Tiny bundles of….. People


In sociology, the word labelling is used more as a metaphor, than a concrete concept. The general function of labels are widely known and recognized as a method of distinction that helps people recognize one product from another. In social terms, labels represent a way of differentiating and identifying people that is considered by many as a form of prejudice and discrimination.

The most common method of ‘labeling’ people derives from a general way of perceiving members of a certain nationality, religion, ethnicity, gender, or some other group. When a majority of people hold a certain point of view towards a certain group, that point of view becomes a stereotype. That stereotype affects the way other people perceive the groups in question and the result is a ‘label’ that is metaphorically imposed on the members of the group in question. A member of a targeted group is thus ‘labeled’ by the larger society, and along with it, the nuances underlying the label, be it positive or negative, that aids in the formation of social stereotypes. [taken from Wikipedia]


No matter how much people say that they hate to be labels, we actually seek labels and even label ourselves. We want to be labeled, because it gives us the feeling of belonging. At least that’s what I noticed in my short life on this planet. Of course I’m talking about positive labels and those that we find comfort in.

If you don’t feel like you should agree with me, look at countries, we make countries, states, nations, in order to identify ourselves as a belonging part of some community. Everyone have their own nationality and without it, they would feel lost.

I only picked this example to prove the point I’m creating. However I can go on to other labels. You belong to a family, either you like it or not. Even if you don’t like your family, you still want a family and people mostly create their second family in the form of their friends.  It’s a core human instinct, to belong. After all we are social beings and only few individuals feel fine in complete solitude. Yet even those people seek for some kind of human interaction.

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You are whatever you feel the most comfortable with.

Moving on to more labels, people give themselves labels that they approve of and feel connected to. As examples some people are Beliebers, because they like Justin Bieber, other are car junkies because they are obsessive about cars. And they LOVE it! They find nothing wrong with being labeled with the things they love.

However, I am aware that when people say that they hate labels, they mean the negative ones.

 

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Some people have a nice way of dealing with labels, don’t you think?

It’s normal to dislike the socially inducted hateful labels, that are often influenced by a previously made stereotype. After all none would like to be but into a group they dislike or feel discomfort in so we all instinctly work against them. In my opinion the labels that are not approved by targeted individuals are not needed and should not be used, as they can cause more harm than good. Wrongly labeled individuals can also get an mental disorder (in a lot of cases that’s depression and/or self-hate).

Even if you feel like your label fits someone, you should rethink and first find out their standpoint on the matter. One of those labels is calling people fat. I know that a lot of people are overweight to the point where it can harm their health. But honestly that’s none of your business, unless you’d like to stand by them and help them maintain their health in whatever way necessary. If you’re not willing to do that, shut your pie hole and keep it to yourself. Once again I used the label fat as an example, yet the same can be said about any other label. If you’re not willing to find out why the person is like they are (yes genius, there might be a reason for what they are like), don’t be an asshole and throw the label at their face.

But I have to point out that people also label others on instinct, at the first glance and make assumptions about who they are. It might be because others give us a certain vibe or because they just look like they fit into some specific group. In past (and now) we formed assuming as a way to protect ourselves. You know how you sometimes get a bad “gut feeling” and you don’t want to be near that person, even though you only saw them once in your lifetime and you’ll probably never see them again? Well you labeled that person in your head, based on what you saw and what your brain made out of their body language and other nonlinguistic signals. Like I said, those things happen and you can’t exactly stop yourself from doing it. But you can stop yourself from voicing it and acting on it. You know when you make an assumption and you’re in the middle of a nervous reaction, it’s wise to calm down and possibly check if your assumption is correct, or simply ignore it and move on with your life. Without saying/doing anything with the targeted person, because that wouldn’t be exactly mature.

Basically, my brainstorm is coming to an end. The point is that labels are a part of our society and we can’t avoid them, we can only accept them, learn to deal with them or find those that we like and feel connected to. We should never label people against their own will, yet we do it and will do it (consciously or subconsciously) because that’s just how we humans are.

