Have you ever noticed that things become more ‘serious’ or ‘real’ when a label is slapped on it? Now why is that? This may be obvious in terms of a relationship: two people can be ‘talking’ but when they decide to slap the label of a ‘relationship’ or ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ on it then all of a sudden it becomes more ‘real’ or more ‘serious.’
But meanwhile, nothing really changes besides the acknowledgement from both parties that this label is slathered on them now. They still go on doing the same things; watching movies, sharing dinners, etc.
Let’s take this a step further: you can exhibit all the characteristics of this one type of person, but until that label is given to you, it seems somehow less real, less important or just not true.
I can be lifting weights everyday, tracking my macros every meal, and getting sufficient rest for the pat 5, 6 or even 10 years. It’s pretty obvious that this person is living the bodybuilding lifestyle, I can even introduce myself to others as a bodybuilder but somehow, things become more genuine when a bodybuilding judge or a commentator labels you as a ‘bodybuilder.’
Does putting a label on things or people truly make it more ‘real’ or is this just a facet of human psychology? Or does the process of ‘labeling’ by an authoritative figure actually make things more real?
What about on an individual basis? When you graduate from school and finally become that doctor or engineer or journalist, you can then truthfully label yourself as that occupation.
But the whole time before that authoritative figure (the Dean, or principal, etc.) gives you that stamp of approval you’ve already been doing those journalistic or engineering things. So does the label really change anything or is it just a placebo effect? Almost undoubtedly, this ‘label’ makes you more of a ‘real’ journalist even though you’ve been doing ‘real journalistic things’ for the past four years in school.
From people to people, the ‘labeling’ dilemma still exists. If two people are screaming at each other, and a bystander comes in and says ‘why are you guys arguing?’ All of a sudden the argument becomes more ‘real’ since it has just been labelled an argument.
And then there are the negative labels. Those who are labelled a pedophile, a rapist or a sex offender are immediately considered to be the scum of the earth. This is not an attempt to condone those heinous acts, rather it shows how hard it is for someone to remove that label even when it is proven that they are not what they are accused of.
So is ‘labeling’ just an aspect of the human mind that reinforces what we believe or is there some sort of weird truth and reality in having someone (preferably an authoritative figure) confirm our perceptions of ourselves?
Let me know down below!