Personal Labels

  • Reliah
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18 Jul 2017 20:41 - 18 Jul 2017 20:42 #291479 by Reliah
Personal Labels was created by Reliah
Are labels helpful?

I'm going to try real hard to get this all to come out right...

First of all, labels – they can be anything, right? Introvert, highly sensitive, optimistic, etc. Even mental disorders can be labels to a degree – words we use to describe ourselves to ourselves and to others...

Secondly, the reasons we label. To help others who we engage with better understand us, how we think, how we respond to the world around us, and perhaps to warn them, in a way...
A highly sensitive person might say, “I get overwhelmed easily and have to retreat alone into a dark, quiet room.” - so that when that happens, others know why and are more likely to understand and react well.
To also help ourselves understand ourselves to make improvements... or maybe sometimes even excuses.

I guess what I'm wondering is – to what extent are labels helpful in relation to others? I mean.. should we openly share them in an attempt to be understood, or just take a mental note of them and try to strengthen ourselves quietly?

And while we're here... what is the difference between too much information and vulnerability?
Last edit: 18 Jul 2017 20:42 by Reliah.

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  • Connor L.
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18 Jul 2017 20:51 #291482 by Connor L.
Replied by Connor L. on topic Personal Labels
I did a little research on this topic when I saw you posted it. Because, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it myself.

I think I've come to the conclusion (or at least the beginnings of one), that labels are mostly a hindrance when they become boxes we are forced into and force things into.

Labels should not be identity. Labels should be only the very beginning point of understanding. They are the guidepost to the reality, not the reality we make assumptions about.

The understanding you refer to, when people are using labels to help expand on their situation, is not because of the labels themselves, but because of the understanding behind labels.

This is why we can say "oh... you know.. that feeling when ____" and they go "Of course! I get that a lot!"

When labels become objects of separation... when they drive people apart (like, calling people crazy, for example) , this is when labels are ineffective and deeper thinking should prevail.

I wonder if that answers your second question too? TMI and vulnerability... TMI is usually the ego trying to assert itself as a victim, right? Like "omg, you guys, I had this THING stuck in my ___." TMI... nobody needs to know your strength in dealing with that. But, vulnerability is living with openness. The ego is only a tool in that case. Dr. Brown talks about how vulnerability is living with our most dreaded state. When we are hurting and we want to get away from it, we shield ourselves from pain. Being WITH the pain, instead of moving away from it, is vulnerability. There's a purity to it. This is the ego humbling itself.

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18 Jul 2017 20:59 #291483 by Breeze el Tierno
Replied by Breeze el Tierno on topic Personal Labels
I think labels are a necessary linguistic tool. Different people have different needs and none of us is entirely unique. There are people like me who have common needs, and that occurs over several variables.

Somewhere, though, the labels become more important than the identities they are meant to describe. They obscure rather than clarify. I hide myself behind my labels and I hide you behind the labels I put on you, which may or may not be the ones you use.

I mean to say that it's not an either/or. I think it has to do with how much uncertainty, ambiguity, or diversity we are willing and able to tolerate and embrace. Labels make the world simpler. That's why we use them. But they often can eclipse the world in our heads. It's a great shame when that happens.
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  • Goken
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18 Jul 2017 21:03 #291486 by Goken
Replied by Goken on topic Personal Labels
I try to think of labels as a shorthand. It's useful, even necessary, but it not the thing itself. Or like an icon on a computer screen. It is not the program it represents, you have to click on it and open it to really understand it. We can even group similar icons in their own icon, a folder. But that folder is not any of the icons that are in it.

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18 Jul 2017 21:07 - 18 Jul 2017 21:08 #291489 by steamboat28
Replied by steamboat28 on topic Personal Labels
I think self-applied labels are social warning labels we stick on ourselves. They say "Fragile!" and "Handle with care!" and "Contents may be broken upon delivery!" Because of that, they're important. That said, the attachment to labels can be as hurtful as any other attachment, should we lean too heavily on them.

In computery-terms, labels should be tags, not categories.
Last edit: 18 Jul 2017 21:08 by steamboat28.
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19 Jul 2017 23:11 #291760 by JamesSand
Replied by JamesSand on topic Personal Labels
On a different spin from labels we give ourselves (which as far as I'm concerned, are up there with giving yourself a nickname.

Short of being a Super Hero, calling yourself the Master of Disaster is lame as all get out)

What about labels other people give us? (In same cases they are Titles, in some cases they are Diagnosis, in some cases they are insults, or compliments)

Someone calls you "Funny" enough times, you start to believe it, you think of yourself as "The Funny One"

or the Cute one, or....whatever.

Same with Titles.
I know Doctors, Captains, Biologists(Uhh non-medical Doctors?), etc, who all think of themselves more in terms of their labels than anything else.

Say your wife tells you, every day, that you're a bad lover.

You may not be a bad lover, but it doesn't really matter - for X amount of time, you are being "told" that label.

Let's say (for one reason or another) you have the opportunity to have relations with someone else - You go into that "believing" you are a bad lover. You have assumed the label.

I have a grand (?) collection of "Labels" and it surprisingly hard to think of myself as just "James"

I'm James the Procrastinator, James the guy who talks like a gumby*, James the Snide. They're just "social" labels. I have various professional, education, and whatnot labels as well.

Lots of people call me intelligent, and I have to fight that label internally. I can certainly impersonate the facade of intelligence (BS with the Best of them), but I make some terrible decisions. (Not that I advertise them, people thinking you're smart can be a good label. It can also be bad- They expect you to be able to solve problems)

*I got a special joy out of watching Arisaig's videos :laugh:

It really doesn't matter what your external labels are (other than making you look like a dingbat at times) But how you related to your "labels" internally, and assessing their validity, and value to your...headspace, can be quite beneficial (or detrimental) to your lifestyle :)
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