Labeling is common in a commercial setting. Whatever can be sold or bought- products, a brand name, animals – need to be labeled to make them distinctive. Products and brand names need to be identified by consumers. Animals need to be remembered for scientific purposes.
What happens when we start labeling people, though? Isn’t it common for people to label other people in general? Is it really harmful or not?
Children are most susceptible to labeling early on in their life. Their peers, and even teachers, will label them as being the class bully, or perhaps the best dancer, or even the class diva. Don’t you remember the child in kindergarten who was labeled most likely to succeed?
These labels might seem trivial enough, but what happens when the labels become more serious such as – the asian or black kid? Racism originated from labels. How about the class bully? What happens when the child starts to believe he or she IS the class bully? And what happens when people actually see no room for change for the class bully? Labels are dangerous as they close the minds and views of people to change. This can be hard on a child’s self-esteem.
When people start believing a label, they don’t see anything about the person except for whatever the label is. The rest of a person’s traits are crossed-out by the label. Everyone has a positive and negative side, but when all people can see are the negative traits, it can be hard for a person to change.
People who are labeled unfairly might start living up to what people expect of them. They will hide their hurt and anger and bottle it up inside, retreating from a world that views them in a bad light.
Once isolated, they become anti-social and resort to other means of making them happy. Perhaps even substance abuse.
So before you start looking at someone in a very simplified manner by putting a label on him or her, remember, people are more complicated than that. There is a lot going on inside a person that you don’t see. So stop labeling people and accept that everyone is unique. You just can’t label a person.
Source by Andrew M. Miller