Out of the box

Out of the box

Clichés and stereotypes are very common. Some of them are simply in many people’s minds, and once in there, it’s hard to tell these guys that the reality is different. Blonde girls are not all stupid. Rich people are not all braggers. Girls are not all weak. And gay men do not all love glitter and wear pink. And does really every girl wants to be a princess? Has every woman an obsession with shoes? And where do these stereotypes come from? Why is it sometimes easier to put someone into a box, before actually getting to know that person?

In the evolutionary process box thinking certainly helped in some ways to protect a special kind. When a person made a negative experience with someone or something, she told it her friends and family, so they won’t do the same mistake again. For example: she saw a leopard that attacked her. So she learned that it is dangerous for human beings to move close to such a feline, no matter how cute it might look at first. By telling everyone about this, they were warned. This made sure that they all survived, or at least less died because of an attack by a leopard. Because when one attacked a human being, others were very much likely to do the same. Things are different these days, and box thinking is often used based on stereotypes that doesn’t make sense at all.  

Sometimes a girl just wants to walk away, and not interact with other people, because she is afraid of being prejudged.
 When someone you meet has the same bad habits as your ex boyfriend, you probably quit dating that guy because you know where it will lead to. When it comes to finding your true love, you are most likely to pick someone who either looks in some way like your Dad, or has the same character as him. The reason is simple: your Dad was the first man in your life. He made you feel safe and loved. Your positive experience can be the reason you are most likely to find a man like him. Because you want to be happy and a person like your Dad can’t disappoint you, or the chance is smaller that a man similar to him will hurt you in some way. When you are into girls, you want to find someone who’s like your mother. But if your relationship to your parents wasn’t that well, you will choose someone opposite to them, because you don’t want to be left or not treated well from your future partner.

Some clichés might make sense. But many of them don’t. Only because one blonde girl was stupid doesn’t mean another blonde can’t be a genius. I mean, will I become smarter if I’d color my hair brown? Certainly not. And why do many people think girls are weak? You probably have heard the sentence: he throws like a girl. Ouch! No man wants to hear that, not even most girls. But why is it bad to “do something like a girl”? And where does the cliché come from that it’s “gay” when a man cries? Does that indicate a man has to feel nothing, especially not being sad? And is “gay” equally to “girly” somehow? I don’t think so. Are feelings only for girls, and men do only fight?

I think sometimes it is easier for many people to think in boxes. You see someone, and instantly your mind runs wild. She wears something in pink? She has to be a stuck-up Barbie doll. A person who just doesn’t want to talk right now, has to be super shy and uptight. But maybe she just had a bad day. Of course, if you don’t want to talk to someone you can say: oh she looks likes this and that, and that’s why I can’t talk to her. But have you ever thought of other people putting you into a box? I think many were surprised to hear what total strangers think of them.  

Stereotypes often hurt, and make a person feel insecure about herself. In most cases the stereotypes are wrong, and just said by others to distract from their own issues.
 I’m probably in the introvert box. I’m not one who easily talks to people on the street. I don’t have a problem to speak to someone I am working with, my friends and family of course, and not on the Internet as well. I also love to chat no matter where I am, but often I feel I’d bother someone when I just come over and talk. I really love watching people, thinking of their lives and what brought them there. I create them whole stories in my mind, which also helps me in being more creative and develop story ideas to write about. But I give them big boxes and individual ones. Everyone needs space for her uniqueness, don’t you think?  

Do you have stereotypes against some people? Do you tend to put people in boxes? In which box do you think you are? Please leave your thoughts. Thanks for reading. 

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