Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois 

Well, Hi Faith

Faith

Good morning Lois.

Lois 

Oh, it’s great to be back together. It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever.

Faith

I know. It has been awhile.

Lois 

A week or something like that.

Faith

Right? That means we’re too busy.

Lois 

I know, I know. But it’s very fun to be back together and we get to dive in and digest yet another fantastic area that reminds us that there’s more to life.

Faith

Oh there’s always more to life. And the interesting thing about this journey life that we’re in is finding those nuggets of goodness and what is more for us and that’s what our podcasts are always about. How can we gain the more that’s in life?

Lois 

So we hope that if you’ve missed a few of our podcasts and you want to find out what we’ve been up to, we have 95 other podcasts, if you can believe that. So you can always go to our website by the way, that is more to life with faith and lois.com you can sign up and just every week we’ll send it to you and you’ll get right in your email or whatever platform you listen on. There is a log of all of our podcasts and by the way, if ever there is an issue with any of those logs, just go to our website. You’ll always be able to get it there. And we always circle back to the theme that you are not alone when we talk about more to life and today that is where you might be as we face the issue of Episode 96 Transition: the Impact of Labels.

Faith

Oh, labels are so painful and there’s such a burden to carry, right? I mean, wow, once you’ve been labeled something, it’s hard to shake it off. We’re going to be talking a lot about how to eliminate them so that you can stand in the fullness of who you really are. And you know, growing up I was labeled right off the bat because I was a preacher’s kid. And so it didn’t take very long when you’re taught to walk into church, sit in a certain place and act a certain way all the time. And that you had to be polite, you had to be kind, you had to be all of these, which are wonderful things. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it was packaged as a performance label.

Lois 

And so you carried that around.

Faith

I did. And I’d carried it most of my life until I figured out how to balance it with more of who I am so that it’s an overflow of who I am rather than a performance of what I think I should do.

Lois 

Wow. You know, cause we knowingly or unknowingly framed somebody in a light that may or may not be accurate and sometimes we do it without thinking. So for me, I always liked black and white when I was younger and so I would take stands on positions. So it was very easy for someone to say, well that’s who Lois is. As I became more seasoned in my life, I realized gray is a far better color, not only for me but for how I live. And yet coming away from that label was very, very difficult. And so I’ve had to really work in my language and how I approach people and that’s the way I can make the shift that people realize, well that’s what we thought you used to be. That isn’t how you are now. And you know, I realized how many labels I would give people as well because I was so comfortable in that black and white role that it was very easy for me to then decide who you were very quickly without digging. And that’s part of the process. I think when you realize about labels, it’s the easy way out, isn’t it?

Faith

Totally the easy way out. Because if we can judge it and put a nice big bold label on someone, we’ve got it covered, right? I mean we’re in control, we’ve got it sized up and we’re right.

Lois 

And the reality is we’re not right. It’s a shortcut. It’s a shortcut that we take. And so then you just said that we’re, it’s either right or wrong or success or failure or lucky or unlucky. And when we give that to somebody, you don’t realize the weight you’ve just put on their shoulders.

Faith

Absolutely. We have both the ways of putting positive and negative, but it’s still a burden for the person who has to carry it. And so we think we’re doing something nice when we’re saying, Oh, aren’t they so beautiful? Oh, they would never talk to me or aren’t they so wealthy? They would, you know, I don’t fit into that category. And when you hear their stories, you hear a lot of times beautiful people, wealthy people are very much alone because of that kind of label that’s been placed on them.

Lois 

And there you go. There’s another shortcut we’ve taken that we just presume or assume that someone is a certain way because of whatever accoutrements we’ve attached to that. And then instead we is, because we haven’t dug underneath the surface, we don’t know who they are. So you know, to label is actually to divide. It’s to judge and it is to decide for someone else. So think about that. When you give someone a label, you’re making a decision for someone else. It’s one thing for someone to say, I am X , but it’s another for us to say you are X. And so we’re gonna kind of unpack that a little today. You know what happens when you actually label someone?

Faith

A lot of things happen and one of the biggest things is that a person will usually feel pain who’s had that label put on them and they feel the weight, the burden. It’s heavy. It’s heavy to carry a label because if people are seeing you this way, it’s hard to shake it off. And it takes courage to rise above the label to say, no, this is really who I am. So you relate to the label you’ve been given for starters. So if you’re told as a child, you’re not very smart, or what were you thinking and what’s wrong with you? Where’s your, you know, where’s your brains? Whoa, you that. You carry that for a long time and you can carry it into the workplace. You can carry it into a marriage, you can carry it into your relationship with your children. It carries on. And so labels that usually start very early and they’re hard to shake off.

