How Do You Label People?

How do you label the people around you? Think about your kids, your spouse, your boss or your friends. Do you call them difficult, lazy, playful, mean, shy, or any other adjective you can come up with?

We often assign labels to people because they either inspire us or “light us up.” These people are guides, asking us to look at ourselves. God is trying to get our attention.

My daughter Mackenzie used to have a boyfriend that inspired me. Every time he walked through the door, I smiled. There was “something” about him. I had two labels for him: “playful” and “light.” He inspired me to bring more playfulness to my life.

If you are giving someone a positive label, you are either being guided to allow yourself to have more of this in your life, or God’s asking you to see yourself with the same loving eyes as you see the person who makes you smile.

I believe God is also tapping on your shoulder when you label someone negatively. This person “lights you up.” This is a different kind of “light” than I described for Mackenzie’s boyfriend. When you are “lit up” by someone, you feel irritated or frustrated. This person pushes your buttons. But this isn’t a bad thing. Once again, God is trying to get your attention. You are being drawn within to face your judgments and fears. God is asking you to love yourself.

My youngest daughter Kolbi had a very controlling teacher in the first grade. This teacher really “lit” me up. She drove me nuts! I labeled her a “control freak.” The interesting thing about this is that as I looked within to see what was yearning to be healed, I realized that I, too, was being controlling! What a realization! I had no idea.

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What a gift Kolbi’s teacher was for me. I got “lit up” by her because she showed me that I didn’t trust my daughter’s path. I felt I had to save Kolbi from this controlling teacher. So I was controlling. What I learned by going within was that I can’t save my children. Life is filled with controlling people because they are in fear. All I can do is walk through these kinds of difficult situations with love and be an example for my kids.

When I made a choice to look within to see what was “lighting me up” with Kolbi’s teacher, I healed. No longer did I label her a “control freak,” instead I labeled her a “gift.”

All the labels you give to others, as well as the ones you give to yourself, are gifts. They are messages to help you expand your life and heal.

So I invite you to go back to my beginning question, “How do you label the people around you?” Take a moment and think about this. To move deeper into this healing, write each person’s name on a list and beside his or her name, write the word in which you describe this person. If someone inspires you, ask yourself, “What is it that inspires me?” and “Am I needing to allow more of this into my life?” And here’s another thought, “Is this person showing me what I’m really like?”

Then look at the people who “light you up.” Ask yourself, “What is it about this person that makes me so uncomfortable?” But because blame never gets us anywhere, take this a step further and ask, “What is this person telling me about myself?” You might be surprised at what you discover!

As you walk through the rest of the day and week, stay in awareness of how you label people. Then dive within to see what these labels are telling you about yourself. Labels are always gifts when you look within for the gift to be revealed!

What labels have you given yourself or others? Join the conversation and leave your comment below. I’d love to hear from you!


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