We are persistent at defining others with a label. This is typically rooted in good intention, and usually done to make it easier for us to reference or describe that person in the future. It is basic communication. We are often tasked with describing someone else in a reasonably short, concise way.
We describe ourselves with labels when meeting people as we develop a relationship. This is typically because we get questions that need short replies. This results in labels based on our responses. The questions often focus on work, college, geographical location, family history, and hobbies. We have provided this new-found person with minimal information to rely on, therefore, they label us. This aids in remembrance, is reliant on the small bits of information they received, and is indicative of our fast-paced communication and lifestyle.
We are sometimes our own worst enemy with a label. A label bestowed upon us is very difficult to remove. The label could restrict our individuality and possibly inhibit our progression. This can happen by accepting a label we’ve been given, or gave our self when we may truly not be defined that way if we give it deep thought.
Labels have ranks of importance, giving some more meaning than others. This is self-explanatory on how relevant the label is in the particular field of discussion. A colleague at work is typically not defined by his hobby, where a spouse wouldn’t be defined by her political affiliation. This entails each person wearing many hats.
People typically think in threes. We can only be so fortunate if we’re described with three labels. Most people are too lazy to even offer that, which means we will probably get two. We’re definitely getting one. We have to choose wisely when were presenting our brand.
What do we want as our labels, and in which setting would we prefer one label stacked higher over another? How do we make sure this comes to fruition? Think of the labels we will get.
- Our spouse
- Introvert – shy, quiet, boring
- Extrovert – loud, aggressive, annoying
What do you want?
The last time we meet with someone is when we will typically leave that label with them until we see them again. Things will change the labels before we meet again. Branding on social media, coupled with any other gossip they hear about us. You probably don’t get another chance for while to aid in your label.
What about just not caring about what people brand you? Take any label because you know you’re a combo of many, and most are good, so who cares what order they’re in.
What if you changed and broke away from the labels but past relationships still see you as the old labels? Does it matter?
What if you control yourself based on the labels you receive? That’s a problem. Now you boxed yourself in.
What if you don’t even know what people branded you? How do you find out if you’re annoying? What if people don’t tell you?
This is why self-awareness, continual self-evaluation, and dialogues with others are all necessary. You only get one first impression, unless you’re honest with yourself and those around you.