Of course, this is also a really bad thing to do. In the extreme, by allowing the labels to completely take over we become racists, fascists, communists, or just generally inconsiderate people that define other people through their labels. This is a bad thing itself, and we should naturally avoid it. However, so much has been said about this that I don’t think I can bring anything new into the picture. That’s why I want to flip the concept over, and talk about discriminating against yourself.
Just as we apply the labels to other people, we also apply to ourselves. For example, depending on the social environment and my past few weeks of successes – or lack thereof – I tend to perceive myself as a friend, scientist, runner, philosopher, blogger, reader, boyfriend, family, or whatever is important in the current context. But they’re all labels.
The point is very simple here: don’t let labels define your actions. Stopping that from happening, that’s the hard part. It’s difficult to notice the implicit labels, because we do it so unconsciously. But if you ask yourself “why am I doing this?” and find yourself answering that “because that’s who I am”, then that’s a definite warning sign.