It starts at a young age. Schools encourage it. Our families help define it. We begin our lives with the labels they give us like big brother, baby sister, only child. And as we get older, they just get more serious.
Sometimes the way we’re perceived such as the “good one,” the “bad one,” the “troubled one,” the “drama queen,” inevitably follow us throughout the rest of our life. Sometimes these seemingly harmless labels take on a life of their own. If we don’t achieve our own sense of self, they begin to define who we are. And we grasp on tight.
These lyrics from the Barenaked Ladies song What a Good Boy reminds me of the pressures they can have on us:
“When I was born they looked at me and said
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy
And when you were born they looked at you and said
What a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl
We’ve got these chains that hang around our necks
People want to strangle us with them before we take our
I think it’s easy to get caught up in the roles that people give us. It’s just as easy to accept the false identities we give ourselves. It takes courage to step out of these labels, but discovering who we really are and loving and accepting that person without judgment may be the key to living your own life, label-free.
Hope you have a great weekend! *And remember to vote for your favorite SXSW 2012 Interactive panel ideas here.
(Anxiety & OCD Exposed) – We all have our ups and downs. But knowing whether this is a phase or a sign it’s time to seek treatment from a mental health professional may be difficult. Read these seven signs to help determine if you or someone you love needs help.
(Weightless) – How do you know what recovering from an eating disorder looks like? Here Margarita shares quotes from experts on defining eating disorder recovery and from individuals who have successfully recovered from ED.
(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – I know it’s hard not to do it. You might be doing it right now. If you have a tendency to judge and criticize others, including yourself, read this. This post provides tips on how to stop the cycle of negativity through lovingkindness.
(Aging Well) – There’s no doubt about it. Caring for loved ones is hard. The impact can cause caregivers especially those of traumatic illnesses to feel overly responsible for the health and well-being of those they care for. This top post is an important reminder that caregivers also need to be taken care of themselves.
(Adventures of a Bipolar Mom) – It’s not easy knowing what it’s like for someone with an illness. It’s one of those things that may be difficult to imagine unless you’re in their shoes. But bipolar mom Beth does a good job of explaining what it’s like for her so that others can relate.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Sep 2011
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Uyemura, B. (2011). Best of Our Blogs: September 2, 2011. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/09/02/best-of-our-blogs-september-2-2011/