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Don’t let others tell you who you are.

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27 thoughts on “Tiny bundles of….. People

  1. Yes I studied this in psychology! I quote- ‘No matter how much people say that they hate to be labels, we actually seek labels and even label ourselves’. So true! We actually WANT to label ourselves and others. You have it spot on that it’s the negative labelling we don’t like. Ree Love30

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great article, I agree with so much of what you wrote!

    ” I know that a lot of people are overweight to the point where it can harm their health. But honestly that’s none of your business, unless you’d like to stand by them and help them maintain their health in whatever way necessary.” This part is so true. Yes, some people are seriously overweight and are unhealthy. But I don’t get why people feel the need to point it out all the time or be mean about it. If you’re concerned about someone’s health, support them and help them and be there for them.

    Sarah | http://lavenderlife.co

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  3. Labelling something can have both good connotations or bad, it’s the way we as people deal with not understanding a person or a thing, and unfortunately that’s something that’s done subconsciously and consciously. I think the best way to deal with it is to say to yourself, “okay that’s what they think of me, but i know i am …” and continue living your life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a fan of labeling stuff, or people hahah 😀 but this was such an interesting piece!

    ~ Jasmin N
    littlethingswithjassy.blogspot.fi

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  5. I think that it’s very hard to put ourselves in the shoes of other people and try to feel what they are feeling. We label because we don’t know how to cope with understanding another human being other then us, and sometimes we can barely understand us. We label so we don’t have to deal with others.

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  6. This was a good evening read. There are different types of people in the world and everyone has a different impact on us. I always pray that you come across the positive ones only.

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  7. Fab post! We don’t even realise how often we subconsciously use labels and make snap judgements, both positive and negative ones. I totally agree about the comments – if you’re not prepared to actually help someone, there’s literally nothing to be gained by making potentially hurtful comments!
    lily kate x
    jolihouse.com

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  8. It took me 32 years to make piece with the labels that people attached to me. Actually, there was a book that helped me a lot. It’s called “The Voice of Knowledge” and talks about the people around us. The idea is generally that when people label us (even with the classic terms such as daughter, sister, girlfriend) they label us according to their understanding of the meaning. So it’s crucial that before we get pissed off by a label we understand what people mean by it.

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    1. Of course, everyone have their own perception of what they say and how they label, so joumping to conclusions about how people label you us usually far more destructive than the label alone was meant to be.
      Also thank you for mentioning the book! It seems interesting so I’ll check it out when I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post here. Definitely sparks a lot of thought. It’s definitely not cool to label people and associate them with bad and degrading terms. At the end of the day, we’re all humans and we’re more alike than we think. I would rather make more friends and help make other people happy than to be the reason for their misery. Definitely not me and not cool at all.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  10. This is a great thought provoking post. I have an interest in psychology and behavioural insights too and try to resist easy labels. Labels are the first step to othering making it easier to justify terrible acts.

    Thanks for sharing and look forward to reading more!

    #StayClassy

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  11. Completely agree, I’m currently studying my masters degree in Behavioural Decision Science. I’ve been learning about how we categorise objects and people in order to feel more comfortable in our environment and make more efficient decisions. It is inherent in human nature to categorise (or label) somebody when you first meet them. So I agree with you when you say we do need to accept this happens, but we should find a way to adjust certain negative labels as these are counterproductive. While labelling is an evolutionary trait that helps us make life decisions, we need to realise that not all labels are helpful! Thanks so much for linking up with #StayClassy!

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    1. Really?! Your masters degree sounds so interesting. It’s one of the many things that I considered as a part of my study, but I got “stuck” on more biology and chemistly connected study (for now).

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Omg I absolutely love this post. It’s so true and so hard hitting. I’ve been labelled all my life – I got called things like circus tent and fat in school and it’s appalling that people still go through that. As a psychology graduate I am in such agreement with what you have said!! We need more posts like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! I really appreciate your comment! There will be posts like this, dealing with various social or psychological subjects. So I hope you’ll enjoy my future posts too 🙂

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