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I love & hate labels

1 min

We live in a labeling culture.

This is unhelpful because people then let their label dictate who they are and who they will become. Yet they can support the discovery of more. Up until the box gets drawn of your potential.

There are so many assumptions made with a label. Society presses them upon us. It is the first right answer to questions that place us into boxes.

Being extroverted. Being dyslexic. Being unemployed. Being college-educated. Being second-generation American. Being a middle child. Being single. Being a millennial. Being in the Midwest.

Writer Paul Graham explains in Keep Your Identity Small it is best to identify with less. Having an opinion leads to debates of identity rather than an idea. Engaging conversations are created when the identities of the participants are not at stake.  Politics and religion are the main categories that can combat clear thinking due do beliefs and labels of how someone identifies.

I have a love/hate view on labels. We as humans evolve over time. To completely entrust identity from the values we grew up with, societal pressures or assessments is risky. However, a label creates an introspection of thought. It requires the person to reflect on themself to see whether they agree or disagree. It can be a forcing function to explore oneself but can be harmful. If a label becomes a fixated static piece of your identity.

For example, I have taken the MBTI. Though people’s personalities are more fluid than the test relays. It can shift based on life experiences and the environment. If reclused for a long period of time, an extrovert’s natural tendencies will pivot to that of an introvert.

With dyslexia, it is a way that your cognition and brain form. There is no medication or cure. The label can ‘go away’ like a flu shot for the flu but systems can be made to partner with this innate condition. Like how all artists have to bring along fear for any creative endeavor they chart out on.


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