Lois 

And it’s really sad when you think that you’re relating to a label instead of to a person. Yes. And that’s where I think we’ve come in this society where instead of trying to figure out why someone thinks the way they do or want to get a little deeper with, well, what do you mean by that? Where are you going? We just quickly put someone in a camp and we relate to that camp or that label instead of to the person. And almost always when you choose to relate to a person and who they are and what’s going on, even if at the end of the day you stay and say, well, I really have a different opinion on this. You can have a conversation. You could look in someone’s eyes and you can have a level of empathy that will stretch between you. Even if your position on something isn’t the same.

Faith

That is so good. And lately on the news there’s been these documentaries of people who have been on either side politically that have decided to go to the other side and spend time with those people. And they’re always shocked. They’re going, I have the best time. They’re really wonderful people.

Lois 

Imagine that.

Faith

And they had coffee with them, they had dinner with them, they went hunting with them. I mean these are the kinds of things that you see the real person rather than we put them into a camp as you just described it, of a certain type of person that we are perceiving them to be.

Lois 

You know, we also know that labels can really hurt. And I can share from a personal experience. I’m divorced and I remember I was having an issue with one of my sons and I have three fabulous sons. And as they were younger, going through different things, you know, life comes up and a well-meaning person actually came to me and said, Lois, you shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, look what you did to them. You devastated their life. And this is why, you know, he is acting this way. And it was such an amazing label and a big burden that I carried for a very long time. Home wrecker. Divorcee. I mean it would just, it would be on my little hat and I’d be like looking around instead of the letter A, I had the big D on here, you know? And I really felt it and it took time to get through that. And it also took time for my son to grow into who he is, this fabulous young man who exhibits none of those issues that he was at that time. A lot of them were just hormonal, but for this person to put that label on me and it just really reduced what I was going through. Now was I any of those things. Yes, I was. But it doesn’t mean when you don’t talk to a person and you relate through the label versus, so Lois, how are you going to work through this difficulty your kids are, and that’s a far different approach than, well, what do you expect? You ruined it for for them.

Faith

It was the wrong question. What do you expect that’s, that’s a judgmental question rather than a question of what is going on and what has happened and what would be helpful. It’s stepping into the place with a person rather than judging where the person is at.

Lois 

And what Faith was saying had so much impact that it knocked everything down.

Faith

That was the bang.

Lois 

Just a big bang. But we’re okay and we’re right back but we always have to be very careful. In fact, I think that all came because we have a new sponsor for our podcast, Affordable Aesthetics. So I think that Anna was just ready for us to begin with our wonderful sponsor and if you’re considering a way to look and feel healthier right now, we do want to introduce you to our very good friend Anna Twerskoi at Affordable Aesthetics.

Faith

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Lois 

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Faith

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Lois 

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Faith

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Lois 

So we are on Episode 96 Transition: The impact of Labels. And when you label someone, you actually make a decision, you believe they cannot change. It’s kind of this all or nothing. And that’s the danger with labels because you put a hat on them and this is who you are and you will never be anything different, right?

Faith

According to your standard, right? I mean it is according to me, this is what I believe you will never ever change. And that is so cruel because it puts someone in a box and that label is this kind of like the lock on the door and the key is thrown away. And that’s throwing away a person. And the whole thing about our life is that we are on this life journey and we have the potential of being transformed and changing all the time. So yes, that’s one of the worst things is what can happen. The all or nothing thinking.

Lois 

So think about that as you encounter somebody that you might have this opinion of that, you know, wow, I don’t know if they can ever change. There’s an interesting study it’s called Cyberball and you can find it on www.psychologytoday.com that found that the more participants who were playing this game believed that personality can change, the less affected they were by feeling excluded. But the flip is also true. If you believe that personality is fixed, then your feelings of exclusion can be absolutely severe.

Faith

Absolutely. They can totally crush you to the place where you get so massively depressed. We see it with people who are drug addicts and they say, you know, well, I’m a drug addict. Well, no, you have an addiction, but that doesn’t define you. You know, that is not your personality in your qualities and your talents and your abilities. Um, and so when you label somebody harshly, all of that other can go away very quickly. And so you miss seeing your true self.

