Why do we have to slap a label on everything?
Why can’t we just let things be as they truly are?
What’s purple to me may be blue to you.
This concept was the reason I decided to study Psychology in undergrad and graduate school. The whole idea that we place a label on something that will never the be the exact same idea, concept, vision, object, etc. to two people!
That amazing idea sent me over the edge when I was a child—that’s when it first clicked. Over the years, I’ve begun to understand why we label things for the most part. We almost have to.
This is a way we can communicate with one another allowing us to deepen our relationships and connections.
Regardless of how open minded we are when we are young, we end up using labels to differentiate us from one another. To separate us from one another. To divide us from one another.
The hardest part of labels is when we are labeled as a person: “Oh yea…she’s crazy.” Well, your version of crazy may actually be someone else’s idea of artistic.
I mean really what is crazy, really?
We put people in to these little boxes with a neat little printed out label which offer one adjective. We are not just that guy that drives the jeep or the girl that likes horses. We are so much more. We are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, co-workers, friends, teachers, students, lovers, and the list goes on.
We are happy, healthy, sad, lost.
We are so much more than just that one word.
Words hold so much power.
Be impeccable with your words. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
When people hear what they are labeled as, they may begin to feel pigeonholed into that ideal. They may really think that they are a “insert label here” and proceed down that path. They may actually act in such a way that they think they should because others have labeled them this way.
When we decide to describe someone, let’s get beyond labels. Let’s describe them in the most positive, inspirational, and loving adjectives.
For instance, saying “She is a nurturer” would help to reinforce that amazing quality of that amazing person. This allows them to see all that they are perceived as from others and they can better believe that they are that amazing quality.
Build each other up, because the “world” is trying to tear us down.
It’s a free country (or so we are told to believe), so we think our thoughts are safe to ourselves if we think whatever we want. However, when we think negative things, negative comes back to us. When we call people negative things, they think of those negative thoughts.
This is the basis of the Law of Attraction—when we put negative things out there, whether we actually verbalize them or not, they come back to us.
Always remember that when one person sees purple, another may see blue.
We all see the same thing, our perception is the only thing that is different. Us labeling one another is just our own perception and our projection of things we do not like about ourselves. It’s a defense mechanism: when we have undesirable feelings about ourselves, we project these qualities onto others.
This is a way for us to claim that we are somehow better than someone else so that we do not have to work on making ourselves better, because, as we all know, self-work is not always an easy road.
So before we label someone, remember that they too are living, breathing, feeling souls and they deserve the right to be who they truly are.
Spread love, not hate.
Author: Hannah Hilton
Editor: Renée Picard