People need labels.   Not in the same way we label packages or objects.

We tend to label ourselves so that we can make sense of the vast array of thoughts floating around in our own minds.  Labels help us to make sense of ourselves.

We also tend to label others in ways that make sense to our own worldview.  It makes sense to put certain people in categories or definitions.

When introductions are made, we ask about who a person is and use that information to try and place people in categories.

At a work party, people will often identify themselves by what part of the company they work in.

In other settings like a wedding or other family based event, people will identify themselves by how they are related to the bride or groom or where they fall in the family tree.

Self-imposed labels are often context specific.

If a woman in a neutral setting introduces herself as a Doctor, Mother, and a Catholic it is a fair supposition (even if inaccurate) to think that her priorities will also fall in that order.

In other words, she sees herself as a Doctor first, a Mother second, and a Catholic third.

Regardless of accuracy, that is the message being sent.

Take some time to think about how you think about yourself and the message you send every time someone asks you who you are.

Who are you really?  What is most important to you?  Are your priorities in line with how you introduce yourself?

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