Are you letting other people define who you are? if so you may be limiting your life in many ways by giving other people control over your self worth and self esteem.
Are others defining you?
Most people love to judge and label/define others as a particular type of person. Constantly being labelled in a certain way can influence us to believe something is true even when it’s not, if you start to believe it’s true you fall into that label and it becomes true, you become the person that people think you are. This is connected to a type of influence called the consistency principle, which is also connected to brain washing.
Examples of common labels that people attach to others, lazy, quiet, formal, shy, serious, liar, jerk to name a few. Labeling is also known as a type of faulty thinking. Labeling is one way the mind can quickly, but not necessarily correctly deal with the information that we gain from the world around us, including the people within it.
Example of being defined by others
Someone who is single and mostly happy with their life, they may love their job, their hobbies or their free time or whatever it is. They may of just gotten out of a relationship or marriage and they are currently very happy to be single for awhile. However their friends, family or co workers believe that they are sad or even depressed deep down because they are single. After awhile these judgements/labels may start to effect them, they may begin believing in how others are defining them. Eventually they may even become sad and depressed just because of how others perceive their situation. This is actually unintentional brain washing.
The example above stems from popular societal beliefs and collective thinking, and it shows how people can lose their own values and beliefs.
It is very easy to be overwhelmed and influenced by a group of people or a collective way of thinking/popular societal beliefs. These influences are very powerful and an individual can easily be sucked into a particular way of thinking, it can also define our self worth or value in society.
Status and being defined
Most people don’t question popular societal beliefs and simply just try and fit in as much as possible. The goal for most is to get higher up on the social status ladder because that it what seems like the best way to achieve more and have a better life. Social status is also massively connected to caring about what other people think of you. Social status has a massive influence on how the majority of people define others.
So our social status is often linked to our self worth and our social status is determined by popular societal beliefs or perceptions. These popular beliefs influence the majority of the population so basically these perceptions determine our own social status and ultimately self worth.
If we are not perceived as having high social status then people will start to define and label you as a particular type of person, and this can begin to affect our own self worth because we begin to believe it.
How to not let others define you?
- There may be times when you need to distance yourself from certain people to prevent you from being subjected to certain judgments which can affect you negatively. Be selective with the people that you spend time with.
- Understand that popular society is shallow, and anyone that tries to define you by it is wrong, and they themselves have been influenced by a collective way of thinking aka popular societal standards.
- Develop a strong sense of self/identity, find yourself, know who you are and who you want to be. The stronger your sense of self is the less likely you are to be influenced by others defining you.