I’m sure a lot of us do this. We meet someone, befriend them, think we know them fully after a few months, then place them in certain categories or boxes in our mind. It is natural to do so. For example, I meet a loud, frank, outspoken person at a party and in my head, I will label him or her as an extrovert (who probably should learn to calm down a bit).
I get to know the person more and realize that everything she/he does is matching the initial label I placed on him/her. This is happening because of the fact that I placed a mental stamp across this individual’s personality. What we don’t realize is that mental stamps can be so strong that they rarely allow us to see anything that contradicts it.
We need to realize that just like we see ourselves as being more than just a singer, a dancer, a book lover, so does everyone else. I sure wouldn’t appreciate being called the writer girl” as I am much more than that. Agreed it makes up a big part of who I am, but it isn’t the complete me.
Humans are dynamic. The minute you think you’ve figured someone out completely, there is always another aspect, a quirk of theirs which emerges. No individual is static and stable throughout life. Just as life goes on, experiences occur, mistakes are made, newer things are learnt. All of this contributes to the ever changing aspects of individuals.
Moreover, a lot of people enjoy referring to their homosexual friends as “meet my gay best friend”. Why do we have to mention that they are gay? By saying that aren’t you consciously placing a stereotype in the other individual’s head? We don’t introduce our heterosexual friends as “meet my straight friend”. People are much more than their sexual orientations.
The next time you talk to your friend who you consider a serial dater, don’t approach them with the attitude of “oh she’s hopeless”, but instead keep in mind that that is only one part of her. Let us thus stop labeling and placing people in mental boxes. Instead let’s open the gate and allow space for their different traits.