Yuri has a deep desire to be liked by others and is afraid to speak her mind on matters as she believes it will make her seem unlikable. Due to her social ineptitude, she can be innocently insensitive, but once she realizes what she said could be considered rude, she almost immediately apologizes, repeatedly saying she did not mean it.
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As stated by the protagonist, Yuri likes to think before she says something. Yuri is the "shrinking violet" a term to describe a character who prefers to blend in with the scenery than to attract unwanted attention or "dandere" of the club members because of her constant apologetic nature.
The attribution is also because of being shy to discussions beyond her category of interest, her interests being literature, horror, and general surrealism, which she examines and articulates expertly and encourages others to follow as well. Yuri's love of surrealism seems to be foreshadowing further events of the game, with Yuri's surrealistic eyes and the game's horrific nature after Sayori's suicide.
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Yuri prefers poetry that uses metaphorical symbolism and enjoys collecting unusual ornate knives, implicitly in Act 1 at least used for self-harm. Yuri takes great pride in her poetry and perceives her poetry as being superior to that of the other club members, especially Natsuki.
According to Dan Salvato, this is a coping mechanism for her deep insecurity and self-doubt, convincing herself that she is the sophisticated, mature one and that her critics or rivals are immature and childish. This can make her seem arrogant and patronizing to those unfamiliar to her. This desire to seem intellectual and high-brow is reflected in her poetic style. Her poems are so full of metaphors and advanced language that the meaning is often obscured, or even lost.
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In Monika's Talk , Monika wonders whether Yuri is as passionate about certain topics such as tea as she makes out, or whether she is "just concerned about appearing sophisticated to everyone else. Yuri has trouble making and keeping friends, as she tends to come on too strongly, due to her intense desire to be liked. It is said that she used to be judged for her appearance and mannerisms, providing another possible explanation as to why she secludes herself to her introverted lifestyle.
She is, however, a generous and giving person, exemplified by her giving a copy of "Portrait of Markov" to the protagonist and for bringing tea to the Literature Club to help soothe the mind and help stay focused during reading. During Act 2, Monika amplifies Yuri's negative personality traits.
This causes her to have sanity slippages that result in an abnormal obsession with the protagonist and her already-existing hobbies becoming more of perverted detailing and self-destruction, to the point where Monika suggests that Yuri cuts herself due to a fetish. Yuri also brutally insults Natsuki and tells Monika to kill herself. Yuri recognizes that something is wrong with her and that her comments and behavior are inappropriate, enough so to feel something bad will happen despite her happiness.
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