“He has anger issues.”
“She’s so lost.”
“They’re difficult to work with.”
Regardless of your age, background, or experiences, it is probably fair to say that you’ve heard people be labelled before. Although it stands to reason that generalizing all people as labellers is counter-intuitive, there are people who do often place labels – or at least generalizations – onto others. Some people tend to assume before knowing something. Some people also want to place others in a box.
What would happen if people stopped doing this?
Personally, I’ve been unfairly labelled before. When I was living in Spain, I heard a couple of people say that I was “lost”. I’ve written about it before, but not everyone who travels is “lost”. Many people are simply curious about the world, or at least go through a phase when they’re into travelling a lot.
I have also heard, and seen, people get labelled as being “too emotional” or “not emotional” or some variation of one of these extremes.
One thing I keep hearing lately is that I must not be a creative because I’m organized, and because I technically work in IT. I’ve had people tell me that it’s surprising that I’ve been working on a fiction novel, considering that’s not the normal expectation out of someone whose line of work requires analysis, code, and other STEM-related things.
The funny thing is, a few years ago, I was labelled as being the “artsy” one because I was always the “creative one” in my family. I wanted to be a filmmaker, a writer, and was rarely interested in science (other than space and technology).
Humans are multi-faceted. I am neither fully “girly” nor am I fully a “tomboy”. I am neither emotion-less, nor am I “extremely” emotional. Some labels definitely do apply – such as the label that I am a woman, and that my orientation is straight – but some are difficult to place on all situations, and on all people.
Have you ever struggled with this? The idea of being labelled. I often wonder why, and how, we see people in different lights. How do we judge someone based on temporary situations? How do we not?