“When you deny people and yourself the privilege to change and move in a different direction, you’re denying a sense of what makes us human”.Bryan Kramer
When I was a kid I used to wear a t-shirt that said I am not an introvert. I blissfully wore it around thinking I was pretty cool. Looking back I have to laugh cause the telltale signs of being an introvert were written all over me. I liked books, and art, and my own company. These days I’m neither.
We love the extremes of a personality style. Happily slotting people into their boxes. We’re even guilty of throwing ourselves into them sometimes. Now I’m not saying having a ballpark idea of where people are at isn’t logical. Just don’t lock the door and throw away the key. They probably have a totally different take on the world.
I have been reading an article by social media strategist Bryan Kramer. His article in Forbes magazine sheds more light on why labelling people is a bit shortsighted.
These are my takeaways from this great read.
- Labelling limits our curiosity of others.
- Labels convey an absolute.
- Labelling doesn’t allow people (including yourself) to change.
- Don’t let labels define you. Don’t get obsessed by a label that someone who doesn’t know you might have. You know you.
- Be flexible with your perceptions of others.
- Even if you make a mistake doesn’t mean you are a mistake.
- Focus on strengths and weaknesses instead.
Bryan then moves on to how you can work through your strengths and weaknesses.
- Write down all the labels you or others have labelled you with over the years.
- Once you’ve made the list reflect on the circumstances that relate to each label.
- Place them into themes
- Create “buckets of strength”
- What did you learn
- What skills did you gain
- Who did you meet
That first one brings back memories from when I was 16. My teacher telling me I would never amount to anything! I didn’t give a toss at the time. I must have bought the label at some level though. I was surprised to get into university. You can read a previous post I wrote on this as part of Bloganuary Completing University
I’ll leave it there. I hope some of my takeaways gel with you.
Until next time.