Let’s All Drop Labels by da-AL

Video Still from Drop Labels dot org websiteFirst impressions. It’s hard to restrain myself from making snap judgments about people when I first meet them.

Worse is when I settle for my shallow analysis and end up labeling folks.

We’re all complex, all of us alike yet different from each other, so I doubt anyone appreciates my boxing them into a label. Moreover, embracing knee-jerk categorizing limits me from enjoying all the marvelous aspects of the people I meet as well as learning the really good stuff from them.

Alas, training myself to stop being an automaton seems impossible.

Not so! There’s hope, thanks to this consciousness-raising site founded by a wise new friend. Drop Labels features videos of people discussing how being labeled has hurt them. The site goes above and beyond threadbare definitions of types of labels. For instance, this man has found that he hates being labeled as ‘the man with cancer’ …

Do you label? Have you been labeled?

40 thoughts on “Let’s All Drop Labels by da-AL

  1. I think we’ve all been labelled – good or bad – over the years. Some are hurtful, some are benign. The hard part is stopping ourselves from doing it … it seems to be human nature to ‘organize’ our world into categories.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. When i think of not wanting to be labeled by my cancer experience, the phrase i use is, ‘I don’t want to be defined by it.’ I hope it isn’t the most interesting thing about who i am.
    Not denying or suppressing the cancer aspect, though, has allowed me to connect with others (whether survivors themselves or not) i might not have otherwise, or connect in a unique way.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Fantastic initiative. So easy to judge. Although, I must also say…going with your gut instinct is not bad either. Sometimes you just don’t click with someone, but that doesn’t mean you should ‘label’. Again, love this post and the initiative of ‘droplabels’.
    XxX

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I guess labels are nothing new but definiteley seem to be more prevalent these days.

    Born in Australia but with European heritage, I was labelled all sorts at school back in the ’70s. Although quite hurtful at the time, I always knew that children are not born racists. This is inherited from their environment and from their parents.

    I think understanding this is what pulled me through those years. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A psychology professor once explained we all label: our brains do it automatically, in an attempt to handle all the information we have to process (everything you come across, see, smell, hear, etc. is information for your brains).

    People seem to label me as a dumb blonde, because I look younger than I am and I am (obviously) blonde. At work I don’t mind that much, it actually helps me to hide behind my supposed stupidity whenever I actually do something stupid :p As for the rest of my world, it’s hurtful when people take one look at me and pretend they know all about me, especially when they can’t be more wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We all do or get label at least once in our life. Some say it is just a classification or a way to protect ourself. But when we label we judge the people on what we think they are, not who they really are. A few years ago, I missed the opportunity to know a real interesting person just because she physically looked as someone who was mean to me in my childhood. So I simply did not give her the chance to prove me wrong. My lost. But when a label is put on a child it can be damaging. Same goes with labelling a person as “The mentally ill”. Studies have shown that it can increase stigma. We should definitely try not to label people and be careful with the words we use to describe them. Label do not define us and words do matter. Both influence people’s attitude. Nice post da-AL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not sure if this will ever stop but what we can do is try to speak more about being more respectful of each person & not to label them as this or that. They have names! We should address them by that.
    Nice thought provoking post, friend! 🙂

    Like

  8. I am going to put the cat amongst the pigeons here: I don’t think there is anything wrong with labelling people. After all it simply puts people in a category – and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. What I think is wrong is putting a label on a person/people and then using that as a means to treat them badly or show indifference toward them. The thing that is wrong with ‘labelling’ in my view is the outcome and not the actual category in which the person is put. If for example, you categorize me as being ‘West Indian’ – that’s cool as far as I’m concerned. If I am labelled as such and then made to feel as if I’m a second class citizen – then I’ll definitely have a problem with that. The same as if you say some-one has a disability – well they have! – but the moment you start to treat them differently because of that disability – then that’s when problems arise and no-one should feel uncomfortable because they are seen as different. We could do away with labels, but this will only work if we also do away with the way we treat others in general – because this is the root of the problem as I see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dear Marie – if you are the cat, I am gladly the pigeon LOL – I admire how great a writer you are plus! how outspoken & diplomatic you are (as noted by your especially comical recent conversation with a blogger I won’t name here)! you make a good point. the way I see it is, around here in Los Angeles, I might be named ‘gringa’ by some, ‘latina’ by others, & ignored by others. I have no prob with any label as long as a) as you well say that one never wants to be negatively categorized — & b) as long as they don’t insist on keeping me within their limited category even when I obviously don’t fit it…

      much of my friend’s argument also depends on how one defines ‘labeling’ – boxing in vs. trying to get a handle on what sort of person one might be & what their background of experiences might encompass…

      Liked by 1 person

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