Archive | April 30, 2013

Should we use labels to define others or Don’t call me human!


Labels A number of times, when I’ve mentioned that someone is an Empath, they say it’s a label, and they don’t like using labels.

As it goes, I’m ambivalent about if this is really an issue.

The question I have is: How do you define something without a label? If people refused to be categorized then how can they identify who they are, and what they can do?

Fact is, everything is a label. Defining your gender requires a label.

If you specialize in something, it requires a label. For instance, if someone is a medical practitioner, you would call them a ‘doctor’, which is a label. They would hardly say, don’t call me ‘doctor’ because you’re labelling me. At least you would hope they wouldn’t as you want to know who is a doctor so you would know who to see if you have health issues.

Race, abilities, body type, hobbies, professions, skills and everything requires some kind of definition and like it or not, we use labels all the time because no one would have a clue what we’re talking about unless we use some agreed on definition that gives us a point of reference.

If someone has the signs and traits of an Empath, it is easier to say, you may be an Empath than go into the dozens of abilities they may have, probably losing them about a third of the way in. I feel labels are fine.

The thing I feel should be avoided is stereotyping people because of using a label. It’s like saying, you’re a male (labelling) and all men are bastards (stereotyping). (Whereas, there may be some who might not be. 🙂 )

Also, problems arise when they are used as a means to degrade others, however that is more an issue of bullying and attacking rather than defining.

Labelling helps us to define, and gives us an agreed standard on which to discuss a topic on. Next time someone objects to being defined by means of a label, ask them how they would do it then and see if they can come up with a reasonable response.

Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

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