Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Stop Labeling People

Labeling one's surroundings is a strongly rooted habit-
we subconsciously organize our environment into categories which help us "survive."
From a survivalist viewpoint, this tendency is extremely helpful-
we must label that area of the forest as dangerous, the members of a neighboring tribe as friendly or lethal, and that body of water as impure.

Arriving at quick conclusions when facing crucial survival situations is useful and promotes our well-being, but when that same tendency is practiced in a totally nonthreatening environment (e.g. our social lives), we actually hinder the flow of our happiness.

How We Organize the People Around Us

Most of us constantly form observations about others within the first few seconds of meeting them.
Their appearance, body language, and general "vibe" seem to communicate to us their personalities.
This alone, in its "pure" act, is a very harmless exercise. There is nothing wrong with deducing a person's emotions, attitude, and mood through what they subconsciously and consciously communicate.

We can use our empathy to tell if a person is happy, tired, sad, grumpy, confident, insecure, and what not. Still, this observation, even when done in a totally neutral manner, can only go so far as to describe a person in the moment one is observing them.
One can not wear the signs of their past unless they are living their past as a habit.

Although helpful when using empathy in order to connect with others, observing others easily and frequently goes awry. Instead of observing others in order to relate to them, we form opinions that separate us from others.

Projecting Onto Others and Cloudy Judgement

Once we stop observing others with a clear mind and open heart, we create opinions based on judgement and separation from that person.

When we see someone who looks a certain way we do not like, we react emotionally- usually with a subtle sense of annoyance or disgust, because that person does not fit the expectations we hold. We can also attribute this undesired appearance to a personality trait or lifestyle we disapprove of.

Someone who sees another dressed in revealing clothes and lots of makeup might react negatively and consider the person cheap, vain, or trashy because they do not look the way they're comfortable with. Once these almost instantaneous opinions form, they harbor extremely negative emotions, thoughts, and behavior towards others.

The person doing the judging is separating him or herself from the other person- isolating themselves from a person who seems to possess traits they do not like. In reality, those very traits are usually possessed by the person doing the judging. This projection of undesired traits onto others causes a majority of the problems within social interactions. 

This can also happen with seemingly "positive" reactions to people. Someone might see traits that they feel they do not have or they deeply admire about themselves in another and rate the person highly. The person doing the rating is attached to these traits and attaches to people who possess these traits. These judgments can lead to obsession. This can also lead a person into regarding the other so highly that they lose respect for themselves and give up their power- like an imbalanced relationship where one is "better" or "more desirable" than the other.

Projections are created when one does not accept themselves completely, when one's limiting beliefs cause them to disown traits and qualities they possess or have the potential to cultivate, and when depends on their surroundings to define themselves.

How to Stop Projecting Labels Onto Others

If one wants to stop projecting onto others, one most accept themselves fully and truthfully evaluate themselves in a clear-minded manner.
One must accept and bring up the things about them they are uncomfortable with. One has to work through these issues and let go of limiting beliefs in order to find total self acceptance.

In order to let go of limiting beliefs, one has to stop projecting fears onto him or herself. Usually, these fears come from the past or present. One can be so caught up on the past that they forget the power in the present, or one can be so anxious about the future that they do not process the feelings and emotions they are presently experiencing.

When one simply lets go of the past and future and lives in the moment, the nagging script of past mistakes and expectations of the future subside and one can tune into the possibilities of the present. One can be clear in the present. Only in the present can one avoid being defined by their past actions and future plans.

One must also practice maintaining an open heart towards themselves and towards others. When one acts from their heart, they do not project expectations onto others. Instead, one can act from a place of genuine care and understanding for those around him or her.

Humans are social creatures, and happiness can not come from isolating one's self from the rest of the population due to illusory beliefs and misconstrued view points.

Connecting with others on a blank slate allows happiness and well-being to flow for both parties.

How to Stop Objectifying Yourself

Everyone possesses a different set of values. Judging others based on conflicting value systems does not result in any positive progress, connection, or sustainable enjoyment.
Yet common ground exists between most people living within society.
One of the most controversial themes existing throughout social boundaries is the subject of objectifying people into mere sexual or visual objects.

Although the individual does not possess control over how others react and perceive them, individuals have the power to send conscious and subconscious messages as to how they would like to be treated. Behavior and choices all contribute to how an individual suggests others treat him or her.

