in fact, been at war until then.
- Stated outright by the Minbari ambassador Delenn as the reason that only humans could have built Babylon 5 - "Humans build communities."
- She likes this so much, she becomes part human herself with that cocoon thing, and then marries and has the child of John Sheridan. Of course, it helps that she needed all that in order to be come one-third of The One.
- Humanity's hat is so big that when Humanity is threatened by a civil war, the other races form an alliance (Including races that are rivals or were at war) to support and help the humans (and the rest of the galaxy) because the prospect of losing Humanity's moderating, diplomatic voice is too bad.
- In Keith Laumer's Retief books, humans operate the Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne, which is dedicated to adjudicating contentions between non-terrestrials and Earthlings. Although the CDT seems to succeed less due to its diplomatic prowess than from Reteif's unconventional approaches...
- In Alan Dean Foster's Design For Great-Day, humans have this role. It's suggested that this is due to humans having an exceptional flair with language (being able to "talk the legs off a crocodile and insult its parentage in the process").
- In parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe this trope seems to come up. Humanity is not the galaxy's most diplomatic species, and individuals vary wildly, but there's a joke that goes "How do you know a [species] is lying? Their mouth is open", in which [species] is filled in by Hutts, Bothans, or humans. There are a lot of places where humans are the only/majority population though, so it'd be plain stupid to send a Bothan diplomat to Kashyyyk, or a Trandoshan one to Naboo.
- In the the Sergey Lukyanenkonote short story Negotiators, supposedly inexperienced humans are so good at communicating with aliens that the aliens are scared. Since humans deny having any previous contacts with extraterrestials, aliens start suspecting that humans did contact someone — and exterminated them. The hero manages to convince the alien negotiator that this flexibility is the result of humans being the hybrid of species with vastly different psychology — Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. The alien negotiator and most humans would not accept the true reason: the psychological difference between male and female humans is far greater than for any other sentient species, thus humans are much better prepared to accept others' quirks and work around them.
- This is a point of fascination for many of the Trolls in Homestuck. Sure, humans may be a bunch of wimps who haven't built a galaxy-conquering empire or developed time-travelling IM clients, and they may be completely screwing up at creating a new universe... but human society seems so much nicer, and the Kids are really good at the whole "friendship" thing. The stand-out example of one of the Kids being diplomatic with a Troll is probably John with Vriska.
- A variant appears in Vexxarr, where the Mahakalosians explain to a human that they chose humanity as allies because they are explorers and most emphatically not warriors. True warrior cannot ever cooperate, but humans will cooperate readily, and they never deliberately seek to exterminate those they fight against. They do note that humanity does have problems trusting, which makes them less diplomatic than they could be.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- This overlaps with Humans Are Average - humans have average stats and they can learn any language at character creation, a trait shared with partially human races like Half-Elves.
- In 3rd Edition at least, Half-Elves Are Diplomats even more than humans (or elves), being the only race to receive inherent bonuses to social skills. Which, admittedly, aren't very large, but dedicated "Diplomancer" builds are almost always half-elves.
- Gleefully and gloriously inverted in Warhammer 40,000. The Imperium of Man is just about the least subtle, least tolerant, least diplomatic and most xenophobic bunch of humans you're ever likely to meet. Diplomacy, for the Imperium, is indulged in solely to keep alien races busy until sufficient military force can be mustered to obliterate them. The Tau race are perhaps the most diplomatic in 40k, having an actual diplomat caste - the water caste - to orchestrate negotiations and trade, and making significant use of alien mercenaries from allied worlds. Indeed, the Tau behave so much like the traditional "humans are diplomats" trope, and their aesthetic resembles that of aliens from numerous franchises where it is in effect, that it is very easy to see them as a deliberate foil to show just how much the Imperials in 40k are not this trope.
- In Myriad Song humans were favored slaves of the Syndics, and often used as overseers. So they apply their Legacy stat to social and leadership skills.