To Those Who Wrongfully Label – A Letter

Dear Label Maker,

 
Please resist the urge to label that which you don’t understand. I know that sometimes the world can be a confusing place and that it brings out the temptation to create definitions, but doing so can be harmful to others. If you want to understand what someone is going through, please have the decency to ask instead of jumping to conclusions.

 
Creating false labels is not only caustic to those who you label, but also causes misconceptions and stigmas. Stigmas are extremely dangerous because they put people into categories and set limits that no matter what, people cannot escape due to the fact that so many people put their faith in these false notions instead of faith in individuals to overcome their obstacles.

 
Mislabeling is also extremely selfish. While labeling someone may cause you relief because it leaves you feeling like you understand a situation, it causes the individual you are labeling unease and discomfort. It is hard enough struggling without having to deal with others making up their own conclusions based on what they hear, read, or simply make up in their mind.

 
Last but not least, mislabeling breeds ignorance. Being ignorant on a certain subject is never a positive thing; this goes for both the individual who labels and the person being labeled. Having false intelligence about something is not the same as being truly educated and having the wrong idea about something or someone, can lead to mistreatment – and incorrect treatment – of others.

 
I hope that if you are reading this, you realize the ramifications of labeling someone or something that you don’t truly understand. Mislabeling only leads to aggravation and hurt feelings. If you want to make sure you truly understand something and are not just creating your own definitions, please ask the person who is struggling in a kind way to explain what they are going through. I guarantee they will appreciate you coming to them first instead of going to others for information.

 

Thank You,

B.G.

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11 thoughts on “To Those Who Wrongfully Label – A Letter

  1. Right on! This applies to more than mental illness – it can well apply to every aspect of our lives. Getting to know the full story before we label or make a judgment should be our first instinct, not our last.

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