Labeling or Name-calling.
We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label.
I often witness people labeling themselves harshly. Whenever I hear an unhelpful label, I invite people to consider changing that label to something less toxic and more conducive to growth and healing.
Yesterday, in therapy, when I heard the labels “lazy” and “stupid,” I suggested an all-purpose, one-size-fits-all replacement to any unhelpful, habitual label.
Let’s see if this works. Imagine, for the moment, any harsh label you apply to yourself, especially during times of anxiety, depression, and stress. Now, replace that label with this:
Did that work?
How might you humans label any of these other photos I snapped yesterday?
How might you label this whole post?
Thanks to all humans who helped me create this one-label-fits-all post and special thanks to all those who are finding this blog fit to visit, here and now.