As per definition – Stereotyping means holding an often unfair and untrue belief about all people or things with a particular characteristic. It is a practice that includes all acts of biases the most common ones being – Racial discrimination, gender inequality and body shaming and any other discriminating thoughts based on different criteria be it place, position or social circle.
If you look inside, you will find you stereotype unintentionally, but actively.
This practice shatters the person in context and has a negative impact on your experience of life as well. How do you know that you are stereotyping?
When you generalize your thoughts pertaining to a particular individual/group and apply it to a larger unrelated segment, you stereotype. The instances are many
- Heavy people have less stamina
- Women presenters get more attention
- People from South have a dark skin tone and many more
You might wonder that how can a mere thought have such a strong impact?
Yes, it does have a strong impact. Because stereotyping camouflages individual uniqueness.
Negative stereotyping never allows the person to reach his/her full potential. The individual traits are hidden deep beneath the generalized version created by stereotyping. For example, a surgeon cannot drink.
Positive stereotyping also never allows the person to reach his/her full potential, because it exerts pressure to behave in a particular way. Or it keeps the person so comfortably cushioned that he/she does not even try to improve. For instance, an IIM Ahmedabad pass out will definitely do this job better than an MBA from a standard Mumbai institute.
How to change this culture of stereotyping?
- Do not derive conclusions based on past behavior/past events. See every situation in the light of the present day.
- Do not comment or share stereotypically in your quest to garner more support because in the process you also lend strength to your own distorted beliefs.
- Self-talk to give yourself a different perspective on the situation or choose a clear- headed confidante.
- Refrain from spreading the word loosely because your conversations decide your personality as well.
You need to understand that stereotyping demands unnecessary thought, consuming a lot of energy. This weakens your focus on self- growth.
Stereotyping is an integral part of human nature and can never be eradicated completely. But with this post I appeal to at least put a check and avoid getting into it casually and regularly. Let us collectively break the chains of social and corporate stereotyping and foster a culture that values individual uniqueness.
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Together, let’s build a world where everyone is seen and celebrated for their true selves! #OpenMindset #BreakTheStereotypes #PersonalGrowth