If You've Got It, Flaunt It

A person with a healthy self esteem will feel comfortable with their body. They accept and take care of their body and take pride in keeping up their health and appearances. Some individuals perceive a certain wardrobe as immodest, whilst others may think it acceptable and attractive.

The intention behind how we show off our bodies is much more important and weighty than the actual clothing we wear.

If one wears revealing clothing in order to gain attention and admiration, one risks becoming a mere physical object. Yet, another person may wear the same outfit out of admiration for the style and appearance of the actual clothing. 

We live in a world of intention, and what we pay attention to grows.
If one merely focuses on how many approving glances are thrown his or her way when looking a certain way and fitting a certain image, one becomes reliant upon others' reactions to validate their identity and value.

If one focuses too much on appearances, one equates themselves to the level of beauty one believes they occupy. Beauty becomes a qualitative competition, and the pursuit of such "beauty" harbors negative feelings for the individual and for the individual's acquaintances and friends.

You are not just your face.
Although a person's expression and body language signal their inner activity and emotions, there is no deep meaning behind socially celebrated features.
Large breasts do not make you more of a woman.
Huge arms do not make you more of a man.
A tiny nose and plump lips do not make you a better person.

Although taking care and maintaining the physical body is crucial to happiness and well-being, the identifications made with the physical attributes are purely egotistical and illusory.
Looking a certain way does not demand of you a certain behavior.

Looks Fade

Vanity in moderation never hurt anyone. There is nothing wrong in taking pride in appearance and looking a certain way because it makes you happy. 
When we attempt to look a certain way in order to please others, we lose our power.

Generally, women will always research the certain "looks" the general male population approves of, and men will always look to the GQ or Men's Health magazine.

Besides the ingrained survival instincts that cause men to prefer fertile, curvy women and women to prefer tall, broad shouldered men, the rest of our opinions are generated by the media.

At one point in time, the general population thought blondes were better because of the prevalence of blue eyed, blonde haired starlets being treated like princesses and winning Prince Charming in the movies and television. Some of us know how ridiculous it is to mark one hair color superior to others. Yet some are still living under this subtle suggestion.

Women are constantly dying their hair or changing their makeup in order to emulate the latest celebrity. Usually, these celebrities condone an image based on sexual prowess. Smoky eyes, pushed up breasts, bedroom hair, and non-existent clothing has become the norm. Sex sells in the entertainment industry, but those celebrities are being paid to be watched.

The prevalence of sexually exciting celebrities serves as a "source of inspiration" for the population. The population relates to the sensationalism of the media. We expect the admiration from being a beauty to be gawked at because we compare ourselves to the airbrushed people working in an industry that expressly depends on looks to function and thrive.

The distinction between the entertainment world and real world has been severely blurred.

Why This Hurts Your Self Esteem

If one wants to be a slave to providing visual pleasure, then that is a personal choice.
But happiness is not to be found exploiting a subjective ideal.
There will always be people who do not find you attractive and do not see your beauty.
There will always be people who others find more attractive and beautiful than you.
There will always be people who just don't care how you look.

And then there are the people who equate you to your looks because you do it to yourself first.
There are people who only value your beauty.
There are people who only want to sleep with you because of your looks.
There are people who will criticize and judge you based on appearance.

Accepting the fact that approval does not lie within others will free you from pursuing ideals dependent on the opinions of others. Once you start living and looking the way you want to for yourself, life gets a lot better.

The Thing About Modesty

Modesty is subjective. 
Yet, its hard to deny that overexposure just isn't attractive anymore.
When one constantly wears revealing clothes, there is no mystery.
There can also be no denying that wearing very revealing clothing sends off a specific message. 
Some people see past the clothing and disregard it, but 
the majority of people will associate overexposure to negative traits.

"Why are you dressing like that anyways?" is a good question to think about.
People with nice bodies like to flaunt their nice bodies- they work hard on them.
But one should be careful not the become their nice bodies.
The unhealthiest habits can come from the most beneficial choices.

Just You

You'll never please everyone and even wanting to is such a drag.
Just try to be aware of why you choose to look the way you look.
And if you are experiencing certain social interactions that become the norm for you, evaluate your situation.

If you are being treated a certain way, the cold, hard truth is your looks probably have something to do with it.
Just learn to differentiate between your physical looks and your expressions and body language- which actually have more meaningful implications.

How to not objectify others is for another time.