Whatever label a person gives to themselves (or to anyone else) is a result of the way they think. That’s why I think labels are important. They’re not just words but an expression of identity and opinions. Those are most of the things that make a person who they are. Labels allow us to categorize and organize the world we live in. They are important in some forms of communication, but I find that social labels and name tags cause more division and damage than good.
People wear their name tags without a second thought, it is all a part of wanting to be accepted by a group or tribe. I find that often other people’s labels of a person "matter more" than the ones a person chooses for themselves. It doesn’t mean that it is correct or useful though. It is a very primitive form of societal development that should be closely examined before we glue ourselves down to a social paradigm that is difficult to escape.
We tend to be as group oriented. As far as I’m concerned I’m me with my individual views and outlooks. Perhaps this is the problem. Too many people affiliate themselves to a group because they really don’t have the gumption to think for themselves. Sorry, don’t mean it to come out disrespectful but you know what I mean.
I often feel that my views do not fit nicely into any pre-made box, so I tend to buck the idea of labeling myself as part of this political group or that religious ideology. That said, I think it’s natural for all of us to label ourselves to some extent. Labels matter as labels say something about the person who puts them on. So, having the reality of what the label says being pointed out is a kindness, usually as lots of people have magical thinking in this regard. "If the label is good therefor I am good." Which isn’t the case you’re only good if you do good … no label will change that. I’m not sure what merit there is in labeling ourselves, but I do believe to some extent it’s human nature to try and define our place in the world and our views, in relation to where other people stand.
I’m not a fan of labels. I don’t like being labeled and I don’t enjoy labeling myself. I am a human that deals solely with what is in front of me and the capacity of my awareness. The only label I enjoy wearing is Realist, although, it is difficult to keep the label from wearing off.
Labels are designed so you know where stuff belongs. We label all kinds of things (moving boxes, file folders, kitchen containers, ect) so it seems natural that we would label ourselves as well as others. Sometimes our labels are relevant to others. Example: you support the LGBT community so you would never go to a place that discriminates against them. Labels allow us to identify with others of the same likeness and it also helps to identify which people we just won’t get along with.
Labels are important as they allow us to put others and ourselves into neat, comforting little boxes, which better helps us to categorize each and every little thing in our world. It’s a measure of control where none actually exists. I am much more than any label could define and I believe that all people are also. You could use a million labels to help identify yourself and then there would still be much more to any of you than the sum of those words. A label is a set of descriptions, it attempts to encapsulate a number of qualities into a given type of person. This is almost always a false assessment, though the initial prejudgement may be helpful to our survival and success.
Labels are necessary to build models for understanding the world, and the people in the world. Too quick to label is the exact reason I feel uneasy about social labels. Labels will identify what our "ideals, belief, and values." But, when you say "You are a feminist." Feminists are different among themselves too. It’s not same ideals, belief, and values among all feminists. Single classification and categorization should not apply for every labels. All feminists does not conform to 100% to feminism and they does not view feminism as "black and white." It will be applicable to other labels too.
Ego requires an "other" to form an identity. There is no individual identity without a relationship to an other that defines the difference between self and the others. An other can be animate or inanimate (persons or environments) The more diverse the relationships one has the more sophisticated the identity of self becomes. The differences that set self apart from the others is the "real identity." Those things which we all share in common, the human universals, are not part of the "real identity" of the individual. Given the complex and dynamic nature of relationships and the accumulation of experience over time identity should be considered to be "fluid" in nature, changing in context to external conditions. "True identity" should be considered to be those traits that remain stable across most, if not all, domains. People generaly do not show their real identity. And yes, I think it depends on where they are and with whom. Maybe they think that their "real them" it’s not good enough, not attractive to others. They play their roles, wear masks. It’s always fluid. The more solid you think your identity is the more fucked up in the head you really are. Of course, too far in the opposite direction, Schizophrenia, is bad too.
If you wanna know your "one" real identity, can you do that? You can’t. Anyone who says they have is either lying to you to seem impressive or is insane. Identity is not static, fixed, or set in stone, but in a constant state of becoming, growth, development, etc. Wear your identity like a loose fitting garment. Wear your identity like one of those jackets that can be reversed and still worn correctly and comfortable.
We make it too easy to label ourselves and other people. More often than not, it is our material possessions that do the labeling for us. There is little to no actual communication between the label-er and the labeled. It can be very small things from mismatched fashion, to a brand of coffee you might enjoy.
I think we all agree that labels in some points can be good, after all it’s just identity. And we all need to feel good about ourselves and know where we stand in the world. I’m reasonably confident everyone views themselves as a good person with good intent. So I start there.