Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.

Reading the Labels

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Johnny Depp during the Paris premiere of Publi...

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” I am doing things that are true to me.  The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled.” – Johnny Depp

Over the last few weeks, something interesting has happened.  The people in my life, have been labeling me.  Some of my labels have been good, some have been bad.  All this labeling got me wondering, “What exactly do people think of me?”

Labeling refers to putting people into group, based on certain behaviors or beliefs.  Giving someone a label makes us to feel empowered.  It also allows to better understand  behaviors, by knowing what to expect, based on what the label means.

There must be something about my personality, that makes people feel comfortable expressing a label for me.  I am very vocal about my own ideas and thoughts.  Maybe people think because I am so open, they can be open with me.

Here are some examples of labels, I have been given.

The Good

  • Funny
  • Friendly
  • Helpful
  • Good Mother
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Supportive
  • Outgoing
  • Motivating
  • Organized
  • Compassionate

The Bad

  • Loud
  • Weak
  • Opinionated
  • Stubborn
  • Whiny
  • Inflexible

The Ugly

  • Judgemental
  • Biased
  • Anal
  • Sarcastic
  • Bossy
  • Dominating
  • Unforgiving

The good labels are wonderful to hear.  As a matter of fact, I light up when I hear them.  Is is fantastic to hear that someone thinks I am funny, kind and compassionate.

The bad labels make think.  The usually are based upon a particular situation or day I am having.  They are not usually long-term.  When I hear them, I become motivated to change.

The ugly labels ruin my day.  When someone shares with me their unflattering label for me, it is harder to move past the comment.  Ugly labels are just that ugly.  They are mean-spirited and usually not helpful.  In a way, they are a form of bullying, by putting a person in a negative stereotypical category.

The thing about labeling is everyone does it.  I label people all the time.

“He is so irrational.”

“You are simple-minded.”

“I think your Mom is controlling”

“She is always so sweet.”

Listening to way people view me is humbling.   For the most part, none of the labels I have recently been given, really say who I am.  They only reflect certain behaviors I project.  Labels view a person from the exterior, not interior.  Most of who I really am lies well beneath my surface.

So what do I do with all the labels people give to me?  Simple.  I need to realize that each label given to me is someone’s opinion.  It may or may not be true.  What really matters, is how I identify myself.

I appreciate people giving me input, but I don’t need a label.  They never stick to me anyway.

Author: insanityofmotherhood

Mom of three boys, wife, educator, and all around nice gal in the middle of a midlife something. It's not a crisis, but it's something…

2 thoughts on “Reading the Labels

  1. You made me stop and think about what my own label on a jar of “me” would say. The ingredient list would be pretty long, but my shelf life is good. And (so far, anyway) I’m 100% natural.

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