Self Identity: Dare to Defy Stereotypes

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Your closest friends and family may be privileged to hear your inner wishes and fears, see you evolve through life experiences, and embrace you for everything that you are. Gotta love them for that. πŸ™‚

But most of the world never gets to see the full picture of who you are. They see you only as you present yourself in specific circumstances with them.

Maybe you are study partners for a semester-long class. Perhaps you are casual work colleagues, joined by shared company values and projects, but little else. Or you could be an on-stage personality, riveting the audience for ten minutes. Maybe you’re just a person they see for ten seconds – the time it takes to cross the street and disappear around the corner.

The less time and context you have to establish a relationship with someone, the more likely that person is to form an incomplete and (potentially) inaccurate impression of you.

I am frequently mis-categorized by people based upon my appearance or personality. My initial reaction is of annoyance. “I’m a lot more than what you see or think!” Have you have experienced the same?

It is so easy to make first impressions of a person and judge him/her upon that. We all do it, to differing extents. It’s natural.

So then, being judged mistakenly must be a common issue. As such, I’m presenting a series of videos to share my thoughts and strategies in addressing and challenging misconceptions.

Enjoy this first video of the series, and please do share your own thoughts and experiences!



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  1. Camesha says:

    First impressions are hit or miss. Sometimes, I’m spot on. Others… not so much.

  2. […] the first video of this series, I encourage you to freely and openly express who you are and to defy stereotypes. Celebrate who […]

  3. First impressions are so tough! I hate to admit it, but I can definitely judge a book by it’s cover too often…it can be tough not to, but I do remind myself that everyone has a story, no matter what their first impression tells of them!

  4. Great video. I think that it’s more common than people would like to think that people ‘judge a book by it’s cover’. I always try to be very mindful of the image I project. Even more so now that I’ve been putting more effort into my blog.

  5. I totally stereotype sometimes, I know it’s bad, but I do. It definitely good to recognize it though. It’s the first step in handling it.

  6. Mandi Kane says:

    I’m guilty of this sometimes, but it’s amazing how some of my best friends, are people who I presumed I’d never, ever get along with. But we all need to be more tolerant and open to getting to know others for who they really are.

  7. I know I’m guilty of making snap judgements based on appearance – it’s something I work on and have been proven wrong many times!

  8. OMG! This is something I can talk all day about. Being blonde haired, blue eyed and being gifted in the breast department, I have ALWAYS been judged on my appearance.

    I was in a restaurant just the other day and asked the waiter for the squid tartare and he immediately turned around and said ‘Oh you won’t like that’ I was so taken aback I literally didn’t know what to say! All I could muster was ‘Excuse me?’ He said ‘Oh it’s raw fish in a sort of minced form’ I was like er, I know what it is but said anyway ‘Yes, thank you, I think I’ll still order that anyway’ I have never been spoken to like that before and felt so degraded and totally judged!

    Katie <3

  9. Neely says:

    I can not stand stereotypes! I have been stereotyped so much. ugh!

  10. Crystal Carder says:

    I love this article! Sterotypes are so not worth it! I have been judged by my looks and you just have to break through it. Great post!

  11. songbirdsandbuttons says:

    Yup, i can totally see where you are coming from. Stereotypes are not worth the effort – you just have to go with your gut and keep an open mind.

  12. I think the best thing you can ever do for YOURSELF is never go by stereotypes because it will make you more of an open-minded person and you will be able to meet and learn more new things about everyone you meet! <3

  13. Carrie says:

    I like this because I feel like I’m guilty of doing this and people doing this to me as well. I’m very shy and quiet until you get to know me. For that reason, very few people really know me. I think the first impression a lot of people get is that I’m a snob…I promise I’m not! hehe. Good post!

  14. Awesome advice. Having an open mind and defying stereotypes creates so many amazing bonds with people from completely different walks of life. I used to feel the need to hide how smart I was and play kind of dumb with people to see whether or not they’d treat me poorly and take advantage of my ignorance. I was very insecure about those sort of things.

    1. Amby, thank you! And wow, I think we may have had similar circumstances growing up. Like you, I hid my true abilities/self (e.g. purposefully failing tests) in an effort to try to ‘fit in’. Childhood was sometimes lonely and not always fun with my peers, but it gave me empathy of others that might be experiencing similar isolation.. and the desire to reach out to them and understand who they were.

      I love your words ‘amazing bonds with people from completely different walks of life’. They create some of the best life-long relationships… πŸ™‚ <3

      Thx for sharing!

  15. Deidre Miller says:

    I am guilty of this all the time. I have learned more than anything though that I need to take time to meet people and give them time and chances.

    1. Deidre, I love that you’re able to make those statements of awareness… it’s everything that I hope we all can exercise (see the comment below that I responded to, for my full story/explanation), and I’m glad that you put time and effort into your assessments. <3

  16. Brooklyn says:

    My BEST friends from hair school are the girls I met on the first day and thought, “I’ll never be friends with them.” It’s sad how often we judge and it takes a lot of concious effort to not!

    1. Brooklyn, YES!!! Actually, the catalyst for this post was actually a blogger (BlogHer) conference that I attended a few weeks ago.

      I pitch my blog and brand as a source of self-confidence/self-expression, elegant lifestyle inspiration, but even before I could do my 30-second elevator pitch… people would say “oh, you’re a fashion blogger, right?” I was like “well, I’m a lifestyle blogger.. that includes fashion as a means of self-expression, but I’m not about the latest fashion trends.”

      And even more… distressing were a few times when I started up conversations with people near me at the conference. 20 minutes later, the response was often “oh, you’re so sweet, friendly, and fun, I’m so glad we met! I would have assumed you would have been… *hand waving*… well, I wouldn’t have talked with you.”

      Again.. at a loss for words.

      So, based on the reception I got in an environment that I thought would be more open and welcoming than most, I started thinking about first impressions and how much they affect the relationships that we’re able to make with others.

      .. to bring it to a close, I’m so glad that you made the best friends that you did, and that your friendship has developed so beautifully. <3

  17. Everyone should aspire to defy stereotypes and not allow people to make assumptions and fit them into an already conceived mold. We should be breaking that mold. Laurie, you’re an inspiration to us all!

    1. Jessica, thank you so much for the warm response!! <3 It's a philosophy that, I think if many people consciously adopted, our world would be such a more open and genuine (and hopefully happier!) place. πŸ™‚

  18. If people thought they knew me by a first impression, they would surely be wrong! I am a lot whackier than I let off when I first meet someone, haha.

    1. πŸ˜€ You sound like a lot of fun, I’m sure I’d enjoy getting to know you! Yeah, I’m similar.. it’s easier to be sillier once you feel more comfortable about how people will perceive that aspect of you. πŸ™‚

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