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Labels define us.
As we have all experienced numerous times, when we first meet someone, our conversation usually starts with something like this.
‘Hi I’m Adam, nice to meet you.’
‘Hi Adam, I’m Jason, pleased to meet you also. So what do you do?’
There, right there! We are being put on the spot, we have to offer a label that defines who we are. Usually by a profession of some kind, like an engineer or a designer. Some may choose to pull out a business card at this point, which produces a job titles such as a Marketing Director or Finance Manager. Further into their conversation as they get to know each other, they may draw out the hobbies card like a scuba diver or skier.
In the end, why do people feel like they should put a label on themselves. Does it provide them with a sense of belonging or highlights some personality attributes that you possess? Labels are important, that’s why they are on our items of clothing, handbags, plane tickets, electronic appliances, even this blog post. But putting a label on ourselves takes all the fun out of it and strikes out all the other things that we could possibly be at any point in time.
Can I suggest you try this next time you meet someone for the first time – ‘Hi I’m Michelle and I’m a nothing’. See whether that is a conversation stopper or a conversation starter. You’d be surprised! You might get a more positive response than if you responded by saying you were an accountant, trust me, I know!
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