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What's your label?

(Warning, long rant ahead )

People can be pretty awesome. Some people are really smart, others are creative, some can make people smile and others know how to make you cry. We're all very much individual people with our own quirks and skills.

In general we're pretty cool but we do kinda have one common flaw though.

I'd say I can pass by at least a hundred people on a good day, when I'm at work I can probably see a good couple hundred if it's a manic day, I don't mean I talk to a couple hundred people (I'm really not a sociable creature) but on the shop floor at work I can see people walking by outside, people come in the the opticians and I even talk to some on the phone. If you live in a city or a really active community you might see more than that. We only see these people for a couple of seconds at the most and chances are we'll never see them again, we don't get time to start a conversation and get to know them, we just pass by them on the street. So we rely on out pass experiences to make a judgement about them, not a nasty one or anything but we look at them in those few seconds and pick things up, how they look, how they walk, are they with someone else? We use these split second observations to create a profile about them and aply this to our previous knowledge to see if this person is friendly or not.

Some people do this more in depth than others, I know at work I'm usually on the reception or greeting people, if I'm not repairing glasses, so that means in those 4 seconds it takes them to enter the the building to approaching me I can spot so much about them and then I adjust what I say next to adapt to what I think I know about that person. I'm not always right, I've really messed up at points but in general I'm good enough to not make a fool out of myself.

So once we've quickly analyses this person we tend to label them. In one of my psychology lessons we had quite a fun time looking at 90 people who had all committed a variety of crimes, we then had to label them to what crime we thought they looked liked they committed. The funny thing was thought that most the class got barley 20 right. We all labelled them wrong to quite a big extent. It jut showed how wrong our judgements of people can be.

This is the thing though, we don't always label people right. Sometimes we really get it wrong. I've done it in the past. The people I though I didn't want to be friends with were some of he people I grew closet to in school.

We get things wrong, especially when it comes to labelling people. If you asked most people in my college class they they would probably tell you that I'm a pretty sociable character that has too much energy for her own good. I'm often criticised as being too kind but very confident in myself. They'd tell you that I know how to present myself, they might even mention that I'm a little crazy, especially when I'm stressed.

That's how most people see me.

But they're wrong.

That person who they have me labelled as is as wrong as you can get.

I don't particularly like telling people about what I used to be like, don't get me wrong I wasn't aggressive, mean or anything like that, I was still very much me but I was very different. Describing myself I'd say I was childish.

So lets talk about 15 year old me.

Fun facts that most don't know about me is that as a child I didn't always fit in. Surprisingly I could socialize quite well but I preferred to be on my own, I didn't understand any sorts of boundaries when it came to physical contact until the end of primary and I had to learn very quickly at secondary what was and wasn't ok to do. I didn't work well in groups and spent most of my lunchtimes in my final year or primary alone in the library surrounded by books, because I was also very good at numbers I spent two of those lunch times in the office helping the receptionist with letters that were going to out various classes, I enjoyed finding patterns in the numbers I was looking at and other weird things. I guess I didn't need friends to be happy.

Secondary school was a bit of a shock. Who I was then I really noticed something I like to talk about because I really am ashamed at just how different and childish I was compared to others my age, but my final year was when things started to change.

By year 11 I didn't really have that many labels, I was a little antisocial and most knew I was dyslexic but other than that there was noting that stopped me from being a shadow and just another face in the crowd. This was the year that I finally understood that my own behavior wasn't like my friends and I dedicated that whole year to changing to create the false front that most see day to day now.

School canteens and corridors were pretty nasty for me to be in. I don't tell people how I view the world because I've realised that it wasn't how others did and I really don't want to be labeled as a attention seeker or some sad and lonely teenager who is desperate to be seen as an individual. But corridors and the canteen especially were stressful places for me shall we say. When I was in class I could try and deal with it but lunch times really were too loud, I guess there was just too many people. Sometimes things became too much and I would just run. At that age I didn't know I had anxiety, but I can tell you with full confident that I wasn't having a panic attack when I ran, this was something so much worse than any attack I could ever have.

 But it would happen in loud corridors with lots of nose and people and it was horrific, unlike a panic attack where I can calm myself down, the only thing I could do was shut the world out and hope for the best until it left. Most often you would find me sitting on the floor under a desk trying to shut out the world. In the middle of the year I started talking my headphones to school so when it happened I could use familiar music to help shut things out what helped so much. Most days I have my head phones with me now for that specific reason alone. Music really did help.

For the most part my friends were ok with my weird behavior, they though I was a bit dumb when it came to jokes because I didn't share their sense of humour and I got picketed on for that. But for the most part they didn't question me when they would see me sitting on the floor under a table with no shoes on reading a book ( as that was my favourite thing to do at lunch when I wasn't getting overloaded by life) and they didn't question me if I didn't speak all day other than to answer my name for the register or even when I would leave to go to the toilet and not come back for 20 minuets. But they did make remarks every now and then.

So eventually I'd had enough of my strange behavior mainly because I was getting lonely, my best friend at the time had moved schools and my other close friend had moved to Australia less than six months before. Sure I don't need friends but seeing how everyone else around me interacted with other people made me almost jealous. So I decided to d something about it. I was also very aware that I was starting college soon and I didn't want to be labelled as one of the weirdos, I knew I was going to have a hard enough time making friends without my behavior labeling me as something that I wasn't.

Books are awesome things! 

Remember before when I said that I would read at lunch? Those books that I read were about body language. Whilst I love fiction books I knew that I had to change so I would spend hours upon hours solely reading books about body language. Once I had gone through several of them I then moved on to psychology. I don't think I read a single fiction book that year at school. I was reading and trying to understand books that were far higher levels than what I studied at school, but I guess I was always a high flyer. I sent hours studying how people though and how most people interacted in their day to day lives. By Christmas in year 11 I was doing pretty good, I never applied what I learned at school but outside of school I was a different girl. I still have the notes I made and do sometimes re-read them.

I just wanted to be normal.

I still haven't completely hidden it though, Sure what i show the world is becoming better every day but I'm not there yet. Friends at college aren't always the most understanding, I have been old to pull myself together and stop being childish before and I've never read a book on how to act when you have tea at someones house or how you're even meant to conduct yourself at church. So sometimes I slip up and act like myself especially when I'm round at someones house for tea (eating and my anxiety is a big enough pain as it is without my screwy quirks).

People who know me don't know how odd I was. I know sitting on the floor is only a mildly weird quirk but I know what I was like.

So when people pass by me on the street they probably don't know what I'm really like. They might think I'm a social person as it's not uncommon to see me tagging along with someone else. But they'll never be right.I guess that could teach me something as well, I'm very good for judging people. So I know I need to work on that. But I know I'm not the only person who does that, everyone judges people. I guess that's just one of our flaws as people.

I have no idea where this post is going but labeling people is something that's been bothering me for a little while, so I figured I should try and get it off my chest.

I don't really like sticking random quotes on my posts, I've always think they are a little crindgeworthy if I'm honest (You really wouldn't think that thought, considering how many I have on my posts 😀) But I have no idea how to end thins long windied rant.

Keep on smiling guys.


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