Do Your Labels Reveal Your Biases?

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Whenever you label someone, you define them with all of the characteristics of the label you assign. When you give a person a label (drunk, racist, homophobe, saint, angel, Christian, Athiest, Black, White, Other Race, etc...), you are attaching all of the traits you have assigned to that label. By classifying a person with this list of qualities/traits, you become blinded to the real person. These labels cause your bias. The biases from these labels create the way you interact with the labeled person. These interactions are not as genuine and authentic due to the biases from your labels. When you become aware of this natural tendency, you can take steps to lessen the biases your labels create. You can even learn to stop labeling people.

The first step is awareness of your bias. There are psychological tests that can help you realize where your biases lie. An implicit association test will help to reveal your bias. These tests are based on race, sexual orientation, or weight and will reveal the subtle ways that your biases manifest themselves in everyday interactions. Creating this awareness will reveal ways in which your bias affects your interactions with people.

Our natural tendency to label and be biased is the next hurdle. We are cognitively wired to assign labels to humans we don't know automatically. Whether based on visual stimuli or another's words or actions, it does not take long to label another human. Once assigned, that label will stick even though the other person's words or actions do not necessarily agree with your label. This is the blindness that labels cause. Self-awareness of your nature will help to avoid automatic labels. Objectivity and open=mindedness are helpful characteristics to develop and grow. These traits create a learning mindset and help alleviate the bias of your automatic judgments.

Another action to avoid label bias is to get to know the person through open dialogue. Getting to know people of different backgrounds can go a long way to eliminating your label biases. A respectful discussion with a person in a safe atmosphere will give you a different perspective about your label bias. A different viewpoint may show you how to eliminate your bias. Learning from other viewpoints will always expand your mind and increase your knowledge. Increasing knowledge leads to becoming a better person through the proper application of your learning.

Finally, if you can, enlist the help of experts to help facilitate your bias recognition and begin to eliminate your label biases. Through exercises, enhancing awareness, and facilitating discussions, an expert can help you with your bias elimination. Directing discussions in a healthy, positive direction is one of the best uses of experts. They are well trained in removing bias. Utilizing experts in your business can help your employees form better teams by eliminating their label biases.

Regardless of how you address your inherent label biases, eliminating them will be a rewarding aspect of your life. You may even meet a soulmate, kindred spirit, best friend, ally, business partner, or someone else who may be one of the greatest blessings in your life. Reducing your judgment of people by eliminating your label biases is a Godly characteristic. Using a spiritual foundation will greatly enhance your efforts to reduce your bias. If you must label people, try using one label and one label only, beloved child of God.

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