Most people I know have investigated what is wrong with them, their spouse, children, friends or co-workers through research on the internet.
Type in the words ‘moody,’ or ’emotional’ and Google the Great Oracle of Our Time can give hundreds of possibilities for what is happening. Eureka! The problem has been identified, and one is off to fix-it-land feeling empowered with laser-sharp learning.
Unfortunately, this kind of well-intentioned behavior can cause far more harm than help.
Psychologists are able to identify every range of human experience as some type of condition. It doesn’t matter what is being investigated, there will be a search positive result. The resultant identification alters perception of one self, person or situation—and the label can cause more confusion and harm than what is really happening.
Consider this relationship scenario:
He says, You are angry…She says, No I’m not…He says, Yes you are…She says, No I really am not…He insists, of course you are, I can tell by your tone…She replies, I wasn’t angry before but I am now because you keep bothering me.. He says, ahhah I was right, you are angry and an angry person.
* The word anger may be replaced by any word. He and she are interchangeable terms. No kittens, otters or buffalo were harmed during this written verbal demonstration.
Behavior is preceded by perception.
When perceiving somebody in a particular light, they become that; ones own behavior towards that person changes.
In the case of the example, one person considers the other as an angry personality. Then, an otherwise calm and peaceful person can be pushed to the point of frustration. Their expression and tone is taken as proof and validates the perception held by the initiator. The other person isn’t angry—they are just being pushed and disrespected. Who wants to live with that ?
Being treated as crazy can make a person crazy.
Labels create a need to repair.
Once a label is put on a person, there is a need to do something about it.
Did the internet search say that the person has borderline personality, or is passive aggressive or depressed? Then something must be done to alleviate these problems—send out the cavalry of consciousness!
Having somebody we love judge us and put labels on us is hurtful.
It raises defensive barriers and becomes exhaustive. What was never an issue comes into existence and takes center stage because of mere perception. All the energy that goes into fixing the problem, or other person, gets wasted. Energies best used for love are squandered on controlling a perceived problem may not even exist. Literally, life is wasted and time is squandered to address something that was never real.
Education and information is helpful—the internet does hold a host of viable, powerful knowledge.
Just be conscientious of the label and assumptions being made about people based on their emotions, attitudes and actions.
There is far more going on within each human being than the eye or assumptions can see.
Consider carefully the cause of ones own perception—it can liberates ones own self and the other.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives