Typecasting & labeling is something awful

I always had a problem with people systematically trying to categorize other people into different groups. It seems to be such a common thing. It’s almost as if humans feel a need to be able to do so, to know exactly what a person is like and to think they have them all figured out. And then if they act differently than what’s expected of them, people often react with negativity or confusion.

I’m not saying that categorizing or labeling in itself is necessarily something bad. For example, sometimes it can be simple to refer to a common term used. Instead of saying that someone is very interested in technical things it would be easier to say that they are geeky or nerdy. Obviously labels have their use within the medical community. And realistically speaking we all make assumptions about people or what kind of persons they are every now and then.

No, what I’m getting at here is the constant need to categorize every single person one comes across and also the usage of negative reinforcement to ensure that they stay in that very group or in other words, that they know their place. People are so ignorant to not realize that every single person has many different sides to them. We don’t need to look any further than to our own families to realize this. Your mother, father, brother or sister surely don’t act the same way around other people as they do with you. We might not want to hear about it or even think about it but our parents and siblings has most likely done a lot of dirty & nasty stuff throughout their lives. That’s just reality.

When I was in high school I rebelled against the whole Mr Nice Guy persona people had pinned on me for years. I started smoking. I started drinking. I dressed differently. I got into a lot of fights. I became one of those people you don’t mess with. And people hated it at first. Suddenly they were extremely uncomfortable around me cause they were no longer able to put a label on me. I could be nice and dorky one moment, a cool cat the next and a furious monster the third if someone aggravated me.

Not having to deal with all of this has actually been one of the perks with living a more lonely lifestyle. I absolutely hate it when people start getting more familiar around me and think they have me all figured out or try to pin emotions, attributes or labels on me. It’s fine to have an opinion of me. Just don’t try to sell it off as the absolute truth. I’m not going to assume I know everything there is to know about you either.

One thought on “Typecasting & labeling is something awful”

  1. I’m not a big fan of “labels” either. I feel that they cause a stigma, an expectation, or even a self fulfilling prophesy. A person is a person. No matter how you define us or group us – we’re all made of cells and we all bleed blood.

    I think unless you are extremely isolated, it’s hard to refrain from labels. It’s human nature to categorize everything we see (a car is a vehicle, a river is a body of water, a dog is a canine, and so on…). To me the key is to never simple accept the label because nothing is surface deep. I also try to only point out positive things when falling into the categorizing “trap”. I think even if you do label something, it’s important to not hold a biased opinion.

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