Given the way people talk about one another you could assume that all of us exit the womb with the words ‘label me’ printed on our foreheads. I realize this isn’t true (obviously), but it might as well be. I also realize this isn’t just about people, it is about places and things too... we LOVE to label... label and compare, basic ways we understand the world.
There is nothing inherently wrong with either of these things I suppose. We need ways of understanding, ways to relate to things, this creates connection. BUT labeling can become so toxic if we aren’t careful.
“She is such a bitch! Right? I mean, did you see the way she stood there? Totally like a prude, just judging everyone. Who does she think she is? Mother Teresa?”
In defense of this made up girl, allow me to say- sure, maybe she is a bitch... but also, maybe she was just standing there and (like me) suffers form RBF (resting bitch face... it’s real... look it up). What then? Is she actually as bad a you would like to believe? (Don’t deny it! You like comparing yourself to other people, cut them down, make them small, so you remain superior...we all do in the darkest parts of our being, most of us just won't admit it) People do this to their friends, to strangers, celebrities, unknown individuals on the internet; the possibilities are endless.
We categorize to understand:
We make things very black or white, when really (if you think about it), most things are grey. Most things fall somewhere in the middle. But the middle is scary. However, I would also argue that finding the middle and accepting its ambiguity is the first step towards peace.
The less you label and judge those around you with negativity, the more positivity you project, the more joy you will feel. If you love and accept yourself, if you label yourself with traits you admire, how much better will the world around you appear? This would be the second step, first we find the middle, then we change our own definitions (or own labels).
Labeling will never go away, but the way in which you do it absolutely can.
What do you think? What kind of label maker are you running in your mind? Do you tend to go dark and negative? Or have you trained your mind to see the good? Tell us in the comments below, I would love to know what tricks you used to get there!
*Loser shirt found on the internet via Store Envy