Dating profile: He must have dark hair, be over 6′ tall, fit, successful, have a reputable career, want kids, love to travel, live within 10 miles, and have lots of time for me. No I will not meet you for coffee. If I’m not worth dinner, don’t even bother. No cheap dates!
“He never listens to me.” “He’s not in tune with what I’m thinking.” “I never really know how he’s feeling.” “I just wish we could have a meaningful conversation.” “He’s bad at showing his emotions.” “He never lets me in.”
Same person: “I want a ‘real man’ (not a sensitive one).”
Bit by bit we create fictitious relationships with people when how we act isn’t congruent with who we truly are. And then if we rely on or grow fond of those relationships, we become conditioned to elicit behaviors that aren’t a reflection of our true selves.
This poses a number of problems. Not least of which is the fact that the bigger the gap becomes between how we act and who we truly are, the more friction we feel. Even if we don’t feel uneasy at the time, living in an incongruent fashion eventually catches up with us and manifests itself as any number of relationship related issues.
Always strive to act as authentically as possible. By aligning how you act with who you truly are, you will not only form far more meaningful and rewarding relationships, you will naturally attract many more of the types of people you actually want in your life.
Now realize there are people in the world who don’t like a group of people that you fall within.
Whether it’s because of your profession, the color of your skin, your cultural background or something else entirely, you are disliked by people who don’t even know you simply because you fall within a stereotype.
Think it’s fair? Probably not. They don’t know you or what motivates you, how could it be fair?
If you’ve ever been stereotyped and didn’t like it, then refuse to stereotype others no matter how accurate you think the stereotype is.
It should go without saying, but no two people are exactly alike.
Every person on the planet draws upon a unique history of life experiences that shape who they are, how they see the world, and how they act.
Refuse to rely on a generalization or oversimplification from which to judge a group of people.
Resist disrespecting and speaking badly about others just because family, friends, the media, or society considers it acceptable to paint an entire race, culture, or group of people in a negative light.
Whatever your lifestyle preferences may be, respect people enough to give others a chance to show who they are by how they act.
Some of the best friendships in the world are between people who don’t necessarily agree on everything. It is our differences from one another that help us grow and push us to see the world from a perspective other than the one we’ve grown most comfortable with.
noun 1. a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
[This is not to say throw caution to the wind when you are in unfamiliar territory. Be cautious, be aware of your environment, and understand & respect cultural differences. This is simply to say that if you don’t like being stereotyped, don’t stereotype others.]