The Difference Between Instincts And Stereotyping

November 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Photo by Angie Rubin

I have just returned from Brazil where I was working for the last few weeks.

As it was a job, I flew business class and was privy to an interesting conversation when we finally landed. A group of people – dressed simply and in shorts – were dismayed how others during the flight had asked them what they were doing in business class.  The question came as a result of this particular group not looking the part of what we imagine a successful group must look like.

In our pre-conceived minds someone who sits in that aircraft class must look and be a certain way.  This group didn’t.

The conversation got me thinking how many times we judge others based on societal concepts.  When we stereotype we put others in a box and miss opportunities to learn and relate in different ways.  It is as if we are compelled to assign labels for easy processing.  Unfortunately the results are often erroneous.

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