Friday, May 21, 2010

Labeling

My four year old granddaughter has labeled herself as being shy. She's says she's too shy to talk on the phone.. too shy to do this or that. She's an adorable and smart little girl so I hate to see her labeling like this. (I was a shy child myself. My mom tells me if anyone so much as looked at me I would hide behind her skirts.)

I was sitting here thinking about my grandchildren this morning.. something I do a lot, by the way. It struck me how much we all label ourselves in different ways. We're too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too ugly, too dumb, etc. I began to wonder how those labels might affect how we all live our lives. What we might miss because of them.

The labels I give myself did not escape me. There were a couple in the short list above, in fact. Missing from that list though were my phobias. Social anxiety, panic attacks, a mild case of agoraphobia. Oh yes. Those can be labels, too.

I can't count the times I've thought about going to buy groceries, to get my hair cut, anything(!).. even something like looking at spa filters.. but did not because of me labeling myself. Oh! I can't do this. I have social anxiety. Nope. Can't do that either because I have agoraphobia.

I wonder how much more I could do without those labels. Maybe not a LOT more because I still DO have those issues.. but maybe more than I do now.

Do you label yourself in any way?

6 comments:

Robyn Jones said...

My little boy is pretty shy...He has been coming out of it slowly, but then yesterday at soccer he totally regressed back into shy boy...he is on a new team...wouldn't kick the ball..wouldn't look at the coach..walked around looking down at the ground with his fingers in his mouth....and finally just came back and sat on me on the sidelines..despite my best effort and grandmas..he would have nothing to do with it...Guess he was having a bad day...
As you know I have panic attacks.. I try not to let them control my life... every once in a while though they still take over...Your right...I think most people live with labels...

Misty Dawn said...

Hmmmm. Physically - lacking in 'abilities' (only you will 'get' that). Emotionally - Someone with absolutely zero self confidence who blames herself for almost everything. (poor ants)

SilverNeurotic said...

I hate labeling, yet, I find I do it anyway. I wish I didn't, I wish there was an easy way to "avoid" it but I haven't found it yet.

Jeni said...

As a child, one of the first "labels" put on me had to do with my mouth -the shape of it and also, the volume of it too. I was a "big mouth" then came the one that I really hated about the teeth -"buck teeth" ya know. Initially, some relatives said it was inherited from my Dad's one sister but my Mom said that was from her sucking her thumb and which I didn't do. The family dentist told my Mom my teeth would never hold up if they had braces on them so that, plus the expense, ruled out straightening the teeth. Then, I was told the teeth became crooked because my second teeth came in too early and could have been corrected -without braces -had a few selective extractions been done. It wasn't until I got my lower plate that I learned the actual problem was a maloclusion of the lower jaw -not the upper jaw-and that this is apparently a hereditary problem since older daughter as well as her son both have the same issue. Grandson had braces early; my daughter had to have surgery on her jaw and braces after that because hers was corrected when she turned 21. Mine -never corrected and that life long label of "buck teeth" has stuck with me, on the inside anyway and is one of several issues about which I tend to be very self-conscious.

rose said...

Unfortunately, labels seem to be the thing. I, think that we all have labels, YOU'RE TOO FAT. YOUR'E TOO THIN, YOU'RE TOO TALL, YOU'RE TOO SHORT,and the list goes on. I, think it's more important what and how we react to the labels. Some of these lables, we can't get rid off and some we can toss out of the window. My weight is my forever issue and carries you're too fat. I'm not good about keeping the weight off, so goes the label. Iwill keep working on this label.

Forgetfulone said...

My daughter was labeled shy long ago, and she still is, to a certain degree, but it is possible to break out of a shell.

I label myself as not good enough, not pretty enough, not "whatever" enough. I label myself as outspoken, but sometimes I wish I were more meek.