Lois 

You know, if there’s a way that you can try to discover what’s happened in that person’s life that’s brought them to this place, right? So if something has happened to you that is harmful, if you can start to look at that as a harmful incident, Oh, how did this come about? Versus they are bully. They can’t be trusted. I’m going to discard this person as a toxic element of my life. You know, that’s kind of popular right now, right? If I don’t feel good and you don’t make me feel good, then I need to exclude you from my life because then I would feel so much better. It’s way too easy to do that nowadays. Of course, there are things that are going to come up in our lives where we have to say, you know what? For the matter of my health, I need to be maybe a little distant from such a person, but we do this like with anything, right? We get mad at just the slightest thing. Right. And you’re cutoff.

Faith

Yeah, I agree with that. I agree with that. And I’m one of the things I think people are doing too quickly, they are not differentiating between what a boundary is and a barrier and a boundary is about setting some really good limits for yourself, but you’re still able to engage with the person. A barrier is you’re cutoff. I don’t see you, I put a wall up, go away. And that’s very different. And I think people are oftentimes can get those mixed up.

Lois 

And when you do that, that’s exactly when you will feel excluded by them or the others because you’ve decided that’s how they think. So then you are trying to protect everything and you feel excluded all the time. Right. So just notice that if you sense, cause there are times in our day that many healthy people will feel excluded. I didn’t get invited to this, I didn’t get included in this. But if we can think it through and think about the person, most likely we’ll ratchet it down a little bit and be able to breathe. But if you put yourself in that other camp where you are afraid, then you will feel excluded and then you’ll feel like crap the whole day.

Faith

Well that’s well said.

Lois 

Been there.

Faith

Exactly right. And the key thing is don’t let labels define you because if you take on the label and you start feeling the weight and feeling crushed by it, then you begin to believe you can’t come out of it. And the reality is there’s nothing to stop any of us from overcoming the obstacle of labels that where we’ve been falsely defined. Keep in mind, labels come from a false place. They come from someone else and it comes from their perspective. And it’s important that you keep looking at who am I and how can I overcome? If I don’t like something, how can I overcome it? It’s an obstacle. Overcome it, find a way around it, through it, over it, whatever it takes, but get help and overcome it.

Lois 

We’ve talked so much in previous podcasts about how mistakes are sometimes the best launching pads for us to go to the next thing or something. We hit a roadblock on and we we failed. It didn’t work right. That’s the best shift. And then look and go, Oh well that’s because I wasn’t considering it should be blue and I’ve been using yellow and it didn’t work for me or whatever the case may be. But I think sometimes we need that stop – something to come in front of us with a full stop to say we can’t go anymore. But it doesn’t have to define who we are because that can be a step to something far more beautiful. So after all is said and done, because of my divorce and what has happened in our family life, you know, I’m married to a wonderful man. I have a relationship with my ex husband, the father of my boys. It’s not like it’s koombaya, don’t get me wrong, but we have an engaged relationship all the way around. Things can heal. Where if we had decided that the label was going to stick, that this is how it was going to be forever and ever, we would never be able to enter into the journey together, which would be so sad.

Faith

That’s true. And there’s so much more, right?

Lois 

es, yes. Yeah. And I think one of the things to always be careful about is we don’t like having labels on ourselves and just be conscious of when it is that we give those labels out Faith. Sometimes we do that.

Faith

Oh yes. Without thinking clearly enough. Absolutely. I mean it’s just a kind of a common reaction to want to protect ourselves. And so by judging or putting a label out there, we feel a little more protected and we just have to be a little more attuned to why am I doing what I’m doing and being more aware of the person that’s sitting in front of us.

Lois 

Cause labeling does divide, and labeling is not our friend.

Faith

It is not the next time you feel like someone wrongs, you consider what might be below the surface and accept that people make mistakes from time to time.

Lois 

Talk to people. It’ll keep you in this learning mode and it might give you a true picture of what is going on for them and why you got so triggered.

Faith

If you know of someone who’s been struggling with labels, please share our podcast with them and anyone else you might think of.

Lois 

And join us next week for Transition, the Impact of Codependency.

Faith

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website, and please subscribe.

Lois 

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you,

Faith

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know that there is more to life.

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.