image Don’t label Me, Experience Me.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/billburris/5443826078/in/photolist-9i42Qj-8CoJFq-5MZLYk-amFvsd-8BBWXw-po4PLz-qjsa3-ocPEWj-pRLjQM-rxPmUh-p5N9Xy-4t7KKg-ocPJWo-qvK1k6-pis6KD-4t7KPp-a1VSzd-9TqJcG-BWju4-7rQRmJ-b2i1aF-4t7KRV-ic6Jjc-9TqJbj-dbd1ru-e1tqFv-pzY4Qr-rmxGnu-4t7KCn-6QL59x-pis732-4U2GA-vWska-ou2XX6-6WxZ7J-drLSag-apoyNE-5qyM32-5gDpT-7xBnhV-pZum9w-oshhDy-hKCq2o-qNbVxZ-ouhvwm-po3f9U-ouj6E2-3GdweV-pRpRBe-qvK22M

When you label us, you negate us.

Placing labels on people is unfair and quite honestly, it’s a wasted effort. Don’t label us, experience us instead!

I am a unique being. I have many things I excel at, I have been through many things that very few have gone through, many life experiences to offer people, many parts of my being and of course, I have many imperfections. To list all of them all would be a disservice to the ones I leave out. The good and even the bad that I need to be held accountable for my actions.

Many of us are the same way. In fact, we all are. We all have our own uniqueness and specialties to offer to the people of this world.

We are all human after all. We can teach people all our lessons, share our expertise, and even share our imperfections/missteps to help others avoid them if people open up to us and refrain from labeling.

Once we are labeled, we are confined and attached to a preconceived notion. This could be good or bad, but ultimately, it limits us.

I don’t fit in to any one category, yet it is easy and convenient for most people to attach a label to me. Attaching a label makes it easier for a person to decide who I am, whether it really is who I am or if is not who I am. I can show you truly who I am if you are open to me and rid your mind of any labels that may all ready be attached to me.

I have been labeled a hot head, partly because I wear my emotions on my sleeve, an emotional roller coaster, for the same reasons just mentioned, a push over because I give in too easy sometimes and will simply choose the company of a person/people to be around instead of an activity that interests me, a risk taker because I can act impulsively, high maintenance because I’m a perfectionist, low maintenance because I’m impatient and want to experience as much as possible and again occasionally act impulsively, a passionate lover because I’m highly communicative and aim to please, a selfish lover because I am not shy to call the shots and easy going because I get along well with everyone just to name a few.

I have been labeled one or more of these by any one or a number of people.

Yet none of those labels completely defines who I am. Any one, two or even more labels attached to me encapsulate me. I am more than any one of the sum of those parts. However I am all those things and more. To place a label on me is unfair to those who paths I’m destined to cross. Get to know me, the real me and avoid placing any one or a number of labels.

When people label us it confines us and stunts us to be unique and authentic. The labels attached to us simply do not tell the whole story of who we are. In essence, our story ends when a label is attached. People rarely want to dig deeper once they have a simplistic view of us.

To label us limits our potential for authentic connection. Those labels make me feel uncomfortable. It even makes me feel uncomfortable to label other people. I choose to feel, connect and experience people, not label them.

When we allow another person to label us it gives them a certain amount of ownership over who we are.

Its much better to be introduced simply by your name, or to do your own self-introduction minus any association with the person accompanying us. We can take it from there. In this way, people get to know us on their own terms and formulate their own opinions of us minus the potential introductory label. We know who we are and we know how we feel about who we are with those people who introduce us. We also know how they feel about us. Anything beyond the additional introduction of name is an uphill battle we have to fight through or potential unfair standard we have to live up to.

It’s better practice to develop and create unique and meaningful experiences and connections with people through common interests. Let our actions speak for who we are.

Labels also get tricky when we are dealing with ex lovers that we are still friends with. When an ex-lover labels us, one of two things potentially happen.

Number 1it means we are off-limits to any type of deep or meaningful connection with other people that we are associated with through them. We are in essence already spoken for by that person. They in a sense have an ownership over us. They anchor us down with their labels.

Number 2a label from an ex tends to simply the relationship we had with that person and doesn’t speak for the entire experience. It also gives off the message that we may not have been good enough for that person to keep us around. A label from an ex means that the introduction is based off their interpretation and their interpretation only of your relationship. Their choice of words, their labels, not ours.

I choose to label or judge no human being.

When you label me, you may only focus on my imperfections, or any negative qualities I may unfortunately carry with me sometimes. I battled addiction demons. To be labeled an addict affects me because that’s all people will tend to focus on. They will overlook and negate my recovery. I will always be labeled as “the addict.” Or people may tend to focus on one particular mistake I’ve made in my past.

One incident should never define me or anyone else. They are a part of us, but they do not define our entire existence. The labels of our imperfections may also be overlooked by the obstacles we overcame to distance ourselves from that label.

Having a label attached to us diverts our efforts from establishing and building unique connections with new people. We have to rake through the muck of labels to finally show our true authenticity.

I am very strict about not labeling, or even judging people. Placing a label or judgment on another person can affect their ability to be open and be authentic in their interactions with me. It may even shut them down, and  lead to a potential missed connection/opportunity.

Labels also carry little meaning to me in current relationships and friendships. I know who I am with people and I know what I feel. I can feel it with them. I see no need to place a label, that limits who we are when we spend time together. If we bond and we are close and are attracted to each other than it is what it is. That is more important to me than to have a discussion about where we fit in each other’s lives. I’d rather live and be happy and feel joy from my partners presence than to be focused on a label that limits or brackets our potential. I prefer to be free from a label so we can open up deeper in our connection and have no limitations. We can be so much more without the label. We can connect so much deeper.

The best relationship I ever had had no label.

We were very open with our communication. We never needed to discuss what we were to each other. We just knew. We had deep conversations late in to the nights. We were playful, we were passionately intimate. We both knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams. We knew when to be close, we knew when we needed space and we knew what the other wanted out of our experience together. A label could have created a boundary that limited our potential to deeply connect. A label could have put rules in place when we made our own unwritten and unspoken rules by our own actions and our own connections.

Live your life full, connect deeply with those who understand you free from labels. Create your own connections and let the actions speak for themselves. Actions always speak volumes over words. Experience people, never label them. Accept them for ALL they are, and even all they are not. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you cant deeply connect with someone based off your experience and interaction on your own terms minus the labels others attach to them. Let us feel and experience each other, not label each other.

So I urge you, let me be who I am. Let others be who they are. Free from labels and attachments. Let me and let us introduce ourselves and let us connect with people on our own. Let us show people who we are from by our interactions with each other. Let’s us all be unique and build our own unique connections with people.

Author: Adam Wilkinson

Image: flickr

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