A label is a mandatory aspect of a product. Marketers use labels for identification of a product. It enhances the packaging. The label gives complete details about the product. A customer can get attracted to a product by a creatively designed label. The label carries the image of the product.
We tend to do this to people based on their characteristics. If we notice a repeated behavior by an individual we call them descriptive names like chatter box, bully, bookworm, etc.
We tend to compartmentalize people based on certain behavior patterns. We do this not only to others but to ourselves too. We get stuck with limiting beliefs. We use labels not only on behaviors but also appearance and qualities of style and work.
This is how we get judgmental and tend to generalize. Although labelling may start on a fun or casual note it can leave a lasting impression. Like a father repeatedly calling his son stupid… even if the child is not stupid he puts himself into a box, brings about his own definition of stupid impacting his self-worth.
When positive adjectives are used they can work as morale boosters but negative labels bring about guilt, shame, anger and discontentment.
Labelling can be harmful to the extent the individual also gets treated differently based on the adjectives that have been used. We would instantly get wary of someone who has been labelled as a liar.
A person is more than a label and it is advisable to give the other the benefit of doubt before generalizing. Yes we do expect certain behavior traits from say a policeman or a postman!
By not labelling people we can deal with them in a more relaxed, open minded and flexible manner.
Appreciating with the right choice of words and correcting behavior with the appropriate statements is a service provided by life coach Mr. Praveen Saanker at Tatvamasi.